Maureen O’Hara, Irish-Born Actress Known as Queen of Technicolor, Dies at 95

24 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Actress Maureen O’Hara dies aged 95.

Maureen O’Hara, the flame-haired star of “How Green Was My Valley” and “Miracle on 34th Street” who was one of Ireland’s most successful acting exports, has died aged 95, her family and the Irish president said Saturday. O’Hara, an iconic figure in Hollywood’s Golden Age of the 1940s and 1950s who was once considered one of the world’s most beautiful women, also played a string of feisty women opposite John Wayne, including in “The Quiet Man”. Maureen O’Hara accepts an Honorary Award onstage during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 2014 Governors Awards on November 8, 2014 in Hollywood, California ©Kevin Winter (Getty/AFP/File) “It is with a sad heart that we share the news that Maureen O’Hara passed away today in her sleep of natural causes,” they said in a statement cited by The Irish Times newspaper. “Maureen was our loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. 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. Herbert Kalmus, who invented the process), “passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favorite movie, The Quiet Man,” a statement from her family read. 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.

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). 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. Through her father, she learned to love sports; through her mother, she and her five siblings were exposed to the theater. “My first ambition was to be the No. 1 actress in the world,” she recalled in 1999. “And when the whole world bowed at my feet, I would retire in glory and never do anything again.”

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