With her red hair cascading around her shoulders, and a fiery temperament to match her good looks, Maureen O’Hara was billed as the Queen of Technicolour during Hollywood’s Golden Years, the 1940s and 1950s.
The native Dubliner is one of the great survivors in the entertainment world – and on August 17 she celebrates her 95th birthday in Idaho in the US, where she lives with her grandson Conor Beau FitzSimons. It will be a quiet occasion with family and close friends.
“It’s been a good life,” she says. “I’ve had a wonderful career and enjoyed making movies. I was fortunate to have made pictures with many of the greats, both actors and directors. I’ve no regrets.”
Maureen’s co-stars reads like an index to a movie encyclopedia. They include John Wayne, Tyrone Power, Alec Guinness, Paul Henreid, Rex Harrison, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, Douglas Fairbanks Jun., Ray Milland, Charles Laughton, James Stewart, Sybil Thorndyke, John Payne, Victor McLaglen, Ward Bond, Natalie Wood, Noel Coward, John Candy and Walter Pidgeon.
Her equally famous directors included John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Walt Disney, Darryl Zanuck, Henry Hathaway, Jean Renoir, Walter Lang, Henry King, Herman J Mankiewicz, Lewis Milestone, Carol Reed and Sam Peckinpath.
“Some people see me as a former screen siren while others remember me as the dame who gave as good as she got in movies with John Wayne, for example,” she recalls. “Many women have written to me over the years and said I’ve been an inspiration to them, a woman who could hold her own against the world.
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