In her own words: “If I can’t be me and be accepted and loved for that, then what’s the point?”
The Maureen O’ Hara Award
In 2008 Kerry Film Festival instigated the Maureen O’Hara Award for women that have excelled in film, one of the few film awards, anywhere in the world, offered exclusively to women.
Why Maureen? Her singular beauty made her the Queen of Technicolour, but beyond her looks, Maureen was a master at her chosen craft. Her natural talents were matched by her honesty, work-ethic, bravery and resilience. She was not afraid to stand up and speak out when her male peers might have preferred if she shut up and lay down…on that casting couch. She didn’t.
In her own words…
“It’s been a good life … I’ve had a wonderful career and enjoyed making movies. I was fortunate to have made pictures with many of the greats, both actors and directors. I’ve no regrets … Some people see me as a former screen siren while others remember me as the dame who gave as good as she got in movies with John Wayne, for example. Many women have written to me over the years and said I’ve been an inspiration to them, a woman who could hold her own against the world.” The final thing she said, “Above all else, deep in my soul, I’m a tough Irish Woman.”
—O’Hara reflecting on her long life and career, on her 95th birthday in August 2015.