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Maureen O'Hara, John Wayne's Movie Sweetheart

Updated on August 30, 2018
ethel smith profile image

Eileen enjoys a variety of movies and likes to share reviews of those that impress her. She also loves British television comedy series.

In the film the Black Swan in 1942
In the film the Black Swan in 1942

Miss Maureen O’Hara

Maureen O'Hara was born in 1920 in Dublin Ireland. Although her stage name sounds Irish enough her name was originally Maureen Fitzsimmons.

Maureen O'Hara starred in movies spanning more than 60 years and in more than a few she co-starred alongside John Wayne a man who was to become a lifelong friend. Most if not all of these movies were directed by John Ford.

Flame haired, at one time, Maureen was always a startling beauty. This beauty has grown over the years.

With a soft lilting Irish American accent, flaming red hair and startling beauty Miss O'Hara always gave memorable performances

Young Maureen O'Hara starred alongside John Wayne in The Quiet Man a now classic movie set in Ireland.

The role was a little unusual for Wayne but the pair worked well together. So much so, I guess, that it was obvious we would see more of them playing opposite each other.

Maureen's young years were spent in Ireland and her parents were both talented individuals who were to have six children in all.

Maureen was the second child of this brood.

By the time she was 14-years-old Maureen was already showing a talent for athletics, acting and singing.

Singing could have been in her genes as her Mother was a talented singer.

In 1939 Maureen was cast in a movie of the Daphne Du Maurier book Jamaica Inn and success followed rapidly.

Under contract to Charles Laughton her next film was soon released. It was an American production and it was The Hunchback of Notre Dame a movie which confirmed her stardom.

It was still only 1939 and Maureen was aged just 19.

Miss O'Hara became a movie favourite loved by all and was voted one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Her acting talent continued to blossom with movies such as The Parent Trap, How Green Was My Valley, McLintock, Sitting Pretty and Miracle on 34th Street.

Maureen's beautiful soprano singing voice and athletic talents gave her the edge over many other actresses of the day.

This multi-talented woman was ultimately very much in demand in Hollywood.

She starred alongside, such leading men, as Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda and James Stewart but John Wayne was to be her leading man 5 times In total.

I guess this meant that it was fitting for Maureen to be the one to ask Congress, in 1979, that a John Wayne medal be cast. She made a heartwarming speech, straight from the heart, which had not been prepared.

Part of it said that:-

It is my great honor to be here. I beg you to strike a medal for Duke, to order the President to strike it. And I feel that the medal should say just one thing, 'John Wayne, American’.

Maureen retired from acting but returned for one more film in 1991.

She played John Candy's Mum in Only The Lonely.

Over the years Maureen O'Hara was a very successful actress and in retirement remained much loved across the world.

In her autobiography, “’Tis Herself,” published in 2004 Miss O’Hara was candid about her off screen life. Married three times she reportedly had extra marital affairs.

But for movie fans Maureen would always be John Wayne’s innocent Irish sweetheart.

Maureen O’Hara died October 24, 2015, aged 95.

Multi talented and beautiful


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      One of THE most beautiful women of all times. Very well presented, good family values, awesome in technicolor films ! , and a VERY beautiful soul soothing voice !!!! I love her.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thank you James. She is so beautiful

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      Thank you so much for this absolute pleasure. I have always loved Ms. O' Hara's performances and beauty. I enjoyed learning more about her from your article. Well done!

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Maureen O'Hara was a stunner and with such a beautiful voice. Thanks for the visit sweetie

    • sweetie1 profile image


      9 years ago from India

      She looks very beautidful. Thanks for letting us know the stars of the years gone by.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Habee it will have to be the quiet man. She is youthful and flirty in it. I did enjoy Only the Lonely though. She has made so many. I watched the Black Swan a few weeks ago and loved that, although it is a little dated now.

      CM hypno I know what you mean about the spanking. Notice also in those old films how many actors were shown smoking.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Ethel, I'm curious. Which is your favorite O'Hara film?

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      9 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I loved this hub bout Maureen O'Hara, a wonderful actress. I love to hear her speak in that beautiful, gentle Irish lilt.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My husband's favorite all-time movie is Quiet Man with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

    • CMHypno profile image


      9 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Interesting Hub on Maureen O'Hara, Ethel. My main film memory of her was her getting her rear end spanked by John Wayne in McLintock. Probably wouldn't be allowed these days!

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks to you all. It looks like we are unanimous in our opinion of Maureen. What a great woman.

    • BkCreative profile image


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      What a lovely life - and she is still enjoying it. This is such a nice tribute. Thank you!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      One of my all time faves!!! Loved her in the Quiet Man. she was gorgeous, and she wasn't skinny like many of today's leading ladies. Great hub!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      She is stunningly beautiful. I loved her best as the mother in the original Parent Trap. Wonderful Hub. I didn't know much about her biography.

    • techno geek profile image

      techno geek 

      9 years ago from calafornia

      nice hub

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 

      9 years ago from Florida

      Thank you, Ethel, I loved all of her films, such a great actress. I was glad to hear she's still alive! I did not know about the medal. She is a truly great lady.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, ethel, for a great hub about a great actress. I loved watching her. She was a natural actress.


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