Today is actress Maureen O'Hara's birthday; she's 86 years old. Most people probably remember O'Hara as Natalie Wood's cynical mom in the original Miracle on 34th Street in 1947, but in fact she'd acted in films as early as 1938. I particularly enjoyed her as the ballet dancer in Dance, Girl, Dance, the 1940 movie directed by Dorothy Arzner. I wish I could find a photo, preferably with Lucille Ball as burlesque dancer Bubbles, but I had to settle for a publicity still.

Later, O'Hara was memorable as the feisty Irish redhead who won John Wayne's heart in The Quiet Man. I believe the first movie in which I saw O'Hara, however, was actually The Parent Trap, in which she played Hayley Mills' mom. She worked steadily in films and TV until 1973, when she intended to retire. However, she returned to acting in 1991 to play John Candy's mom in the otherwise unmemorable Only the Lonely, and stole every scene she was in. Have I missed any other memorable O'Hara roles?
categories Features, Cinematical