John Wayne's Favourite Woman: Maureen O'Hara

  Maureen O'Hara, the lady that john Wayne said was the greatest guy he ever knew was born Maureen Fitzsimmons on the 17th of August 1920 in Ireland, Maureen's dad Charles Stewart Pernell Fitzsimmons, wanted to name her Kate, not Catherine, but simply Kate. Her mother, marguerite, levin Fitzsimmons, objected strenuously 

Finally, the priest got involved. He suggested Mary but marguerite was completely against naming her second daughter, Mary. The priest then suggested Maureen her mother said: okay, not knowing that Maureen meant little Mary, Charles Fitzsimmons owned a sporting goods shop in Dublin and became part owner in the Irish soccer team.

The shamrock rovers, which Maureen became unofficially their mascot, her mother, marguerite, was an accomplished opera singer. All six of her children will become artists and performers after their mother except Peggy. Who became a nun.

Maureen said that her mother was so beautiful that men would come out of their houses just to see her walk by Maureen had one older sister named Peggy born May 9th, 1919. When Peggy reached the age of 19, she became sister Mary Margaret with the sisters of charity. When Maureen was three, the Fitzsimmons will have their first son Charles born in May. On the 8th of 1924, Charles will become a lawyer and an actor.

The next year Maureen will get another sister Florie. She will later use the screen name, Clara Hamilton. She will only play in one movie: hotel reserve with James mason.

The next year 1926 after Florie was born. Six-year-old Maureen will begin to study, drama at the insistence of her mother that same year on the 2nd of march 1926, Maureen's third sister will be born. Margot became an actress best known for the movie. "I know where I'm going" was released in 1945

 The next year in 1927, on 11 September, the Fitzsimmons will have their sixth and final child. James he'll become an actor using the stage name. James O'Hara, in 1930, at the age of 10 Maureen joined a theater company and began performing in the evenings after school.

In 1934 at the age of 14, she was accepted and began training at the abbey theater in Dublin. Her dad insisted that she take typing and bookkeeping courses so that she'd have something to fall back on. If her performing career didn't pan out. 

She loved playing rough sports and was a good athlete. She also had a natural talent for performing, she studied classical theater and opera and in 1938 at the age of 18, she was asked if she wanted to go to London and play bit parts in two movies, and while she was there, she was given a screen test.

She was not very impressed with the whole process. She still had her heart set on the stage and opera. British actor. Charles Laughton was forming a new movie company. 

When he saw Maureen's screen test.

He was impressed with her red hair and beautiful eyes. He placed her in "my Irish molly", the only film where she ever used her real name. She was then offered a seven-year contract with may flare pictures, his new company.

He changed her last name to O'Hara. He said that Fitzsimmons was just too long for the marquee. Maureen would start her film career with her new boss, Charles Laughton, in "Jamaica Inn", directed by Alfred Hitchcock. During the filming, she met George h brown, a writer and producer some say the young Maureen became infatuated with brown.

However, she said it was brown that pursued her after the filming of Jamaica inn. Maureen, her mother, and Charles Laughton were one day out to sea. On the Queen Mary headed for the US to make another movie when she told them that the day before on the 12th of June 1939, she met George brown to see him. for the last time he had a preacher waiting for her when she arrived and he bullied her into marrying and said that they would meet again when the film he was working on was finished.

The war in Europe had started and traveled between Europe and the united states became very difficult. She never met George brown again. In the meantime, RKO pictures announced that they were making the "hunchback of Notre Dame".

It's been said that the movie sets for the hunchback of Paris and Notre dame cathedral cost $250 000 in 1939. At a budget of 18 million hunchbacks proved to be one of the most expensive movies ever made by the studio, Charles Laughton had recommended his newfound star, Maureen O'Hara for the lead role of Esmeralda, 

The film was a total success, prompting RKO pictures to purchase Maureen's contract from Charles Laughton's company, around this time. Maureen and Lucille's ball became friends.

She said that she was with lucy the first time she ever laid eyes on Desi Arnaz. She said she told lucy, I heard he's a real lady killer and lucy said yes, and here's his next victim. 

