Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Maureen O’Hara

Irish Film Actress and Singer

"It turns out that our notions of what a “self” is and how it might feel fulfilled have no more objective status than most of the rest of reality. It seems we make ourselves up as we go alone."

"Being an Irishwoman means many things to me. An Irishwoman is strong and feisty. She has guts and stands up for what she believes in. She believes she is the best at whatever she does and proceeds through life with that knowledge. She can face any hazard that life throws her way and stay with it until she wins. She is loyal to her kinsmen and accepting of others. She's not above a sock in the jaw if you have it coming."

"Above all else, deep in my soul, I'm a tough Irishwoman."

"As the 1960s began, a new breed of Hollywood leading lady was emerging. She was elegant, international, and wonderfully comedic."

"After I got to Hollywood, I resented that I didn't get a crack at more dramatic roles because I photographed so beautifully."

"After 20 years making films, I finally returned to the theatre in 1960."

"Audiences in London called me the girl with the black cherry eyes."

"Almost all of my friends in the picture business have died."

"Charles Laughton signed me to my first movie contract at 17. He later asked my parents if he could adopt me."

"Comedy is difficult, especially slapstick. The trick is to have fun while you are performing it."

"Daddy and I met the Pope at the Vatica while I was there filming The Battle of Villa Fiorita."

"Duke was my best friend for 40 years."

"Daddy comforted me by being the most decent man I have ever known."

"First marriage was never consummated. I was pushed into it. I went from there to the boat for the United States of America."

"Every star has that certain something that stands out and compels us to notice them."

"Henry Fonda gave me a spanking during a scene in Spencer's Mountain."

"God has a most wicked sense of humor."

"How could you get angry with Jackie Gleason?"

"How could you have had such a wonderful life as me if there wasn't a God directing?"

"I dainty little lass I wasn't. I looked twice my age until I turned 10 or 11."

"I didn't let anyone push me into things I didn't want to do where my career was concerned. So why did I crumble when it came to men?"

"I don't remember having a crush on a boy when I was a girl. I don't even remember my first kiss."

"I entered the world hairless as an egg. Mammy told me she almost sewed fake curls on my bonnet."

"I am like many of the women I have played onscreen."

"How Green Was My Valley was Darryl Zanuck's baby from the time he'd finished reading the novel in 1939."

"I felt the walls of private life crumble around me as I embraced and became the public person known as Maureen O'Hara."

"I found Olivia DeHavilland to be one of the most gracious, kind, and charming people I had met in America."

"I grew up in the theater and danced ballet atrociously."

"I had no money to pay for the meals. I had a bottle of vitamins. And I took all the vitamins, one after the other."

"I had to make the rounds and be seen at all the right places if I was ever going to be a star of any significance in Hollywood."

"I met Charlie in 1947 when I first went back to Ireland."

"I never played boring, stereotypical mothers, and I foiled stodgy notions of what mothers should look like on-screen."

"I have never lost my faith in God."

"I have only part of my first finger."

"I had always been a tomboy - I still am, at heart."

"I have never been openly defiant, not ever."

"I knew that Jamaica Inn was going to make me a star."

"I loved sports. I loved soccer, football. I loved the fights. So I enjoyed the stunts."

"I know what John Wayne to the world. He was what they believed Americans were."

"I loved watching James Cagney because he was so tough and gruff, and I couldn't wait to hear Irene Dunne sing in her movies."

"I was caught napping during a break on The Quiet Man. It was sunny and gorgeous almost every day."

"I was called The Queen of Technicolor in the lavish 1942 swashbuckler, The Black Swan."

"I was born into the most remarkable and eccentric family I could possibly have hoped for."

"I spent a great deal of time with Che Guevara while I was in Havana. I believe he was far less a mercenary than he was a freedom fighter."

"I saw myself as Joan of Arc."

"I was not the typical American movie star; I was very different from the other stars and starlets."

"I really wanted to be an opera soprano."

"I was tough. I was tall. I was strong. I didn't take any nonsense from anybody."

"I watch and listen to movies today and am shocked by the way actors deliver their lines. Everybody mumbles now and I don't understand why."

"I was well-prepared for my role as Esmerelda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame."