Sunday, 25 October 2015

RIP Maureen O'Hara

There isn't much of old Hollywood left these days and we've lost another star this weekend; Maureen O'Hara, the flame haired Irish born actress who starred opposite John Wayne in five movies including The Quiet Man (pictured below) and McLintock!, has died at the grand old age of 95.

The evergreen screen persona of O'Hara was that of a strong willed, beautiful tomboy from 'the old country'. It wasn't far from the truth; one of six children born in Dublin, her father owned the football team Shamrock Rovers and she begged him to create a women's team so that she could play! She began training in drama and dance at the age of six, but her father insisted she learn bookkeeping and typing as something to fall back on. He needn't have bothered, as O'Hara soon caught the eye of Charles Laughton and Alfred Hitchcock, appearing alongside the former in the latter's Jamaica Inn and again with Laughton in The Hunchback of Notre Dame

John Ford cast her in How Green Was My Valley, and it was the start of a collaboration between the director and her that was to last twenty years. She gave up acting in the late 60s and went on to become the first woman president of a US based scheduled airline company, but returned to the screen in 1991 to play John Candy's mother in the Marty-esque Only The Lonely


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