Born Maureen Fitzsimons in 1920, few Irish actors have gone on to reach the heights achieved by Maureen O’Hara, who passed away in her sleep overnight. The star of movies such as Miracle on 34th Street, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and How Green Was My Valley, she will best be remembered for her famous role opposite John Wayne in the classic Irish/Amercan movie, The Quiet Man.
VIP had the pleasure of spending the day with Maureen just over four years ago, when she agreed to do a shoot with the magazine. And though aged 90 at the time, she was full of life, vigour, and fascinating stories. Asked about her famously-youthful looks, she confided in us that she stays young and heart, and in body, because “I prefer the company of young people. I love telling them stories which I hope they believe, and teasing them, but mostly encouraging them to do things with their lives.”
Looking remarkably youthful for her age, Maureen revealed that “I’ve been colouring my hair in recent years, but I’ve never had anything done to my skin. Tell me, what is Botox?! Honest to God, I don’t know what it is. And by the way, all the teeth are my own!”
Most memorably of all, however, when asked how she should like her epitaph to read, Maureen answered “Probably something in Irish that says ‘Here lies a fiesty bitch!”
So farewell, Maureen. Feisty? Perhaps. Elegant, classy and supremely talented? Without a shadow of a doubt.