During the filming of the hunchback, Maureen met William h price, a dialogue director. She described him as the perfect Irish man.

Her meeting with William price prompted her to get an annulment from her first husband, George Brown, on the 21st of June 1941. She said their marriage was never consummated

 Maureen O'Hara married William price at his family home in Mississippi on the 29th of December 1941, William, as a dialogue director was known for his teaching the cast of gone with the wind, how to speak with a southern accent. Maureen's dream of the "perfect" Irishman, soon changed. She had seen him drink heavily a few times before marriage, but soon he was drinking himself to sleep every night.

According to O'Hara, he bought an expensive house in bel air and hired servants they didn't really need to spend money, mostly hers. They lived at 1435, stone canyon drive in bel air. At the time she was married to William price. Maureen was starring in "how green was my valley" with Walter, pigeon anna lee, and a young Roddy McDowell about a welsh family named Morgans that witnessed the loss of their way of life through the eyes of a young lad, Maureen continued, making movies and working.

She was ashamed for the public to know how bad her husband had treated her on the 30th of June 1944. Her only child was born. 

In the following years, Maureen O'Hara will appear in over 60 films. One such film was The Foxes of Harrow with rex Harrison in 1947. She said they immediately dislike one another.

 Maureen, John Wayne, and john ford wanted to make a little Irish movie called The quiet man, but the studio said it won't make money, but if all of y'all will make a western to make up for the loss of a quiet man we'll let you make it. They'll agree and the next year in 1950 she will star in her first of five pictures with john Wayne, Rio Grande.

 She said she immediately felt comfortable working with John Wayne. 

She said I wish more. Men could be like him, honest and genuine. They became lifelong best friends. He was always there for me. We loved each other, but she made sure everyone knew we were not sweethearts.

We were friends. 1952 became a busy year for Maureen, starting with Against All Flags with Errol Flynn

She liked Flynn personally and professionally, but he always found a way to drink on the set like injecting oranges with booze and eating them all day long.

In 1952 she starred with jeff chandler in war arrow. She said jeff was a real sweetheart, but acting with him was like acting with a broomstick 

Maureen stated in her autobiography named "tis herself"  that she never threw herself on the casting couch. That wasn't her way.

She said it cost her. A lot of good parts by the end of 1952 Maureen will star with her favorite actor and friend john Wayne in The Quiet man, she always said it was her personal favorite of all her movies. 

in one scene, where he grabs her and kisses her. She tries to slap him, but he throws up his arm to stop the blow and it broke her hand since the scenes were not shot in order. She had to finish the film before getting a cast put on it.

It took it six months to heal she loved making the film because it was with her best friend and her two brothers and filmed in her beloved Ireland. She played the part of Mary, Kate Danaher. 

The name Mary was from the director john ford's wife, Mary, and she insisted that her middle name be Kate in honor of her dad, who wanted to name her Kate.

Although O'Hara was still married to William price, she had met Enrique para, a Mexican lawyer and politician. They met at a film festival in Mexico City. The relationship will last for several years and prompted her to get a divorce from William price.

On the 11th of august 1953, after their divorce price will return to his family home in Mississippi. He will pass away in July 1962 at the age of 49. Maureen said that the family told her that he died from a heart attack, but she suspected suicide 

in 1955, two years after a divorce from William price O'Hara will play lady Godiva.

Lisbon with Ray Milland who also produced and directed the film. It was filmed on location in Lisbon, Portugal Maureen said for the first time in her career, she got to play a villain and that betty Davis was right, They are fun to play. 

In 1957, a confidential magazine claimed that Maureen O'Hara and Enrique para were having sex at Grauman's Chinese theater in public

 O'Hara produced a passport proving that she was in Spain, making the movie "fire over Africa". at the same time, they settled with her out of court in 1962. Maureen will star with jimmy Stewart, in "Mr. Hobb"s takes a vacation. She said, "jimmy was a remarkable actor, but not a generous one".

