Maureen O'Hara, spirited Hollywood star, dies at 95

Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:25pm EDT
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By Will Dunham

(Reuters) - Maureen O'Hara, the flame-haired Irish-American actress known for playing feisty women in classics like "How Green Was My Valley" and "Miracle on 34th Street" as well as her on-screen chemistry with John Wayne, died on Saturday of natural causes at the age of 95, her manager said.

O'Hara passed away peacefully at her home in Boise, Idaho, surrounded by family members and listening to "her favorite music" from the 1952 film "The Quiet Man," said Johnny Nicoletti, her manager and co-author of O'Hara's memoir "'Tis Herself'."

O'Hara was one of Hollywood's top leading ladies of the 1940s and 1950s and was a favorite of fabled director John Ford.

She starred in more than 50 films and thrived in various genres: dramas, swashbuckling adventures, Westerns, comedies and family films.

O'Hara brought a fiery temperament, sharp tongue and strong-willed manner to her roles. With her red hair and green eyes, she was once dubbed the "Queen of Technicolor."

She starred opposite some of the top leading men of the screen including Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Despite being one of the most recognizable leading women in American cinema for decades and delivering numerous memorable performances, she was never nominated for an Oscar.

In 2014, however, she was given an honorary Oscar for career achievement and showed she still had her fiery temperament at age 94 by protesting when her acceptance speech was cut short and she was rolled offstage in her wheelchair.   Continued...

Honoree actress Maureen O'Hara poses during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Governors Awards in Los Angeles, California November 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian