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
Hollywood actress Maureen O'Hara, has died aged 95. The Irish actress, who won acclaim for her role in The Quiet Man, died of natural causes. Her manager Johnny Nicoletti, said she died in her sleep at home in Boise, Idaho.
In a statement from her family, he said: "She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favourite movie The Quiet Man. As much as Maureen cherished her privacy, she always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.
"She especially loved it when children recognised her from her role in Miracle on 34th Street and asked her: 'Are you the lady who knows Santa Claus?' She always answered: 'Yes I am. What would you like me to tell him?'
'"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."
O'Hara was born Maureen FitzSimons in 1920. She was one of six children whose mother was a well-known opera singer and her father owned football teams. She discovered a love for theatre through her mother.
In 1999, she recalled: "My first ambition was to be the Number One actress in the world. And when the whole world bowed at my feet, I would retire in glory and never do anything again."
She was married to director George Hanley Brown, however the marriage was annulled when she moved to Hollywood in 1939 for the film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, while he remained in England.
Her arrival in Hollywood marked the beginning of a successful career, which included roles in the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street and 1941 coal-mining family saga How Green Was My Valley. She was dubbed the Queen of Technicolour, because of her flame-red hair.
In 1941, she was married for the second time to director Will Price. Three years later the couple welcomed a daughter Bronwyn. O'Hara described the marriage as "a terrible mistake" and the couple were divorced in 1952.
In 1968, she quit her film career to marry her third husband Brigadier General Charles Blair. They lived together in the Virgin Islands, where he was an airline boss. He died in a plane crash 10 years later but she later recalled the marriage as "the best time of my life".
According to a family biography, O'Hara had never forgotten her Irish roots. "She was also proudly Irish and spent her entire lifetime sharing her heritage and the wonderful culture of the Emerald Isle with the world."
Looking back on her many years of fame, O'Hara said: "It's been a good life. I've had a wonderful career and enjoyed making movies. I was fortunate to have made pictures with many of the greats, both actors and directors. I've no regrets."
O'Hara is survived by her daughter Bronwyn FitzSimons, who lives in Glengarriff, Ireland, her grandson Conor FitzSimons of Boise, Idaho, and two great-grandchildren.