She was known as “The Queen of Technicolor,” thanks in part to her flaming red hair. Born Maureen FitzSimons – but remembered today as Maureen O’Hara - in 1920 Dublin, Ireland, the second of six children, the pudgy young girl was cruelly nicknamed “Baby Elephant,” but that did not stop her from pursuing her childhood dream of a career on stage, singing, dancing, acting, you name it. She got her first role at ten, winning beauty contests by fifteen, and made her film debut at eighteen, in 1938. Her career took off from there and soon she was starring opposite Charles Laughton and John Wayne in films including Alfred Hitchcock’s Jamaica Innand John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley.
Arguably, her most memorable performance was in John Ford’s 1952 epic The Quiet Man, but O’Hara was in so many movies that it might be considered unfair to point to just one. She never received an Oscar for a specific film, but did win an Honorary Academy Award in 2914, with the inscription “To Maureen O’Hara, one of Hollywood’s most inspiring stars, whose performances glowed with passion, warmth and strength.” She was 94 and would pass away the very next year.