Maureen O’Hara, the flame-haired Irish movie star who appeared in classics ranging from How Green Was My Valley to the Miracle on 34th Street, has died aged 95.

O’Hara died in her sleep at her home in Boise, Idaho, said Johnny Nicoletti, her longtime manager.

“She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favourite movie, The Quiet Man,” said a statement from her family on Saturday.

O’Hara came to Hollywood to star in the 1939 film The Hunchback of Notre Dame and went on to a long career.

During her movie heyday, she became known as the Queen of Technicolour because of the camera’s love affair with her vivid hair, pale complexion and fiery nature.

After her start in Hollywood, 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, which went on to win five Oscars.

Later films included The Foxes of Harrow, Sitting Pretty, and The Parent Trap.


Maureen FitzSimons was born in 1920 near Dublin, Ireland.

Her mother was a well-known opera singer, and her father owned a string of soccer teams.

Through her father, she learned to love sports; through her mother, she and her five siblings were exposed to the theatre.

“My first ambition was to be the number one actress in the world,” she recalled in 1999.

“And when the whole world bowed at my feet, I would retire in glory and never do anything again.”


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