Maureen O'Hara

Maureen O’Hara

Maureen O'Hara

Maureen O’Hara (1920-2015) is an Irish actress who knew how to impose herself throughout her career in the very closed universe of Hollywood. Noticed for her flamboyant beauty and her immense talent as an actress, she had the opportunity to film under the direction of John Ford, giving the line to John Wayne in “The Quiet Man”. An immense talent, which is still the pride of the Irish people today!

Maureen O’Hara’s Career

A flamboyant redhead with green eyes

Maureen O'Hara

Maureen O’Hara

Maureen was born in Dublin on August 17, 1920, to the Irish FitzSimons family. Very soon fascinated by cinema and singing, she took her first steps into the world of arts and culture at the age of 10, where she took part in a radio show.

At the age of 15, she took drama lessons and then joined the famous Abbey Theatre in Dublin, where she performed many classical plays. Although already talented, Maureen was nevertheless forced by her father to take accounting and typing lessons in parallel with her activities.

However, her performances at the Abbey Theatre were soon noticed: she played a small part in a film: Kicking the Moon Around (1938), a musical by Walter Forde.

The famous actor Charles Laughton noticed her then, and allowed her to sign a 7-year contract with his production company Mayflower Pictures Corporation. On her advice, Maureen Fitzsimons changes her name to O’Hara.

His career got off to a flying start! Under the direction of Alfred Hitchcock, “L’auberge de la Jamaïque”, she toured with Charles Laughton. The success is there, even if the film is criticized.

Maureen takes the boat to Hollywood to shoot Quasimodo for the production company RKO, still alongside Charles Laughton, where she plays Esmeralda and he plays the Hunchback. The production is gigantic, and success is imminent. From now on, Maureen O’Hara has an international star status!

The production company RKO then bought Maureen O’Hara’s contract from Charles Laughton, with a view to having her play in various musical films such as Dance, Girl, Dance or They Met in Argentina.

Meeting with John Ford

The actress’ success is so great, she will attract the attention of director John Ford… Seduced by this redhead with green eyes, he decides to shoot her on his film “Qu’elle était verte ma vallée” instead of Katherine Hepburn.

She then worked for 20 years on a series of productions, and was often called upon to work on exotic productions, telling the story of pirates, travels…etc.

She then made one of her most beautiful films with “The Miracle of 34th Street”, a sentimental comedy that tells the story of an old man (Edmund Gwenn) who pretends to be Santa Claus with kindness and optimism à la Capra19.

In 1950, Maureen tried her hand at the Western, then turned again to John Ford, with whom she maintained almost family ties. He offers her to play in several films that will propel Maureen to the pinnacle of her film career:

  • Rio Grande (1950)
  • The Quiet Man (1952)
  • It’s only a goodbye (1955)
  • The Eagle Flies in the Sun (1957)

From the 60s to the 90s, she played many roles, but she didn’t have the aura of the old films. An actress nevertheless equally acclaimed, she was celebrated by all of Hollywood until the end of her career.

She died in 2015, having had an incredible career.

