- Holidays and Celebrations»
- UK Holidays
Maureen O'Hara, John Wayne's Movie Sweetheart
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 flims spanning more than 60 years. In more than a few she co-starred alongside John Wayne.
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 Miss O'Hara always gave memorable performances
Young Maureen O'Hara starred alongside John Wayne in The Quiet Man which was set in Ireland. The role was a little unusual for Wayne but the pair were well matched. So much so, I guess, that it was obvious we would see more of them together.
Maureen's young years were spent in Ireland. Her parents were both talented individuals and they 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. The singing could have been in her genes, as her Mother was a talented singer. In 1939 Maureen was cast in the film of the Daphne Du Maurier book, Jamaica Inn. Success was to follow rapidly. Under contract to Charles Laughton her next film was to quickly follow.
This next film was an American production.
It was The Hunchback of Notre Dame and confirmed her stardom. It was still 1939 and Maureen was only 19 years old. Miss O'Hara was loved by all and was voted one of the most beautiful women in the world. Her acting talents carried on with films such as The Parent Trap, The Quiet Man, 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 eventually very much in demand in Hollywood. She starred alongside, such leading men, as Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda and James Stewart. John Wayne was to be her leading man 5 times.
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 hearwarming 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. She is now definitely retired and is will soon be 90 years old.
Over the years Maureen O'Hara has been very successful and remains much loved throughout the world.