Hollywood Star, Maureen O'Hara, Received Her First Oscar At 94 Years Old – A Year Before Her Passing
Maureen O’Hara, despite her roles in over 50 films, including big classic hits like “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947) and the original “The Parent Trap” (1961), was never nominated for an Oscar. But finally, at 94 years old, she received her first ever nomination.
Maureen FitzSimons, who later changed her name to O’Hara, was born on 17 August 1920 in Ranelagh, in the Dublin suburb. She was famously known for her bright red hair and for her remarkable roles, portraying fierce and passionate but at the same time sensible heroines.
The actress worked a lot with director John Ford and her friend John Wayne. She was one of the last surviving actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Her best roles
Maureen O’Hara enjoyed a long and very successful career. Throughout the years, she got the nickname "The Queen of Technicolor". Her best roles include:
1. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
Considered by many as the best adaptation of the famous novel by Victor Hugo. O'Hara plays the role of a gypsy girl Esmeralda.
2. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
One of Ford’s masterpieces tells a story of a Welsh family that had to face the industrial revolution.
3. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
The Christmas classic follows a man who claims he is the real Santa Claus. O’Hara portrays a cynical mother.
4. Rio Grande (1950)
The first film that O'Hara did with John Wayne. Their chemistry is incredible here, no wonder the pair work together in 4 more films. Wayne plays a cavalry officer overly dedicated to his job, to the chagrin of his wife, played by O'Hara.
5. The Quiet Man (1952)
Another of Ford’s works, but this time he steps away from the western genre. John Wayne plays a boxer from Philadelphia, who inadvertently killed the other boxer in his last fight. He comes to Ireland to hide from his past and make a fresh start. There he meets O'Hara’s character and falls in love.
Maureen O'Hara's final public appearance came in 2014 at the Motion Picture Academy Governors Awards, where she received her first Oscar from Clint Eastwood and Liam Neeson.
O'Hara, then 94, still had her bright Technicolor red hair. Before presenting O'Hara with her Oscar, Eastwood said:
I came here tonight because I made a movie ['Lady Godiva of Coventry'] with Maureen O'Hara 60 years ago. For me, at that time, she defined the term 'movie star.' She still does, as far as I'm concerned.
When the actress arrived in her wheelchair on stage, every single person in the room rose and cheered, and then cheered some more. O’Hara passed away at 95 years old.