Filmography

  • Maureen O'Hara

    Maureen O’Hara

    1938: Kicking the Moon Around by Walter Forde

  • 1939: My Irish Molly by Alex Bryce
  • 1939: Alfred Hitchcock’s Jamaica Tavern
  • 1939: Quasimodo (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) by William Dieterle
  • 1940: A Bill of Divorce by John Farrow
  • 1940: Dance, Girl, Dance by Dorothy Arzner
  • 1941: How Green Was My Valley by John Ford
  • 1941: Idylle en Argentine (They Met in Argentina) by Leslie Goodwins and Jack Hively
  • 1942: To the Shores of Tripoli by H. Bruce Humberstone
  • 1942: Henry Hathaway’s Ten Gentlemen from West Point..
  • 1942: The Black Swan by Henry King
  • 1943: Adventure in Libya (The Immortal Sergeant) by John M. Stahl
  • 1943: Living Free (This Land Is Mine) by Jean Renoir
  • 1943: Nest of Spies (The Fallen Sparrow) by Richard Wallace
  • 1944: Buffalo Bill by William A. Wellman
  • 1945: Black Flag (The Spanish Main) by Frank Borzage
  • 1946: Sentimental Journey by Walter Lang
  • 1946: Do you want to love me? (Do You Love Me?) by Gregory Ratoff1947
  • Sinbad the Sailor by Richard Wallace: Shireen
  • 1947: The Homestretch by H. Bruce Humberstone: Leslie Hale
  • 1947: George Seaton’s Miracle on 34th Street: Doris Walker
  • 1947: The Foxes of Harrow by John M. Stahl: Odalie ‘Lilli’ D’Arceneaux
  • 1948: Sitting Pretty by Walter Lang: Tacey King
  • 1949: A Woman’s Secret by Nicholas Ray: Marian Washburn
  • 1949 : Britannia Mews by Jean Negulesco : Adelaide ‘Addie’ Culver
  • 1949: Father Was a Fullback by John M. Stahl: Elizabeth Cooper
  • 1949: Baghdad by Charles Lamont: Princess Marjan
  • 1950: On George Sherman’s Comanche Territory
  • 1950 : Tripoli (Tripoli) by Will Price : Comtesse D’Arneau
  • 1950: Rio Grande by John Ford: Mrs. Kathleen Yorke
  • 1951: The Barbarous Brothers (Flame of Araby) by Charles Lamont : Princess Tanya
  • 1952: Lewis Allen’s The Sons of the Musketeers (At Sword’s Point): Claire – the daughter of Athos
  • 1952: Lewis Milestone’s Law of the Whip (Kangaroo): Dell McGuire
  • 1952: The Quiet Man by John Ford: Mary Kate Danaher
  • 1952: George Sherman’s Against All Flags: Prudence ‘Spitfire’ Stevens
  • 1953 : The Redhead from Wyoming by Lee Sholem : Kate Maxwell
  • 1953: George Sherman’s Fort Clark (War Arrow) assault: Elaine Corwin
  • 1954 : The redhead leads the investigation (Malaga) of Richard Sale : Joanna Dana
  • 1955: It’s Only Goodbye (The Long Gray Line) by John Ford: Mary O’Donnell
  • 1955: The Brave and the Beautiful (The Magnificent matador) by Budd Boetticher: Karen Harrison
  • 1955: Arthur Lubin’s Lady Godiva of Coventry by Arthur Lubin: Lady Godiva
  • 1956: Ray Milland’s The Man from Lisbon (Lisbon): Sylvia Merrill
  • 1956: Everything But the Truth by Jerry Hopper: Joan Madison
  • 1957: The Wings of Eagles by John Ford: Min Wead
  • 1959 : Our Man in Havana by Carol Reed : Beatrice Severn
  • The Great McLintock (1963)
  • 1961: New Mexico (The Deadly Companions) by Sam Peckinpah: Kit Tilden
  • 1961: David Swift’s The Parent Trap: Margaret “Maggie” McKendrick
  • 1962: Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation by Henry Koster: Peggy Hobbs
  • 1963: Delmer Daves’ Spencer’s Mountain (Spencer’s Mountain): Olivia Spencer
  • 1963: The Great McLintock (McLintock) by Andrew V. McLaglen: Katherine Gilhooley McLintock
  • 1965: The Battle of the Villa Fiorita by Delmer Daves: Moira
  • 1966: Rancho Bravo (The Rare Breed) by Andrew V. McLaglen: Martha Price
  • 1970: How Do I Love Thee? by Michael Gordon: Elsie Waltz
  • 1971: Big Jake by George Sherman and John Wayne: Martha McCandles
  • 1991: Your mother or me (Only the Lonely) by Chris Columbus: Rose Muldoon