For the most part, it's probably safe to say most people grew up watching "The Sound of Music."
California native and Concord resident, Daniel Truhitte, 66, portrayed Rolf Gruber, the German officer in the movie.
Truhitte's performance of "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" from the movie's soundtrack will be featured in the new Hyundai TV commercial, which will premier Sunday during the 82nd Academy Awards.
"I thought 'wow,'" said Kevin Oates, a Hyundai spokesman. "I never thought I would be talking to Rolf from 'The Sound of Music.'"
As the automotive sponsor of the Academy Awards, Hyundai has eight advertisements planned for the evening.
According to a Hyundai press release, the long-time voice of the brand, Jeff Bridges, who is up for Best Actor for his role in "Crazy Heart," will be temporarily replaced. Oscar rules prohibit the use of nominees in advertisements during the broadcast. As a result, Hyundai found seven celebrity voice-over substitutes which include: Kim Basinger, Richard Dreyfuss, David Duchovny, Catherine Keener, Michael Madsen, Mandy Patinkin and Martin Sheen.
Richard Dreyfuss will be the voice for the commercial with Truhitte's performance.
Growing up in 1943, musicals were a big deal, Truhitte explained.
"Historically, after a war, people get more into a romanticism than a realism," said Truhitte, who grew up listening to Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Gene Nelson and Danny Kaye. "I love all the great singers of the time."
At age 6, Truhitte took tap, gymnastics and ballet lessons. Three years later, he picked up voice lessons.
After high school, he auditioned for a part in "The Sound of Music," which was a big thing happening at the time, he explained.
Truhitte recollects walking into 20th Century Fox and standing in a line of about 500 blonds waiting to audition for the role of Rolf Gruber.
The production of the movie began without the character of Rolf because it was difficult to find someone who could sing, dance and play the role of a Nazi officer , he said.
After Truhitte was cast for the role, he signed a seven-year contract with 20th Century Fox.
"It was a wonderful experience," he said. "The gazebo scene is permanently in my heart and in my mind."
After filming "The Sound of Music," Truhitte joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1964.
"I always tell everyone, people say 'You were that awful Nazi,"' said Truhitte, who served six months on active duty in the reserves. "After that I joined the U.S. Maine Corp and that was punishment itself. I've always loved the Corp and was really proud of it. It was quite a transition from a 'movie star' to a 'grunt private.'"
After his service, Truhitte got back into his musical performance career. He has performed on stage in "Kismet," "Bells are Ringing," "Brigadoon" and "Little Mary Sunshine." He was the lead singer and dancer in the MGM Grand "Hallelujah Hollywood" production. The Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Palladium and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel are some of the places he has performed.
For now, Truhitte is focused on his upcoming performance at the Concord Museum next month.
The Historic Cabarrus Association's "Living History Masquerade" event will feature dance performances by Truhitte and a silent auction of memorabilia from "The Sound of Music" to raise funds for the museum.
Truhitte lives with his wife, Tarealia, in Concord. For information about his April 16 performance at the Concord Museum, contact 704-782-3688 or visit www.historiccabarrus.org.