Red-headed Maureen O'Hara was one of the most beloved screen goddesses during the early 20th century, and was at one point called "The Queen of Technicolor
." Maureen FitzSimons was born on August 17, 1920 in Dublin
to Charles and Marguerite FitzSimons, and she was one of six siblings
. She found a love for acting at an early age, and by the time she was 14 she was winning awards in drama contests.
When she was 18, she began to get small roles in films, and her name was changed. When she starred in Alfred Hitchcock's "Jamaica Inn" in 1939, Charles Laughton adored her, took her to Hollywood and offered her the role of Esmerelda in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." A few movies following this was were not considered particularly great, but when she starred in "How Green Was My Valley" in 1941, she was on top again. Two big hits followed this one as well, "Sinbad the Sailor" and "Miracle on 34th Street," the Christmas classic where she played the mother of newcomer Natalie Wood.
She heightened her stardom through a number of other great roles, in movies such as "The Quiet Man," "The Wings of Eagles," and "The Parent Trap." She was one of John Wayne's (The Duke's) favorite leading ladies, and her first of many films with him was "Rio Grande." She disappeared from the screen for about 18 years, and then returned to play John Candy's nagging mother in the 1991 comedy "Only the Lonely." Her last film so far was "The Last Dance" in 2000. She was married to Charles Blair, a pilot, most of her life, though he died in a plane crash in 1978.
Some of her film credits include:
The Red Pony
How Do I Love Thee?
The Rare Breed
The Deadly Companions
Our Man in Havana
Everything but The Truth
Fire Over Africa
Father Was a Fullback
The Forbidden Street
Do You Love Me?
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