On This Day

Maureen O'Hara

Full Name: Maureen FitzSimons
Profession: Actress

Nationality:
United States of America
American
Ireland
Irish

Why Famous: Maureen O'Hara was the first major Irish actor to become a Hollywood star. She was known for her red hair and willful characters and for often appearing alongside her friend John Wayne.

O'Hara's break in film came after being noticed by English actor Charles Laughton. It led to a role in Alfred Hitchcock's British film "Jamaica Inn". O'Hara later moved to Hollywood, landing her first role opposite Wayne in "How Green Was My Valley" in 1941.

Other significant roles followed in "Miracle on 34th Street", "Rio Grande" (1950) and "The Quiet Man" (1952) directed by John Ford. O'Hara's ability to play strong female roles meant she frequently appeared in Westerns or films about pirates and she was also known for doing her own stunts.

O'Hara continued acting into the 1960s, appearing in "The Parent Trap" (1962) with Hayley Mills. Her film roles fell away after her marriage in 1968, though she made occasional return to TV or film in later life. She was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2015.

Born: August 17, 1920
Birthplace: Ranelagh, County Dublin, Ireland

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Monkey
Star Sign: Leo

Died: October 24, 2015 (aged 95)
Cause of Death: In her sleep of natural causes

Historical Events

  • 1941-10-28 "How Green Was My Valley" based on the novel by Richard Llewellyn, directed by John Ford and starring Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara premieres in New York (Best Picture 1942)
  • 1947-06-11 Perennial Christmas film "Miracle on 34th St" starring John Payne and Maureen O'Hara, directed by George Seaton is released
  • 1952-07-21 "The Quiet Man" film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara is released in the UK

Famous Actresses