 On the 27th of June 1962, Maureen lost her beloved mother at the age of 64, believed to have been from cancer. The next year after her mother's death, she'll be in "spencer's mountain" with henry Fonda, whom she called a gifted tough, and classy leading man with who she enjoyed working it also starred James MacArthur, 

Maureen's daughter. Bronwyn will have a cameo role in what is her debut appearance in films. Bronwyn was soon appearing in other movies, with the encouragement of her mother in 1965, she starred with john sexton in "the ravagers"  it'd, be her last movie before giving up her career for something that she thought was much more important. The raising of her son Connor

In 1963, Maureen  would star again with her friend john Wayne in McLintock

 She said she thought they would freeze to death before they finished the mud dump scene, where everyone falls backward into the mud but her most dangerous stunt. she said was falling off of a ladder into a watering trough.

In march 1968, Maureen will marry retired, Brigadier general Charles F Blair jr. They wed in a small ceremony on saint Thomas virgin islands they'll make their home on saint Croix. They met through Maureen's brother, Charles, a friend of Blair's.

It will seem to be a happy marriage in 1970. Maureen bought a house in Ireland where she could spend more time with her daughter the next year in 1971. Maureen will reunite with John Wayne in their last picture together, big Jake.

It will also be her last picture for 20 years. John Wayne would often visit Maureen and her husband at their home in saint Croix. She even named a wing in her house, the john Wayne wing.

She said they always tried to get him to try new local dishes. When they went out, they would think they had him convinced to try something new, but he always ordered steak. She received the word on august 26, 1972 that her dad Charles Stewart Parnell Fitzsimmons, had passed away at the age of 86. 

 On September 2nd, 1978 Maureen was visiting her daughter at her Irish home in county cork, when she received news that her husband, had been killed.

 after crashing into the ocean from the loss of an engine, Blair along with three passengers drowned, while seven others were saved,  Charles Blair was buried with military honors at Arlington. National Cemetery. 

Within nine months of losing her husband, the love of her life, she will lose the best friend of her life, john Wayne, when Maureen learned that Wayne was suffering from cancer, she petitioned congress to give him a congressional gold medal, which they did by unanimous vote. Speaking of John Wayne, Maureen said he loved his family and was always loyal to his friends.

 She said. John Wayne was not just an actor. He was from the united states of America, Maureen's sister florie, passed away, believed to be from cancer, and the next year after flories death, the queen of technicolor Maureen was sometimes called appeared in her first movie in 20 years.

"Only the lonely" with star john candy, she said the depths of candy's talents surprised her. He was a genius for comedy and drama 

The next year, in 1992, her brother James Fitzsimmons stage name James O'Hara, passed away on December, 3rd at the age of 65 in Glendale. California, 

in the year 2000 Maureen appeared in a television movie, "the last dance" at the age of 80, the next year in 2001, her brother, Charles, passed away on February, 14th, Charles produced the TV show wonder woman in 1976 through 1979. He had also been his sister's manager.

He is buried at Forest London memorial park, Hollywood Hills, California. He was 76 years old. Three years later, in 2004, Maureen O'Hara will be awarded the lifetime achievement award and in 2013 Maureen's sister Peggy will pass away on the march. the 9th aged 93

 she's buried at the holy cross cemetery in culver city, one year after Peggy's death, her sister Margot will pass away on April 10, 2014, at the age of 88. She is buried at Arlington national cemetery next to her husband, also in 2014, Maureen had been living in Ireland where her daughter was, but in October she left Ireland to go and live with her grandson and his family in Idaho. 

During this time she was honored with an honorary academy award for a period in over 60 films in over 62 years of making movies.

The Oscar was presented by Clint Eastwood and Liam Neeson.  Within a year of her award, Maureen O'Hara passed away quietly at her grandson's home in Boise, Idaho.

On October, the 24th 2015 she'll be buried at Arlington national cemetery. Next to her husband, General Charles Blair 

She was 95 years old. Only seven months after her mother passed away her daughter, Bronwyn Fitzsimmons passed away peacefully at her home in court county Ireland. She was 71 years old when Maureen O'Hara, the beautiful fiery redhead, was laid to rest.

A part of Hollywood royalty was lost forever

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