Maureen O'Hara - Rotten Tomatoes

Maureen O'Hara



Born in Ranelagh, Ireland, near Dublin, Maureen O'Hara was trained at the Abbey Theatre School and appeared on radio as a young girl before making her stage debut with the Abbey Players in the mid-'30s. She went to London in 1938, and made her first important screen appearance that same year in the Charles Laughton/Erich Pommer-produced drama Jamaica Inn, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. She was brought to Hollywood with Laughton's help and co-starred with him in the celebrated costume drama The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which established O'Hara as a major new leading lady. Although she appeared in dramas such as How Green Was My Valley with Walter Pidgeon, The Fallen Sparrow opposite John Garfield, and This Land Is Mine with Laughton, it was in Hollywood's swashbucklers that O'Hara became most popular and familiar. Beginning with The Black Swan opposite Tyrone Power in 1942, she always seemed to be fighting (or romancing) pirates, especially once Technicolor became standard for such films. Her red hair photographed exceptionally well, and, with her extraordinary good looks, she exuded a robust sexuality that made her one of the most popular actresses of the late '40s and early '50s.



O'Hara was also a good sport, willing to play scenes that demanded a lot of her physically, which directors and producers appreciated. The Spanish Main, Sinbad the Sailor, and Against All Flags (the latter starring Errol Flynn) were among her most popular action films of the '40s. During this period, the actress also starred as young Natalie Wood's beautiful, strong-willed mother in the classic holiday fantasy Miracle on 34th Street and as John Wayne's estranged wife in the John Ford cavalry drama Rio Grande. O'Hara became Wayne's most popular leading lady, most notably in Ford's The Quiet Man, but her career was interrupted during the late '50s when she sued the scandal magazine Confidential. It picked up again in 1960, when she did one of her occasional offbeat projects, the satire Our Man in Havana, based on a Graham Greene novel and starring Alec Guinness. O'Hara moved into more distinctly maternal roles during the '60s, playing the mother of Hayley Mills in Disney's popular The Parent Trap. She also starred with Wayne in the comedy Western McLintock!, and with James Stewart in the The Rare Breed, both directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. Following her last film with Wayne, Big Jake, and a 1973 television adaptation of John Steinbeck's The Red Pony, O'Hara went into retirement, although returned to the screen in 1991 to play John Candy's overbearing mother in the comedy Only the Lonely, and later appeared in a handful of TV movies. In 2014, she received an Honorary Academy Award, despite having never been nominated for one previously. O'Hara died the following year, at age 95.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Dreaming The Quiet Man
  • Actor
2011
No Score Yet Ultimate Leading Ladies
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet Cab to Canada
  • Katherine Eure
1998
No Score Yet The Christmas Box
  • Actor
1995
62% Only the Lonely
  • Rose Muldoon
1991
No Score Yet A.F.I. Life Achievement Awards - John Ford
  • Actor
1983
No Score Yet Big Jake
  • Martha McCandles
1971
No Score Yet How Do I Love Thee?
  • Elsie Waltz
1970
33% The Rare Breed
  • Martha Evans
1966
60% McLintock!
  • Katherine Gilhooley McLintock
1963
No Score Yet Spencer's Mountain
  • Olivia Spencer
1963
80% Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation
  • Peggy Hobbs
1962
89% The Parent Trap
  • Maggie McKendrick
1961
83% The Deadly Companions (Trigger Happy)
  • Kit Tilden
1961
86% Our Man in Havana
  • Beatrice Evans
1959
No Score Yet The Wings of Eagles
  • Min Wead
1957
No Score Yet Lisbon
  • Sylvia Merrill
1956
No Score Yet Lady Godiva
  • Lady Godiva
1955
No Score Yet Magnificent Matador
  • Karen Harrison
1955
100% The Long Gray Line
  • Mary O'Donnell
1955
No Score Yet War Arrow
  • Elaine Corwin
1953
No Score Yet The Redhead from Wyoming
  • Kate Maxwell
1953
No Score Yet Against All Flags
  • Prudence 'Spitfire' Stevens
1952
90% The Quiet Man
  • Mary Kate Danaher
1952
No Score Yet Kangaroo
  • Dell McGuire
1952
No Score Yet At Sword's Point
  • Claire - daughter of Athos
1952
No Score Yet Flame of Araby
  • Princess Tanya
1951
75% Rio Grande
  • Mrs. Kathleen Yorke
1950
43% A Woman's Secret
  • Marian Washburn
1949
No Score Yet Father Was a Fullback
  • Elizabeth Cooper
1949
No Score Yet Bagdad
  • Princess Marjan
1949
No Score Yet Sitting Pretty
  • Tacey
1948
80% Sinbad the Sailor
  • Shireen
1947
96% Miracle on 34th Street
  • Doris Walker
1947
No Score Yet Sentimental Journey
  • Julie
1946
No Score Yet The Spanish Main
  • Contessa Francesca
1945
No Score Yet Buffalo Bill
  • Louisa Frederici Cody
1944
71% This Land Is Mine
  • Louise Martin
1943
No Score Yet Immortal Sergeant
  • Valentine Lee
1943
No Score Yet The Fallen Sparrow
  • Toni Donne
1943
80% The Black Swan
  • Margaret Denby
1942
No Score Yet Ten Gentlemen from West Point
  • Carolyn Bainbridge
1942
No Score Yet To the Shores of Tripoli
  • Mary Carter
1942
90% How Green Was My Valley
  • Angharad
1941
80% Dance, Girl, Dance
  • Judy
1940
55% Jamaica Inn
  • Mary - His Niece
1939
100% The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Esmeralda
1939

Quotes from Maureen O'Hara's Characters