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Maureen O'Hara: The Biography

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From her first appearances on the stage and screen, Maureen O'Hara (b. 1920) commanded attention with her striking beauty, radiant red hair, and impassioned portrayals of spirited heroines. Whether she was being rescued from the gallows by Charles Laughton ( The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1939), falling in love with Walter Pidgeon against a coal-blackened sky ( How Green Was From her first appearances on the stage and screen, Maureen O'Hara (b. 1920) commanded attention with her striking beauty, radiant red hair, and impassioned portrayals of spirited heroines. Whether she was being rescued from the gallows by Charles Laughton ( The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1939), falling in love with Walter Pidgeon against a coal-blackened sky ( How Green Was My Valley, 1941), learning to believe in miracles with Natalie Wood ( Miracle on 34th Street, 1947), or matching wits with John Wayne ( The Quiet Man, 1952), she charmed audiences with her powerful presence and easy confidence. Maureen O'Hara is the first book-length biography of the screen legend hailed as the "Queen of Technicolor." Following the star from her childhood in Dublin to the height of fame in Hollywood, film critic Aubrey Malone draws on new information from the Irish Film Institute, production notes from films, and details from historical film journals, newspapers, and fan magazines. Malone also examines the actress's friendship with frequent costar John Wayne and her relationship with director John Ford, and he addresses the hotly debated question of whether the screen siren was a feminist or antifeminist figure. Though she was an icon of cinema's golden age, O'Hara's penchant for privacy and habit of making public statements that contradicted her personal choices have made her an enigma. This breakthrough biography offers the first look at the woman behind the larger-than-life persona, sorting through the myths to present a balanced assessment of one of the greatest stars of the silver screen.


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From her first appearances on the stage and screen, Maureen O'Hara (b. 1920) commanded attention with her striking beauty, radiant red hair, and impassioned portrayals of spirited heroines. Whether she was being rescued from the gallows by Charles Laughton ( The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1939), falling in love with Walter Pidgeon against a coal-blackened sky ( How Green Was From her first appearances on the stage and screen, Maureen O'Hara (b. 1920) commanded attention with her striking beauty, radiant red hair, and impassioned portrayals of spirited heroines. Whether she was being rescued from the gallows by Charles Laughton ( The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1939), falling in love with Walter Pidgeon against a coal-blackened sky ( How Green Was My Valley, 1941), learning to believe in miracles with Natalie Wood ( Miracle on 34th Street, 1947), or matching wits with John Wayne ( The Quiet Man, 1952), she charmed audiences with her powerful presence and easy confidence. Maureen O'Hara is the first book-length biography of the screen legend hailed as the "Queen of Technicolor." Following the star from her childhood in Dublin to the height of fame in Hollywood, film critic Aubrey Malone draws on new information from the Irish Film Institute, production notes from films, and details from historical film journals, newspapers, and fan magazines. Malone also examines the actress's friendship with frequent costar John Wayne and her relationship with director John Ford, and he addresses the hotly debated question of whether the screen siren was a feminist or antifeminist figure. Though she was an icon of cinema's golden age, O'Hara's penchant for privacy and habit of making public statements that contradicted her personal choices have made her an enigma. This breakthrough biography offers the first look at the woman behind the larger-than-life persona, sorting through the myths to present a balanced assessment of one of the greatest stars of the silver screen.

30 review for Maureen O'Hara: The Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Campbell

    Maureen FitzSimons was born in Dublin, Ireland on August 17, 1920. By the time of her twentieth birthday, she had been discovered by screen great Charles Laughton, renamed Maureen O'Hara, and, as they say: "the rest is history". Author Aubrey Malone gives readers a glimpse of Maureen's life, both on-screen and in her personal world, in "Maureen O'Hara: The Biography". Cinema buffs will enjoy the author's attention to details in his descriptions of Maureen's films, costars, and the undeniable lur Maureen FitzSimons was born in Dublin, Ireland on August 17, 1920. By the time of her twentieth birthday, she had been discovered by screen great Charles Laughton, renamed Maureen O'Hara, and, as they say: "the rest is history". Author Aubrey Malone gives readers a glimpse of Maureen's life, both on-screen and in her personal world, in "Maureen O'Hara: The Biography". Cinema buffs will enjoy the author's attention to details in his descriptions of Maureen's films, costars, and the undeniable lure of show business. The FitzSimons family was extremely close--a blend of musical theatricality and athleticism. Maureen was a tomboy, always strong and adventurous, but she had also inherited her mother's musicality--she had a lovely singing voice. Appearing alongside her mentor, Charles Laughton, in "The Hunchback of Notre dame" was an invaluable learning experience for the young actress, and it was the beginning of her long career as an indelible screen presence. A statuesque beauty with glorious red hair and a delightful accent, she was also an action film star capable of poignant performances in dramas and family films such as "Miracle on 34th street" and "The Parent Trap". It was her great on-screen chemistry and lifelong friendship with John Wayne that brought out the best in both of the stars. Their acting pairing in "The Quiet Man" is one of the best screen duos of all-time. In her private life, Maureen did not find romantic happiness until her third marriage. Aviator Charles Blair had been a longtime friend of Maureen and her family, and when when both of their life circumstances changed, that friendship turned to love. She helped him run his air boat company, and they remained contentedly married for ten years until his tragic death in a plane crash. After her husband's death, she took over the running of their business and became the first woman president of a commercial airline. One of the things that Maureen O'Hara enjoyed throughout her long life was detecting an element of Irish heritage--even the smallest trace--in her costars and others she met. Seeing this beautiful lass from Dublin on film with her strength, spirit, and determination to remain true to herself and her beliefs, and reading about her extraordinary life, will make us all long for a connection to the Emerald Isle. Book Copy Gratis University Press of Kentucky

  2. 5 out of 5

    C

    This book was... not very interesting.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Badgley

    I learned a great deal in reading this book. It could have been longer and some of the major events in her life could have been more filled out. But overall, a great read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    I won this book as a giveaway on Goodreads several months ago, and finally had a chance to read it. I enjoyed learning so many behind the scenes tidbits about Maureen O'Hara during the filming of her many movies. My great joy was in learning that O'Hara seemed like the Godly, decent woman I always thought she was. Even in daily life, she behaved as a regulaslr Irish lass, not some stuck up snob However, there were a few items stated in error which I noticed. The most glaring is stating that O'Ha I won this book as a giveaway on Goodreads several months ago, and finally had a chance to read it. I enjoyed learning so many behind the scenes tidbits about Maureen O'Hara during the filming of her many movies. My great joy was in learning that O'Hara seemed like the Godly, decent woman I always thought she was. Even in daily life, she behaved as a regulaslr Irish lass, not some stuck up snob However, there were a few items stated in error which I noticed. The most glaring is stating that O'Hara is buried next to her pilot husband Charles Blair - near John F. Kennedy and Robert E. Lee. I would submit that Grn Lee is actually buried at chapelvat Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book. It was a good read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Osborne

    This was not a very good biography. If the information in this book is well-researched, Maureen O'Hara comes across as shallow, vain, insensitive and not too bright. But she sure could act!

  6. 5 out of 5

    dawn taylor

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  9. 5 out of 5

    HELEN LEDWIDGE

  10. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cate

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathy McGrath

  16. 5 out of 5

    Raquel

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bernard Roche.fr

  18. 5 out of 5

    lee l konecke

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tamara

  20. 5 out of 5

    John Hausner

  21. 5 out of 5

    paulette napolitano hackett

  22. 4 out of 5

    kenneth j. pulliam

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lori

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda Brown

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vince

    Very ordinary biography.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  28. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Coleman

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tricia McGhee

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

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