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MAUREEN O'Hara cried tears of joy when she was told she had been selected to receive a lifetime achievement Oscar.

MAUREEN O'Hara cried tears of joy when she was told she had been selected to receive a lifetime achievement Oscar.

The Irish screen legend, who turned 94 earlier this month, was personally called by the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to inform her that she was finally to be honoured for her incredible contribution to the silver screen.

The Quiet Man star, who's one of the very last survivors of Hollywood's golden era and who starred in her first movie in 1939, had been overlooked by Academy Awards chiefs throughout her long career.

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And despite a number of campaigns being launched to persuade the Academy to honour the enduring screen icon, even those closest to her had started to fear that time was running out for her to receive a coveted Oscar.

But yesterday her spokesman and biographer Johnny Nicoletti said it "was quite a moment" when the Dublin-born actress - who starred in 64 movies including How Green Was My Valley and Miracle On 34th Street - discovered she will be honoured at the Governors Awards ceremony in Hollywood in November.

He said that what is most important to his famous client is that the Oscar represents official recognition of her achievements by her peers in the film industry.

"Maureen received a call herself on Wednesday morning from the President of the Academy and it was quite a moment when he told her. There were tears of joy and she was very appreciative and emotional," he said.

Ms O'Hara, who moved from her retirement home in Glengarriff, Co Cork to Idaho in the US two years ago, will be one of four people to be honoured at the Governors Awards ceremony on November 8.

French screen-writer and actor Jean-Claude Carriere (82), and Japanese film director and animator Hayao Miyazaki (73), will receive the same honorary award as Ms O'Hara.

Harry Belafonte (87), the American actor, singer and social activist will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award.

hnews@herald.ie


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