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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

'Tis Herself Maureen O'Hara

'Tis Herself by Maureen O'Hara

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 22, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0743269160

Born:  August 17, 1920

Birthplace: Ranelagh, Ireland

From Publishers Weekly
Film legend O'Hara (b. 1920) and her collaborator, Nicoletti, have assembled a delightful anecdotal autobiography. She calls it "the tale of the toughest Irish lass who ever took on Hollywood and became a major leading lady of the silver screen." Born in a Dublin suburb, Maureen FitzSimons was a child radio actress, joined the Abbey Theater at age 14 and was cast in two major films before she was 19. After Alfred Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn (1939) came The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), launching her career of 60 films. Many were top productions, yet O'Hara never received an Oscar nomination: "Hollywood would never allow my talent to triumph over my face." She recalls highlights and hurdles, including confrontations with stars and directors, commenting, "I have acted, punched, swashbuckled, and shot my way through an absurdly masculine profession during the most extraordinary of times." With her hazel-green eyes and red hair, O'Hara was dubbed "Queen of Technicolor," but yearned for more than "decorative roles." During her lengthy friendships with John Wayne and director John Ford, she saw "the darker side of John Ford, the mean and abusive side." In concluding chapters, she writes about her TV appearances as a vocalist, the mysteries surrounding the death of her husband, Brig. Gen. Charles F. Blair and her life in the Virgin Islands, where she ran an airline (Antilles Air Boats) and became publisher of Virgin Islander magazine. Hollywood's heyday returns to life in this revealing, insightful memoir. O'Hara treats readers like close friends, and her powerful personality is evident throughout.

What an enjoyable book this turned out to be!

It happened that one day on TCM they were showing one of my favorite movies, "the Quiet Man" and when the movie was over they talked about the Duke and Maureen O'Hara and mentioned that there was an autobiography out, so of course, I searched and found a softcover book and sent for it.

I guess part of me wanted to read what she had to say about The Quiet Man and McLintock, both of which she stared with the Duke, and both were very comical.

                  The Quiet Man


I am happy to say she talked about both movies but The Quiet Man is probably her absolute favorite piece of work that she did.  Anyone who hasn't seen that movie really should!  Not only is it my favorite O'Hara movie but one of my favorite John Wayne movies too.

Strange how I had forgotten many of the movies that I knew darn well she was in.  I am guessing it's because they are on TCM so seldom.  One movie was with the famous Charles Laughton.  A little movie called The Hunchback of Notre Dame! This was actually her second movie.. Charles Laughton wanted Maureen for the movie but was told she would have to do Jamaca Inn if she wanted the part in Hunchback of Notre Dame.

It was Laughton himself that wanted Maureen for the movie, and got her.

  The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I loved how this book read.  You felt like you were sitting with Maureen and she was casually talking about her life.  The movies were injected right where they should be but they weren't just movies listed one after the other with long talks about them.  Yes, she talked about her movies, but they weren't made out to be the only thing there was about Maureen O'Hara.

Anyone who is a fan of her's should read this book.  It wasn't like most autobiographies I've ever read, and it's well written and well told. 

In case you want a glimpse.. here's here movie list:


The Last Dance (29-Oct-2000)
Cab to Canada (29-Nov-1998)
The Christmas Box (17-Dec-1995)
Only the Lonely (24-May-1991)
Big Jake (26-May-1971)
The Rare Breed (2-Feb-1966)
The Battle of the Villa Fiorita (26-May-1965)
Spencer's Mountain (16-May-1963)
McLintock! (23-Feb-1963)
Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (15-Jun-1962)
The Parent Trap (12-Jun-1961)
The Deadly Companions (6-Jun-1961)
Our Man in Havana (27-Jan-1960)
The Wings of Eagles (22-Feb-1957)
Everything But the Truth (1-Dec-1956)
Lisbon (17-Aug-1956)
Lady Godiva (2-Nov-1955)
The Long Gray Line (9-Feb-1955)
Fire Over Africa (29-Jun-1954)
Against All Flags (24-Dec-1952)
The Quiet Man (21-Jul-1952)
At Sword's Point (1952)
Rio Grande (15-Nov-1950)
Father Was a Fullback (30-Sep-1949)
A Woman's Secret (5-Mar-1949)
Sitting Pretty (10-Mar-1948)
The Foxes of Harrow (24-Sep-1947)
Miracle on 34th Street (2-May-1947)

Miracle on 34th Street

Sinbad the Sailor (17-Jan-1947)
Sentimental Journey (6-Mar-1946)
The Spanish Main (10-Sep-1945)
Buffalo Bill (13-Apr-1944)
The Fallen Sparrow (19-Aug-1943)
This Land Is Mine (17-Mar-1943)
The Black Swan (23-Dec-1942)

   The Black Swan

Ten Gentlemen from West Point (4-Jun-1942)
To the Shores of Tripoli (11-Mar-1942)
How Green Was My Valley (28-Oct-1941)
Dance, Girl, Dance (30-Aug-1940)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1-Sep-1939)
Jamaica Inn (15-May-1939)


Blogger Chris said...

I didn't realize how many movies she had made! She really was a fantastic actress! I had no idea that she was in Jamaica Inn! I have the book sitting here on the TBR shelf...I'll have to bump it up and then watch the movie!

3:38 PM  
Blogger cj said...

Now that's one glamorous gal! She's always been my favorite and I love The Quiet Man.

I'll be adding this to my list.


9:59 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

chris: that was her first movie.. quickly followed by the Hunchback of Notre Dame.. thats one heckava beginning into movies!

cj: fyi the quiet man is going to be on st patricks day on tcm at 8 pm eastern time.

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Daniel said...

What a nice post ! Of course, you know where I stand with Maureen... I LOVE HER ! My favorite is actually "Miracle on 34th Street" ! Great book, I'm going to have to read it again !

7:20 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

daniel: it is a great read. She's certainly had plenty of both good and bad happen in her life.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

Fancy being told that you can't have a part in one movie unless you do another one first! Can you imagine that happening today? LOL.

5:52 AM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

I've always thought Maureen O'Hara was beautiful. I haven't seen very many movies of hers in comparison to all those that she did, but I really enjoy her in those I have seen. Miracle on 34th Street is an every year viewing and she is certainly one of my favorite reasons for watching it. This book sounds great.

I have always wanted to see Wings of Eagles. I need to check and see if it is available on Netflix.

3:04 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Carl: she is a beauty! and her and the Duke did comedy so well together! of course she looks pretty gorgeous next to Flynn too!

3:43 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

I think I may have seen The Quiet Man a long time ago but I only vaguely remember it. I really ought to try some of her movies out!

7:57 PM  

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