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Thread: Screen Legend Maureen O'Hara Dies at Age 95

  1. #1
    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    Default Screen Legend Maureen O'Hara Dies at Age 95

    Maureen O’Hara, Fiery Star of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Dies at 95




    Moviestore/Rex Shutterstock
    August 31, 2014 | 10:07PM PTCarmel Dagan

    Maureen O’Hara, known for her screen pairings with John Wayne in the films of John Ford and one of the last A-list survivors of Hollywood’s golden age, has died. She was 95.
    O’Hara also played Natalie Wood’s mother in Christmas classic “Miracle on 34th Street.”
    O’Hara was set to be feted with an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in November 2014.
    A generation after her classic-era film career, O’Hara appeared in director Chris Columbus’ 1991 John Candy film “Only the Lonely” as the mother of Candy’s character.
    The gorgeous Irish actress was often described as “fiery” and was nicknamed “Big Red” both because of her signature red hair and a certain temperamental streak in her characters, exemplified by her Mary Kate Danaher in 1952 Ford classic “The Quiet Man.”
    Upon seeing her beautiful red hair and green eyes, RKO execs chose to make 1945’s “The Spanish Main,” in which O’Hara was to star with Paul Henreid, in Technicolor instead of black and white.
    Charles Laughton began her movie career: While she was still a teen, he viewed a screen test she had made, and he and partner Erich Pommer signed her to a seven-year contract with their company, Mayflower Films.
    She had small roles in a couple of English films made in 1938 but made her first significant bigscreen appearance in Alfred Hitchcock’s Gothic actioner “Jamaica Inn,” starring Laughton. In this film, the 18-year-old O’Hara already displayed the kind of self-possession and self-reliance that would be a trademark of her characters. Laughton was impressed and cast her as Esmerelda the next year in his towering classic “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” shot at RKO in Hollywood. She was beautiful and irresistible in the film; her performance, however, was a little shaky.
    When WWII began and he realized lensing would no longer be possible in London, Laughton sold O’Hara’s contract to RKO, which cast her in a trio of B pictures. She still seemed somewhat uncertain of herself in “Bill of Divorcement” and held her own in the Dorothy Arzner-directed oddity “Dance, Girl, Dance,” a proto-feminist film in which she starred with Lucille Ball, while “They Met in Argentina” was a musical trifle.
    Director John Ford lifted O’Hara out of low-budget territory when he cast her in 1941’s “How Green Was My Valley,” which won the Oscar for best picture. The image of O’Hara radiantly waving from a gate is one of the enduring images in the film and has been used in an untold number of movie montages.
    During WWII she made several films, several of them war pics in which she was just the obligatory female interest, but she shined in a couple of movies: In the excellent 1942 Technicolor swashbuckler “The Black Swan,” she is gloriously outraged by the attentions of scoundrel Tyrone Power; in John Garfield psychological thriller “The Fallen Sparrow” (1943), she is a strong, elegant lady in jeopardy.
    (“The Black Swan” would be the first of a number of pirate pics she made over the next decade, including “The Spanish Main,” with Paul Henreid; “Sinbad the Sailor,” with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.; “At Sword’s Point,” in which she got the opportunity to wield her own blade as the daughter of a musketeer; and “Against All Flags,” with Errol Flynn, in which her character, a female pirate, got to engage in her share of the swordplay.
    In 1947 she made “Miracle on 34th Street”; while without doubt her most well-known film, the pic is something of an odd duck in her career as her character quickly transforms from hard-headed and skeptical to warmly sentimental (though her characters often had to thaw to some degree in order to be likable).
    In addition to the Westerns, the swashbucklers and the musicals, O’Hara even made a film noir, 1949’s “A Woman’s Secret,” with Melvyn Douglas and Gloria Grahame.
    During the 1950s she paired four times with director Ford. The first film was the Western “Rio Grande,” a movie Ford agreed to make only if he could also do his dream project, “The Quiet Man.” Both movies starred O’Hara and Wayne, but O’Hara had far more to do in the latter, proving she was Wayne’s match in screen presence. Her character is prideful and fiercely stubborn, the emblematic O’Hara role. (And the part gave her one of her few onscreen opportunities to speak in her own Irish accent.) The third Ford film was “The Long Gray Line,” reunited O’Hara with Power. Set at West Point, it nevertheless had a very Irish flavor. The final Ford film, reuniting Wayne and O’Hara, was 1957 biopic “The Wings of Eagles,” about a Navy pilot-turned-screenwriter.
    O’Hara and Wayne, however, would work together again in 1963 Western comedy “McLintock!” and 1971 Western “Big Jake.”
    Films had not provided an outlet for her love of singing, and in the late 1950s and early ’60s she guested on TV variety shows. She also starred in the tuner “Christine” on Broadway in 1960, winning a Tony for lead actress in a musical, and released two albums the same year: “Love Letters From Maureen O’Hara” and “Maureen O’Hara Sings Her Favorite Irish Songs.”
    But she was still a very busy movie actress, starring with Alec Guinness in Carol Reed’s “Our Man in Havana” in 1959, with Hayley Mills in “The Parent Trap” in 1961, with Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation” in 1962 and with Henry Fonda in “Spencer’s Mountain” in 1963. Many of her films during this period were comedies. In 1966 she starred with Stewart again in “The Rare Breed.”
    She also starring in a version of “Mrs. Miniver” on CBS in 1960 and made other television appearances.
    O’Hara retired from acting after making a TV version of “The Red Pony” with Fonda in 1973, a few years after her third marriage, to Charles F. Blair Jr., in 1968. Blair was a former U.S. Air Force brigadier general and former chief pilot for Pan Am. (She had secretly married George H. Brown, a film producer and scriptwriter, in 1939, but that marriage was annulled two years later; she married American director William Houston Price, dialogue director on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” in 1941 but divorced the reported alcoholic in 1953.)
    Blair died in a plane crash in 1978, and O’Hara was elected prexy-CEO of Antilles Airboats, becoming the first woman president of a scheduled airline in the U.S. Later she sold the airline.
    O’Hara returned to acting for a starring role in the 1991 Chris Columbus comedy “Only the Lonely,” in which she played John Candy’s overbearing mother.
    She also starred in telepics “The Christmas Box” (1995), the well-reviewed “Cab to Canada” and “The Last Dance” (2000).
    After appearing in a number of tributes to fellow actors and Hollywood-focused documentaries over the years (including projects devoted to Wayne and to Ford), O’Hara made her last screen appearance in the 2010 Irish docu “Dreaming the Quiet Man.”
    O’Hara was born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, a suburb of Dublin. Along with several of her siblings, she received training in drama and dance; she began appearing in amateur theater at the age of 10, and at 14 she was accepted to the Abbey Theater, where she began pursuing classical theater and operatic singing.
    O’Hara’s autobiography, “’Tis Herself,” was published in 2004.
    In April 2014 the actress appeared at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood.
    Survivors include a daughter and a grandson.

