Maureen O’Hara, ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Actress and John Wayne Co-Star, Dead at 95
Screen icon and legendary actress Maureen O’Hara has passed away at the age of 95, as reported by multiple outlets and confirmed by her family and agent. O’Hara was best known for her roles opposite John Wayne in films like Rio Grande, The Quiet Man and Big Jake, as well as classics like Miracle on 34th Street and The Parent Trap.
Although she was hailed for her incomparable talent, O’Hara was never so much as nominated for an Oscar — an oversight that will be corrected, as THR reports that the Academy is honoring O’Hara with an honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards next month. That announcement was made prior to her passing.
O’Hara appeared in five films with John Wayne, three of which were westerns directed by the great John Ford. The actress played Wayne’s wife in all five films: Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, Big Jake, McLintock! and The Wings of Eagles. The actress was often referred to as the “Queen of Technicolor” for her fair complexion and brilliant red hair, and also appeared in classics such as Miracle on 34th Street, How Green Was My Valley and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
O’Hara reportedly died peacefully in her sleep, with her family releasing a brief statement:
She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favorite movie, The Quiet Man.
After spending 40 years in her native Ireland, she moved to Boise, Idaho to be closer to her family. O’Hara mostly retired from acting following her marriage in 1968, but returned in 1991, co-starring with John Candy in Only the Lonely and appearing in a few TV movies.
O’Hara helped John Ford win two of his four Oscars, appearing in the critically acclaimed classics How Green Was My Valley and The Quiet Man. She will finally — rightfully — receive her own Oscar next month.