Maureen O’Hara, one of the last living actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood, died on Saturday. The fiery redhead from Dublin, starred in over fifty films, getting her first major role in “Jamaica Inn” which was directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1939. O’Hara’s breakout role came in John Ford’s 1941 film “How Green is My Valley”, which won best picture that year over “Citizen Kane”. In all, O’Hara did five films under Ford’s direction.
She once said of John Ford, “At times [we] wanted to punch him in the nose. But Ford was a genius. He was talented, and intolerable.”
She also made five films with John Wayne, with three of those being directed by John Ford. “The Quiet Man” was one of those films, and it remained O’Hara’s favorite over the years.
In one scene from the film, O’Hara whispers something in John Wayne’s ear in order to get a shocked reaction. Johnny Nicoletti, O’Hara’s manager & biographer, said she never revealed what she whispered. “She held it and took it to the grave,” Nicoletti said. “All three of them took it to the grave. I tried to get it out of her, but she said, ‘We all made a promise.’ ”
Maureen O’Hara was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 2014. She died in her sleep at her home in Boise, Idaho, listening to the music composed by Victor Young for “The Quiet Man”. She was 95.