Actress Maureen O’Hara dies at 95

24 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Actress Maureen O’Hara of ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Dies at 95.

LOS ANGELES — Maureen O’Hara, the flame-haired Irish movie star who appeared in classics ranging from the grim “How Green Was My Valley” to the uplifting “Miracle on 34th Street” and bantered unforgettably with John Wayne in several films, has died.’She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favorite movie, The Quiet Man,’ her family said in a statement. O’Hara was legendary for holding her own alongside some of the most formidable male stars of all time, including Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda.

She was also proudly Irish and spent her entire lifetime sharing her heritage and the wonderful culture of the Emerald Isle with the world,” said a family biography. Wayne once quipped that he preferred to act with men “except for Maureen O’Hara; she’s a great guy.” She has been most acclaimed for her work with legendary director John Ford. “She is equivalent to the male hero in a Ford film,” film historian Jeanine Basinger told the Washington Post. “She exudes a kind of pioneering strength of the sort that fits in his movies.” She was born in Dublin and relocated to Hollywood in 1939. During her movie heyday, she became known as the Queen of Technicolor because of the camera’s love affair with her vivid hair, pale complexion and fiery nature.

As Doris Walker, the Macy’s store employee in charge of the Thanksgiving Day Parade, she unwittingly persuades Kris Kringle, who insists he is the real Santa Claus, to star in the parade. Other films included the costume drama “The Foxes of Harrow” (Rex Harrison, 1947); the comedy “Sitting Pretty” (Clifton Webb, 1948); and the sports comedy “Father Was a Fullback” (Fred MacMurray, 1949). He died in a plane crash in 1978 and O’Hara took over management of the airline, which she eventually sold. “Being married to Charlie Blair and traveling all over the world with him, believe me, was enough for any woman,” she said in 1995. “It was the best time of my life.” “My first ambition was to be the No1 actress in the world,” she said in 1999. “And when the whole world bowed at my feet, I would retire in glory and never do anything again.” In 1957 her career was threatened by scandal, when the tabloid Confidential magazine claimed she and a man had engaged in “the hottest show in town” in the back row of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Over the following decade, she did three TV movies: “The Christmas Box,” based on a best-selling book, a perennial holiday attraction; “Cab to Canada,” a road picture; and “The Last Dance.” While making “The Christmas Box” in 1995, she admitted that roles for someone her age (75), were scarce: “The older a man gets, the younger the parts that he plays.

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