Irish-born Hollywood actress Maureen O’Hara died on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at home in Boise, Idaho. She was 95 years old.
O’Hara had a vibrant acting career, starring in films such as Miracle on 34th Street and How Green Was My Valley. She also appeared opposite John Wayne in five different films, including The Quiet Man, The Wings of Eagles, and Big Jake.
According to Anita Gates at the New York Times, O’Hara “was called the Queen of Technicolor, because when that film process came into use, nothing seemed to show off its splendor better than her rich red hair, bright green eyes, and flawless peaches and cream complexion.” Yet she was not only famous for her beauty, but for her tendency to portray lively, tenacious women, like Mary Kate Danaher in 1952’s The Quiet Man.
As the Times reports, John Wayne once “complimented” O’Hara by emphasizing her unconventional femininity. “I’ve had many friends,” he said, “and I prefer the company of men, except for Maureen O’Hara. She is a great guy.”
O’Hara’s agent Johnny Nicoletti and her family have publicly stated that her death was a tranquil one. In a statement, the family reported that “she passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family listening to music from her favorite movie, The Quiet Man.”
Here is an iconic scene from that very film. Do your best to ignore the gender politics—and perhaps John Wayne, too—and revel instead in O’Hara’s fiesty, sharp performance.
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Image via Getty. Video via YouTube.