Movie Star Maureen O'Hara Dies at 95
She starred in How Green Was My Valley and Miracle on 34th Street
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 24, 2015 1:26 PM CDT
   (Chris Pizzello)
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(Newser) – Maureen O'Hara, the flame-haired Irish movie star who appeared in classics ranging from the grim How Green Was My Valley to the uplifting Miracle on 34th Street and bantered unforgettably with John Wayne in several films has died. She was 95. O'Hara died in her sleep at her home in Boise, Idaho, says Johnny Nicoletti, her longtime manager. "She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favorite movie, The Quiet Man," according to a statement from her family. "O'Hara brought unyielding strength and sudden sensitivity to every role she played," states a family biography. "Her characters were feisty and fearless, just as she was in real life."

O'Hara came to Hollywood to star in 1939's The Hunchback of Notre Dame and went on to a long career. During her movie heyday, she became known as the Queen of Technicolor because of the camera's love affair with her vivid hair, pale complexion, and fiery nature. After her start in Hollywood with Hunchback, she was borrowed by 20th Century Fox to play the beautiful young daughter in the 1941 saga of a coal-mining family, How Green Was My Valley. How Green Was My Valley went on to win five Oscars, including best picture and best director, beating out Orson Welles and Citizen Kane. With Rio Grande in 1950, O'Hara became John Wayne's favorite leading lady. She was proud when he remarked in an interview that he preferred to work with men—"except for Maureen O'Hara; she's a great guy."