The red hot redhead for this week is a perfect fit, because she’s one of the few actresses who hails from Ireland, and many of her Irish brethren will be celebrating a big Irish holiday this week: St. Patrick’s Day.
But if you aren’t planning on going out and celebrating St. Patrick’s Day the rowdy Irish way, you might want to stay in and watch beautiful, vibrant Irish actress Maureen O’Hara give John Wayne a run for his money in the film ‘The Quiet Man’, which showcases Maureen O’Hara’s bright beauty and sharp tongue, the rolling hills of the Irish countryside, and a very different side of actor John Wayne, who steps out of his role as a cowboy and into a role that could actually be his best. You can see Maureen O’Hara in ‘The Quiet Man’, airing on Turner Classic Movies on Tuesday, March 17th at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
Maureen O’Hara is probably the only actress to come from Ireland and become a big success in the U.S. This is saying a lot, because there have been many successful Irish actors in recent years, like Colin Farrell, who have made it big in Hollywood. But since she sizzled on the silver screen in the 40’s and 50’s, no big Irish actress has stormed the U.S. since her.
She was a popular pinup girl with the servicemen in her heyday, and started acting in films in her teens. At 88, she’s the only cast member of ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, in which she plays the cynical mother of Susan, that is still living today. She was very athletic, performing most of her own stunts, and had an amazing voice that she put to use in a few of her film roles. After two unsuccessful marriages early in her life, she was married to ambitious aviator Charles Blair, which led to the two of them opening their own commuter seaplane service in the Caribbean in the 70’s. They were a very happy couple until tragedy struck in 1978; he was killed doing what he loved doing best; flying a plane.
Maureen went on to be elected the President of the airline, making her the first female President of a scheduled airline in the U.S. After her husband’s death, she retired from making movies, only to be coaxed out of it a few times in her later life, first in 1991 to star with John Candy in ‘Only the Lonely’, and later for a string of TV movies.
Maureen O’Hara remained a fan of John Wayne the rest of her life, and often spoke of him fondly. The two starred in many films together, but ‘The Quiet Man’ is definitely their best, and it best displays her in all of her Irish glory. Maureen has a lust for life that many Irish are proud of; at 88, she’s still the same athletic actress, pinup girl, and sharp-tongued lass that she’s always been. So don’t miss seeing her at her best in the film, and here’s a tip for all of you unsavvy wannabe Irishmen out there: if a beautiful redhead like Maureen says, “Top of the morning to ya!” on St. Patrick’s Day, don’t be a quiet man! Respond with, “and the rest of the day to you!” Or just be prepared to witness the ire of a beautiful Irish girl!