Maureen O’Hara, the legendary movie star known for her roles in Miracle on 34th Street, The Parent Trap, and How Green Was My Valley, has died at the age of 95.
According to the Associated Press, Johnny Nicoletti, O’Hara’s longtime manager, confirmed that the Irish actress died in her sleep while at her home in Boise, Idaho, on Saturday morning with her family by her side.
“It is with a sad heart that we share the news that Maureen O’Hara passed away today in her sleep of natural causes,” a statement from the Fitzsimons family read, according to the Irish Times.
Maureen O’Hara, star of Hollywood’s Golden Age, dies at 95 https://t.co/hCp13H05XH
— Ahmed M (@ahmdmuizz) October 24, 2015
“Maureen was our loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend,” the statement continued. “She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favourite movie, The Quiet Man.”
“While we mourn the loss of a very wonderful woman, we also celebrate her remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world, especially in Ireland, to work hard to make their dreams come true and to always have the courage to stand up for themselves.
“For those who may ask what they can do to honour Maureen, we have a simple request: visit Ireland one day and think of her.”
Maureen, was born in Ranelagh, Dublin in 1920, and was the oldest of six children. She became a naturalized United States citizen in 1946 and held dual Irish-US citizenship. O’Hara’s, born Maureen FitzSimons, earliest films were My Irish Molly and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, however she will probably always be best know for her role in John Ford’s The Quiet Man (1952) in which she starred alongside John Wayne.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 24, 2015
Maureen starred in other films with the famous actor, including the 1941 film How Green Was My Valley which went on to win five Oscars, including best picture and best director, according to Us Weekly. She also appeared in Against All Flags, and The Parent Trap.
We mourn the passing of Maureen O’Hara, star of ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, who made generations of us believe. pic.twitter.com/Wq3gMTBhpv
— 20th Century Fox (@20thcenturyfox) October 24, 2015
O’Hara’s family said she brought “unyielding strength and sudden sensitivity to every role she played.”
“Her characters were feisty and fearless, just as she was in real life,” her family said. “She was also proudly Irish and spent her entire lifetime sharing her heritage and the wonderful culture of the Emerald Isle with the world.”
During an interview in 1991, Maureen was asked if she is actually the strong woman she plays on television in real life. She responded by saying, “I do like to get my own way. But don’t think I’m not acting when I’m up there. And don’t think I always get my own way. There have been crushing disappointments. But when that happens, I say, ‘Find another hill to climb.'”
“There’s only one woman who has been my friend over the years. And that woman is Maureen O’Hara” – John Wayne pic.twitter.com/CqoqMt4c3H
— GoldenAgeHollywood (@ClassicalCinema) October 24, 2015
O’Hara is survived by her daughter, Bronwyn FitzSimons; her grandson, Conor FitzSimons, and her two great-grandchildren. She will be buried, not in her native Ireland, but in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, DC. She will be placed next to her husband, the U.S. Navy pilot General Charles Blair who died in a plane crash in 1978.
O’Hara was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame at an event in Wexford in 2011. She was also awarded an honorary Oscar last year at the 2014 ceremonies.
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]