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Maureen O'Hara's Supporting Roles: 3 Times the Star Shined Without Being the Lead Actress

By    |   Monday, 26 Oct 2015 01:14 PM

Maureen O’Hara’s name was often associated with playing the leading lady in films like “The Quiet Man” and “How Green Was My Valley.” But O’Hara was equally successful in dozens of other films acting in supporting roles.

Here are three films where O’Hara’s role stood out as a supporting actress:

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1. Maggie McKendrick, “The Parent Trap” (1961)

O’Hara starred as the mother of twins whose children were separated at birth in this Disney film. The star of the movie, Hayley Mills, played both twins in the film. "The Parent Trap" was a plot hatched by separated sisters who became determined to get McKendrick back with their father after they met at summer camp.

According to Turner Classic Movies, O’Hara enjoyed her role in the film, despite the fact she was paid lower than her normal scale: “[O’Hara] was impressed by Mills’ talent and dedication. She observed how hard Mills worked on her American accent, and how well she developed the characters of the two girls.”

2. Mary O’Donnell, “The Long Gray Line” (1955)

In this John Ford biographical film, O’Hara played Mary O’Donnell, the wife of Irish immigrant Marty Maher (Tyrone Power). The film, shot in flashback, recalled the life of Maher as he rose from being a dishwasher to having a career at West Point.

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The New York Times wrote of the actress: “Maureen O'Hara as the Irish servant girl whom Marty marries and has as helpmate and companion in his years at West Point contributes a share of golden laughter and gallantly choked-back tears.”

3. Lady Margaret Denby, “The Black Swan” (1942)

In "The Black Swan," O’Hara’s Lady Margaret Denby was the daughter of English governor of Jamaica, and also the subject of a pirate’s dalliances. The two developed a love-hate relationship in this swashbuckling romance.

“While it’s true that ‘Black Swan’ isn’t close to her best performance it’s still a Grade A star vehicle and she gave us ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and ‘Parent Trap,’ which gives her a lifetime pass,” wrote The Film Experience, recalling her successes on the heels of her Honorary Oscar in 2014.

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Maureen O’Hara’s name was often associated with playing the leading lady in films like “The Quiet Man” and “How Green Was My Valley.” But O’Hara was equally successful in dozens of other films acting in supporting roles. Here are three films where O’Hara’s role stood out as a supporting actress.
maureen ohara, roles, actress, movies, films
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2015-14-26
Monday, 26 Oct 2015 01:14 PM
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