Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Maureen O'Hara: The Biography (Screen Classics)
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on October 31, 2015
It's was sort of a twist of fate that I started reading this book about a week prior to the passing of Maureen O'Hara (October 24, 2015). The introduction spoke of her in a past tense (did the author not know that she was still alive when this was published in 2013?), which really bothered me. There are also quite a few mistakes such as:
1. on page 33 - How Green Was My Valley was produced by 20th Century Fox, not RKO. He states that RKO hired a lot of extras for the crowd scenes. Why would they do that when it wasn't their film?
2. on page 33- Anna Lee played Bronwyn (spelled wrong as Bronwen), who played Angharad's (O'Hara's character) sister-in-law, not sister (didn't he watch the film?).
3. on page 58 - In the film Sentimental Journey, Connie Marshall was at least 9 or 10 years old, yet he calls her a toddler (didn't he watch the film?).
Also, if you've read Maureen O'Hara's autobiography, there's really no need to read this because the author constantly quotes from it. There's doesn't seem to be much information by the way of interviews with friends and co-workers, either. Yes, I know that, by this time, many of them are gone but he still could've interviewed some people who have known her in more recent years.
I'm really glad that I bought this as a used copy and didn't pay full price.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 11, 2013
Maureen O'Hara is one of the most striking actresses to have graced the silver screen. Her winning combination of beauty, charm, intelligence and earthiness made her a screen legend. Though she had her share of cinematic stinkers, she always gave it her all and movie-goers loved her. Yet, while O'Hara charmed audiences in films like HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET and THE QUIET MAN, her personal life was marked by marital strife and stress. Film critic Aubrey Malone offers up a critical yet affectionate biography of the 'Queen of Technicolor' in MAUREEN O'HARA THE BIOGRAPHY, a 2013 University Press of Kentucky release.

From an early age, the Dublin-born Maureen FitzSimons dreamed of being a stage actress. As a young child, she trained in drama, dance and music though her father insisted she learn business skills in case her theatrical ambitions didn't pan out. Charles Laughton, however, saw an audition tape of the ravishing 18-year old, offered her a contract and she was off to Hollywood. Her breakout film was JAMAICA INN (1939) followed by the HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. John Ford's HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941)confirmed O'Hara's status as an actress of note. Unfortunately, the raven-haired beauty was unlucky in love. A first marriage lasted two years, ending in an annullment in 1941. Soon after, she married William Price, a film director, who turned out to be an abusive alcoholic. Though the couple had a daughter, the marriage was a nightmare not ending till 1953. O'Hara hid the ugliness while her career took off. She starred in many fine films with co-stars like Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn and especially her friend John Wayne. In 1968, husband #3 - Charles Blair - brought happinesss but he was later killed in a plane crash after 10 years of bliss. O'Hara largely retired from acting after her marriage to Blair and eventually settled in Ireland.

Malone does a marvelous job of charting the life and times of this wondrous lady. Using material from a variety of sources, he fashions a true account of O'Hara's career in front of the camera and at home. In some cases, he corrects and amplifies on information found - or not found - in O'Hara's autobiography, HERE TIS.

Cinema fans will enjoy MAUREEN O'HARA THE BIOGRAPHY. It's an informative, balanced, affectionate tribute to a screen legend. Highly recemmended.
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This is a fairly comprehensive book that looks at the life and times of actress Maureen O'Hara. As O'Hara is now in her 90's and slowing down a bit away from the bright lights of Hollywood to the relative calm of Boise, it seems like the perfect time to look at a career that has spanned decades and look at the accolades that have been heaped on her.
Admittedly, there is something almost magical about a woman whose hair was always vividly red even when I watched her in a black and white movie. It didn't hurt that she was a cinematic dream with twinkling eyes and what I figured had to be perfect skin with a touch of blush.
If this book does anything, it takes my dream Maureen O'Hara and makes her real. This book provides plenty of biographical information that covers continents and time which should satisfy the curious or uninformed. However, its real gift is its analysis of the catalogue of her work. I enjoyed the information about her relationships with the Duke aka frequent co-star John Wayne and her frequent director and friend John Ford and others.
This book attempts to determine if O'Hara comes across as a feminist. I get the argument because this is a somewhat more scholarly book than one might generally expect, but I really don't much care because the obvious thing is that Maureen could more than hold her own against formidable screen companions such as Wayne, Charles Laughton, Walter Pidgeon, Anthony Quinn, and even that scene stealing ham Lucille Ball.
As this book covers O'Hara's roles and the ups and downs of a long career, it is obvious that she has had this amazing longevity going on not just in regards to a long life but her adaptability to adjust and reinvent herself in many ways as she stretched her performing career from ingenue to a smart older lady reveling in comedy.
While this book can be a bit dry at times, I still found it interesting and especially liked the focus given to her career which was really quite remarkable when viewed in its entirety.
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on February 9, 2015
It's well written and researched, and quite revealing. 'T'is Herself' is obviously going to be better received by die hard fans, but I thought this was probably closer to the truth, because it doesn't read like a book written to shatter the myth. It feels balanced. It seems that the lovely Miss O'Hara, was a vindictive, deeply conservative woman, who held grudges that she nursed for life.
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on November 13, 2013
Her own autobiography, "Tis Herself. was a much better read. Was like sitting across from her and talking over a cup of tea.
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on February 20, 2014
Very good biography! She is a great lady.she is beautiful and one of the best actresses ever, especially with John Wayne.
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on November 5, 2013
MAUREEN O'HARA is one of my top favorite movie stars of the CLASSIC AGE during the 1940's. The book is very current and brings fans up to date on her long life.
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on March 27, 2014
I don't think the author liked Ms. O'Hara. The book seems mostly to be based on artitles or books about her. While the book was informative and up to date I just felt like something was missing.
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on July 14, 2016
Very disappointed. Almost the entire book is a synopsis of every movie she made--the reader can easily research the material. Not worth the price.
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on October 15, 2015
Good read .. she was beautiful and stood her ground. Nice to learn that not every "starlet" had to sleep with the boss to get ahead.
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