Twelve Facts About Maureen O’Hara

Top Twelve Facts About Hollywood Icon Maureen O’Hara

We all know and love Maureen O’Hara as the fiery redhead who stood toe-to-toe with icons of the silver screen, such as John Wayne, Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, and Jimmy Stewart. But here are some fun facts about this incredible leading lady whose career spanned across 7 decades!

  1. Born Maureen FitzSimons in Churchtown, (originally a suburb of Dublin, now a part of it) Ireland on August 17, 1920.
  2. Her mother was a well-loved opera singer and beauty, while her father owned quite a few soccer teams. She had four sisters and two brothers – and she loved to fish, swim, climb trees, play soccer, and fight. She even trained in judo as a teenager!
  3. In her autobiography, ‘Tis Herself, Maureen says that when she was 5, a Gypsy told her: “You will leave Ireland one day and become a very famous woman known all around the world.”
  4. Newly-named Maureen O’Hara, she picked up a new nickname as well when she became the ‘Queen of Technicolor,” because her beauty lit up the silver screen.

    O'Hara in Rio Grande (1950)
    O’Hara in Rio Grande (1950)
  5. Her biggest box office hits and most popular movies included Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man, Rio Grande, How Green Was My Valley, The Parent Trap, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  6. While Maureen found working alongside Tyrone Power in Black Swan to be exhilarating, she had some concerns regarding a scene in which Powers throws her overboard in her underwear. Worried about what her family would think, she sent a letter home to Ireland to warn them about it.
  7. Her favorite role was that of Mary Kate Danaher in The Quiet Man. O’Hara said that she “loved the hell and fire in her.”
  8. Throughout her career, she performed most of her own stunts, which was rare for an actress in those days.
  9. John Wayne once said: “There’s only one woman who has been my friend over the years, and by that I mean a real friend, like a man would be. That woman is Maureen O’Hara. She’s big, lusty, absolutely marvelous—definitely my kind of woman. She’s a great guy. I’ve had many friends, and I prefer the company of men. Except for Maureen O’Hara.”
  10. She became an American citizen in 1946 and retained dual citizenship between the U.S. and Ireland for the rest of her life.
  11. After her third husband, Charles F. Blair, Jr., died in a plane crash, O’Hara was elected CEO and President of his airline, Antilles Air Boats. She was the first woman president of a scheduled airline in the United States.
  12. Maureen O’Hara, legendary actress, businesswoman, mother and grandmother, died peacefully in her sleep at her family home in Boise, Idaho on October 24, 2015. She was 95 years old.