With your forebearance, I’d like to dedicate today’s post to a national treasue that slipped away from us Saturday. Born Maureen Fitzsimmons, she became a star amongst stars as Maureen O’Hara.
Maureen O’Hara (born Maureen FitzSimons; 17 August 1920 – 25 October 2015) was an Irish-American actress and singer. The famously red-headed O’Hara was known for playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines, and often worked with director John Ford and longtime friend John Wayne. She was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
From an early age, she wanted to become an actress and took lessons. She was given a screen test, which was deemed unsatisfactory, but Charles Laughton saw something in her when he later saw it. He arranged for her to co-star with him in the 1939 British film Jamaica Inn. She also co-starred with him in the Hollywood production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, released the same year. From there, she went on to enjoy a long and highly successful career. She made a number of films with John Wayne – the actor with whom she is most closely associated – and director John Ford, often both together in the same production; several were westerns, a notable exception being The Quiet Man (1952).
She also starred in swashbucklers such as The Black Swan (1942), opposite Tyrone Power, and Sinbad the Sailor (1947), with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., as well as the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street (1947), with John Payne, Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn.
Maureen O’Hara at RKO Studios in Hollywood, October 1942
WOMEN BACK THEN DIDN’T REQUIRE 15 MAIDS TO KEEP THEIR HOUSES
WITH THE DUKE IN 1962’S McCLINTOCK!
WAYNE HAD SAID SHE WAS ONE HIS FAVORITE LEADING LADIES
O’Hara and Jackie Gleason stand in wet concrete slabs as they imprint their feet in the “Courtyard of Stars” at Ivan Tors studio on July 31, 1969 in Miami, Florida.
O’Hara and Elizabeth Taylor Warner appear before the House Consumer Affairs subcommittee on May 21, 1979 in Washington which was hearing testimony on legislation to strike a gold medal for John Wayne who was battling cancer.
STILL RADIANT AT 94 YEARS OLD
O’Hara arrives at the 6th annual Governors Awards at the Hollywood and Highland Center in Los Angeles on Nov. 8, 2014.
She came from a time when Hollywood made movies you could take the whole family to and leave the theater feeling good. To lump her in the category of “actress” along with the likes of Julia Roberts, Susan Sarandon, and the talentless Lena Dunham is an absolute obscenity. I feel a sense of loss as I feel when my boyhood heroes fade away. It is heartbreaking to see what passes for entertainment today, as everybody tries to make a political statement or stress over being politically correct. You cannot escape the graphic violence, explicit sexual themes, and filmmakers who want to “change the world.” I have not paid to go see a movie since the early 2000’s and don’t anticipate ever going again. I’ll stick to my classic westerns where the good guys still won.