    Maureen O’Hara, Fiery Star of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Dies at 95 | Variety#
    Before you can judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, who cares? He's a mile away and you've got his shoes. - Billy Connolly

  2. #2
    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    R.I.P. Gorgeous lady.



    ^2014, terrible wig, but still a charming lady.


    And Zsa Zsa is still alive, wow.
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Fabulous actress and one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen.
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
    Laugh Uncontrollably. And never regret ANYTHING that makes you smile.

    - Mark Twain

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    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    I always felt she should've played the elderly Rose in Titanic.
    Before you can judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, who cares? He's a mile away and you've got his shoes. - Billy Connolly

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    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    Why is the article dated August 2014? It sounds like she died a year ago "was set to be feted... In November 2014".
    Angeli and Lalasnake like this.
    "You're going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well."



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    RIP -- she was simply lovely.

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    Elite Member Bluebonnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faithanne View Post
    Why is the article dated August 2014? It sounds like she died a year ago "was set to be feted... In November 2014".
    Ohhh! I just noticed that! How weird...because it was posted today.
    Before you can judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, who cares? He's a mile away and you've got his shoes. - Billy Connolly

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    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    ^^I thought I was having deja-vu.
    'I had to get rid of the kid. The cat was allergic.'

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    They've changed the date to today. She WAS feted last year November 8, 2014:


    ^Harry Belafonte was also in the group that received an honorary award.
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

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    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    Maybe she got sick a year ago and they wrote her obituary but filed it away when she rallied.
    "You're going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well."



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    Elite Member Bombshell's Avatar
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    Rest well, Banphrionsa.
    "Shopping tip: You can get shoes for a buck at the bowling alley."

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    Silver Member spiderpig's Avatar
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    She was a stunner. I remember seeing Hunchback of Notre Dame as a little kid and thinking she had to be the most beautiful woman ever.

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    I absolutely fell in love with her on The Parent Trap. I am stunned to have found out on our local news that she lived and passed right here in my city with her grandchildren. I had no idea.

    Witchywoman likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HWBL View Post
    R.I.P. Gorgeous lady.

    Oh, this makes me long for a Hollywood with gorgeous non-plasticised stars.
    spiderpig, Bluebonnet and Brookie like this.

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