Maureen O'Hara studied drama and music at Abbey Theatre School in Dublin, Ireland and was a member of the Rathmines Theatre Company. After graduating from Abbey Theatre School in 1937, she moved to London, England and landed her first major film role in Alfred Hitchcock's "Jamaica Inn," released in 1939.
Born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, County Dublin, Ireland in 1920, O'Hara changed her last name following advice from actor Charles Laughton. She signed a contract with RKO in 1939 and began a decades-long Hollywood career that saw her starring alongside many of the top male stars of the time, including Tyrone Power, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Vincent Price and John Wayne. Her most famous films include "Miracle on 34th Street," "How Green Was My Valley," "Rio Grande," "The Quiet Man" and "The Parent Trap." After a 20-year retirement, O'Hara returned to the screen playing the role of John Candy's mother in the 1991 comedy "Only the Lonely."