Sunday 24 September 2017

Obituary: Maureen O'Hara (an appreciation)

Barry Egan recalls an encounter in 2004 with one of Ireland's greatest - and far from quiet - cinematic legends

HOLLYWOOD LEGEND: Barry Egan was smitten by superstar Maureen O’Hara
HOLLYWOOD LEGEND: Barry Egan was smitten by superstar Maureen O’Hara

Maureen O'Hara was, in truth, the not so Quiet Woman. A force of Titian-haired nature perhaps. She was uncertainly indomitable.

Maureen commanded respect internationally, possibly on the back of a certain John Ford movie she did with John Wayne in 1952. When I met her in her suite in The Shelbourne hotel in Dublin 2004, I asked her - not entirely seriously - when her star started to wane? How did she stop herself from turning into the Norma Desmond character in Sunset Boulevard?

The icon flashed me a stern look that she possibly learned from the nuns in convent school in Dublin before answering. "I'll say one thing to you," Maureen O'Hara, then 84 years of age, began, "I was Irish. And I remain Irish. And Irish women don't let themselves go."

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