Maureen O’Hara, the Irish actress who starred in a string of American films made during the Golden Age of Hollywood, died on Saturday at home in Boise, Idaho. She was 95. According to Fox News, “She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favorite movie, ‘The Quiet Man,'” said a statement from her family.
O’Hara, born Maureen FitzSimons on August 17, 1920, was known for playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines, and often worked with director John Ford and longtime friend John Wayne. Because of her vivid red hair, pale complexion and fiery nature, she became known as the Queen of Technicolor and starred in a number of films including “Miracle on 34th Street,” “The Quiet Man,” “Rio Grande” and “The Parent Trap” and was considered one of the last living actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
In addition to her acting skills, O’Hara had a soprano voice and described singing as her first love. She was able to channel her love of singing through television. In the late ’50s and early ’60s, she was a guest on musical variety shows with Perry Como, Andy Williams, Betty Grable and Tennessee Ernie Ford. In 1960, she starred on Broadway in the musical Christine which ran for 12 performances. That year she released two successful recordings, Love Letters from Maureen O’Hara and Maureen O’Hara Sings her Favorite Irish Songs.
Although O’Hara was never nominated for a competitive Academy Award, in November 2014 she was presented with an Honorary Academy Award by Clint Eastwood, who appeared with O’Hara in the 1955 film “Lady Godiva of Coventry,” and Irish-born actor Liam Neeson.with the inscription “To Maureen O’Hara, one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, whose inspiring performances glowed with passion, warmth and strength”
Here are a few of her best known films. For more on Maureen O’Hara’s films visit IMDB.
The Quiet Man (1952) is director John Ford’s epic romantic comedy starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond and Victor McLaglen. It’s a loving, sentimental, nostalgic tribute to his Irish ancestry and homeland. Ford considered the rollicking, comedy love story one of his favorite films.
“How Green Was My Valley” (1941) directed by John Ford and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck, is a drama set in a coal mining community in Wales. In the film, O’Hara plays a woman torn between two men. The movie also stars Walter Pidgeon, Donald Crisp and Roddy McDowall.
“Miracle on 34th Street” (1947) is a classic Christmas film, written and directed by George Seaton, a department store Santa Claus insists he is the real thing. O’Hara played the Macy’s employee who comes to believe his outlandish tale to be true.
“The Parent Trap” (1961) is a Disney family film written and directed by David Swift and stars Hayley Mills in dual roles. Mills plays two teenage girls who meet at summer camp and discover they are long-lost twin sisters. They embark on a plan to reunite their parents, played by O’Hara and Brian Keith.
“Only The Lonely” (1991) is her final theatrical feature. O’Hara plays Rose Muldoon, the opinionated mother of John Candy’s single Chicago police officer. The film was written and directed by Chris Columbus and produced by John Hughes.