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Maureen O'Hara

Maureen O'Hara

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Also Known As: Maureen Fitzsimons Died:
Born: August 17, 1920 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Ireland Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

So striking in appearance that Technicolor inventor Herbert Kalmus was said to have used her red-haired and green-eyed image to promote his creation, Maureen O'Hara was an Irish-born actress whose versatility allowed her to move gracefully from dramas to comedies and even period adventures. She was a favorite of director John Ford, who cast her in five of his films, including "How Green Was My Valley" (1941), "Rio Grande" (1950) and "The Quiet Man" (1952). Her co-star in two Ford films was John Wayne, and their on-screen chemistry lead to several collaborations; she was also well-paired with James Stewart, with whom she appeared twice. She retired in the early 1970s and enjoyed a successful second career as a magazine publisher and later the first woman president of an airline company.

So striking in appearance that Technicolor inventor Herbert Kalmus was said to have used her red-haired and green-eyed image to promote his creation, Maureen O'Hara was an Irish-born actress whose versatility allowed her to move gracefully from dramas to comedies and even period adventures. She was a favorite of director John Ford, who cast her in five of his films, including "How Green Was My Valley" (1941), "Rio Grande" (1950) and "The Quiet Man" (1952). Her co-star in two Ford films was John Wayne, and their on-screen chemistry lead to several collaborations; she was also well-paired with James Stewart, with whom she appeared twice. She retired in the early 1970s and enjoyed a successful second career as a magazine publisher and later the first woman president of an airline company.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Last Dance, The (2000) Helen Parker
2.
 Cab to Canada (1998) Katherine Eure
3.
 Christmas Box, The (1995) Mary Parkin
4.
5.
 Only The Lonely (1991) Rose Muldoon
6.
 Red Pony, The (1973) Ruth Tiflin
7.
 Big Jake (1971) Martha McCandles
8.
 How Do I Love Thee? (1970) Elsie Waltz
9.
 The Rare Breed (1966) Martha Price
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1926:
Began acting at age six (date approximate)
:
Performed on radio as a child
1934:
Joined the Abbey Theater in Dublin as an ingenue at age 14 before entering films (date approximate)
1936:
Tested for the screen in London at age 16 (date approximate)
:
Met actor Charles Laughton, who changed her name to Maureen O'Hara; later appeared opposite him in "Jamaica Inn" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (both 1939)
1938:
Film debut in "Kicking the Moon Around" (bit part)
1939:
US film debut in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"
1939:
Under contract at RKO Studios
1941:
Starred in first of five films for director John Ford, "How Green Was My Valley"
:
Under contract to 20th Century-Fox
1950:
Made first of five films opposite John Wayne, "Rio Grande"
1956:
Last of five films for director John Ford, "The Wings of Eagles"
1971:
Made last of five films opposite John Wayne, "Big Jake"; was also last feature for two decades
1973:
Retired after starring in the NBC TV-movie "The Red Pony" with Henry Fonda
1979:
After husband's death, assumed presidency of Antilles Airboats, a commuter seaplane service in the Caribbean; sold controlling stock to Resorts International; remained with the company as president until 1981
:
Owned and wrote a general interest column for the tourist magazine, <i>The Virgin Insider</i>, which she ultimately sold to Gannett in 1980
1991:
Made return to feature films after a 20-year absence in "Only the Lonely"
1995:
Starred in the CBS TV-movie "The Christmas Box"
1998:
Played the lead in the TV-movie "Cab to Canada" (CBS)
1999:
Served as Grand Marshal of the annual St Patrick's Day parade in NYC
2000:
Starred in the CBS movie "The Last Dance"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Abbey Theatre School: -

Notes

O'Hara was the first female preseident of a scheduled airline.

She was honored with the Heritage Award from the American Ireland Fund in 1991.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
George Hanley Brown. Producer, director. Married in 1938; marriage annulled in 1941.
husband:
Will Price. Director, dialogue director. Married in 1941; divorced in 1953; directed O'Hara in "Tripoli" (1950).
husband:
Charles F Blair. Brigadier General, aviator. Married in 1968; died in crash of one of his commuter planes on September 2, 1978; aviation pioneer who was first pilot to make a solo flight over the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole; Pan Am pilot for 30 years; ran a Caribbean commuter airline, Antilles Airboats; wrote autobiography, "Red Ball in the Sky".

Family close complete family listing

father:
Charles FitzSimons. Clothier. Also was part owner of The Shamrock Rovers, an Irish soccer team.
mother:
Marguerite FitzSimons. Actor, operatic contralto.
sister:
Peggy FitzSimons. Older; opera singer who won scholarship; entered religious life instead.
sister:
Florrie FitzSimons. Ballet instructor. Younger.
brother:
Charles FitzSimons. Producer, business manager. Born on May 8, 1924; died of liver failure on February 14, 2001.
sister:
Margot FitzSimons. Younger.
brother:
James FitzSimons. Younger; deceased.
daughter:
Bronwyn Brigid Price. Musician, actor. Born c. 1945; father, Will Price; has one son Beau, born c. 1971.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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