Maureen O’Hara

Life
1921- [var. 1920]; b. Maureen FitzSimons, Ranelagh; dg. Charles Stewart Parnell FitzSimons; worked for Aer Lingus and acted in the company’s drama society; played Portia in Merchant of Venice, winning the All-Ireland Cup for her role; invited to audition at the Abbey, aged 14; appeared in Hictchcock’s Jamaica Inn (1939), and invited by Charles Laughton to co-star as Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939); m. George Brown, in an reluctant and unconsummated union and later m. Charlie Blair, a pilot, with whom a dg. Bronwyn; signed to RKO studios and played in Miracle on 34th Street; opposite Lucille Ball in Dance Girl Dance; played female lead opp. John Wayne in John Ford’s Oscar-winning film The Quiet Man, based on novel of Maurice Walsh; starred in How Green Was My Valley; played Lady Godiva for Disney; quit the screen after The Big Jake (1971); featured in Only the Lonely (1991) and Cab to Canada (1998), her last film; fêted in Ireland in 2004, at the publication of her autobiography; resides in New York.

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Works
Maureen O’Hara [with John Nicoletti], ’Tis Herself: A Memoir (London: Simon & Schuster / TownHouse 2004), 384pp.

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