Maureen O’Hara, one of the last stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, died on October 24 of antural causes. She was 95.
O’Hara known for playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines, and often worked with director John Ford and longtime friend John Ford.
She is remembered by different folks for different works.
To some she is famous as as Doris Walker and the mother of a young Natalie Wood in the original Miracle on 34th Street (1947). That film later became a perennial Christmas classic, with a traditional network television airing every Thanksgiving. The film also helped to further establish O’Hara’s career after the film garnered several awards, including an Academy Award Nomination for Best Picture.
To others it was her role in John Ford’s classic How Green Was My Valley (1941), which won and Academy Award for Best Picture.
An icon of Hollywood’s Golden Age, at the height of her career O’Hara was considered one of the world’s most beautiful women. She is often remembered for her onscreen chemistry with John Wayne. They made five films together between 1948 and 1972: Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, The Wungs of Eagles, McLintock! and Big Jake.
In addition to her acting skills, O’Hara had a sorano voice and described singing as her first love. She was able to channel her love of singing through television. In the late ’50s and early ’60s, she was a guest on musical variety shows with Perry Como, Andy Williams, and Tennessee Ernie Ford. In 1960, O’Hara starred on Broadway in the musical Christine which ran for 12 performances. That year she released two recordings,Love Letters from Maureen O’Hara and Maureen O’Hara Sings her Favorite Irish Songs.
In addition to all this work, I more recently recall her wonderful performance as John Candy’s mother in Only the Lonely (1991).
Finally, just a year ago Ms. O’Hara was still at her best in a discussion for TCM in Hollywood.
We recall her and honor her for an impactful life well lived.