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Maureen O’Hara

Recent controversy sparked by allegations of sexual abuse and harassment against producer Harvey Weinstein and actor Kevin Spacey has prompted woman and men across the entertainment industry to share their stories.

Speaking about her own experience of inappropriate behaviour, Irish TV presenter, Laura Whitmore, has revealed how she was called a “cold fish” for refusing to sleep with someone in the business.

Tweeting in response to a resurfaced news article in which actress Maureen O'Hara accused a Hollywood producer of calling her a “cold potato without sex appeal” because she refused to have have sex with him, the 32-year-old admitted she had been subjected to similar treatment.

 “This was an article in 1945. It’s 2017 and the situation is similar. I was referred to as a ‘cold fish’ because I refused someone’s advances,” she wrote.

Adding in a later tweet: “Let's support and be kind to each other. We are all facing struggles that no one else may know.”

The MTV presenter had previously reported feeling “incredibly uncomfortable” in the presence of Harvey Weinstein, whom she met on a number of occasions to discuss her acting career.

And while Laura did not name any names, her revelation adds to the growing conversation around sexual harassment in the entrainment industry and beyond.


As more and more men and women come forward to share their experiences of sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood, a resurfaced news article from the 1940s shows that this not a new issue.

An image of the 1945 article, first published in The Mirror, began circulating online after it was shared on Twitter by British concert pianist, James Rhodes.

It reports how Irish-born actress, Maureen O'Hara, accused a Hollywood producer of calling her a “cold potato without sex appeal” because she refused to have have sex with him.

“I'm so upset,” she told The Mirror.

“I am ready to quit Hollywood. It's got so bad I hate to come to work in the morning.”

She went on to explain how producers and directors had made attempts to damage her reputation because she turned them down.

“I'm a helpless victim of a Hollywood whispering campaign. Because I don't let the producer and director kiss me every morning or let them paw me they have spread around town that I am not a woman, that I am a cold piece of marble statuary.”

In 2004, she told The Daily Telegraph how standing up for herself harmed her career.

“I wouldn't throw myself on the casting couch, and I know that cost me parts. I wasn't going to play the whore. That wasn't me.” 

Maureen died on October 24, 2015, at the age of 95. She is best known for her roles in The Quiet Man, Miracle on 34th Street and The Parent Trap.



Actress Maureen O'Hara was yesterday laid to rest after passing away aged 95 last month.

The Dublin native, who moved to Hollywood aged just 19, had a film career spanning over fifty years including roles in The Quiet Man, The Parent Trap and Miracle On 34th Street.

Maureen's grandson Conor Fitzsimons spoke to the gathered mourners before she was buried next to her husband, US Air Force Brig Gen Charles Blair. 

Blair, who was Maureen's third and last husband, was killed in a plane crash in 1978, just ten years after the couple married.

"One thing my grandmother taught me was, ‘when the times get tough, that’s when the Irish get going,'" Conor said of the late actress, adding that she always held Ireland as home in her heart.

"The one thing that I think my grandmother was proud of most was being Irish because that meant to her something that nobody could take from her. It was in her soul. It was in her spirit. Ireland was her heart."

Born in Ranelagh in 1920, Maureen was the eldest of six children and grew up in a tight-knit conservative Catholic family.

After joining the Abbey Theatre School in her early teens, the flame-haired beauty moved to Hollywood in 1939.

Her first film role was as Esmerelda in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, but she found real fame with How Green Is My Valley two years later – a film which went on to win five Oscars. 

Although Maureen never won an Academy Award at the peak of her career, she was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 2014.

Confirming her death in a statement on October 24, the Fitzsimons family described Maureen's fitting last moments – "surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favourite movie, The Quiet Man."

The statement continued: "As much as Maureen cherished her privacy, she always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life.

"She especially loved it when children recognised her from her role in Miracle on 34th Street and asked her: 'Are you the lady who knows Santa Claus?'

"She always answered: 'Yes I am. What would you like me to tell him?'"

A true Irish legend.


Star of the likes of Miracle On 34th Street, and The Quiet Man, actress Maureen O'Hara has died in her sleep at her Beverly Hills home.

Often described as one of the last remaining members of the Golden Age Of Hollywood, Ms O'Hara, the second of six children, was born on Beachwood Ave in Ranelagh in Dublin.

She joined the Rathmines Theatre Club aged 10 and later trained with the Abbey Theatre.

Also a firm fan of Shamrock Rovers until her death, Maureen had homes in Bantry in Cork and St Croix in the US Virgin Islands.

Just last year she was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Oscar by the Academy, and is especially fondly remembered for her half a dozen on-screen partnerships with John Wayne.

"Maureen was our loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. 

"She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favourite movie, The Quiet Man," said a statement from her family earlier today.

Still a teenager, she arrived in Hollywood in 1939 to star in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, but found real fame with How Green Is My Valley two years later – a film which went on to win five Oscars. 

Maureen also often starred in colourful pirate adventures such as The Black Swan with Tyrone Power, The Spanish Main with Paul Henreid, and Sinbad The Sailor with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

One of her earliest movies was Alfred Hitchcock's maritime-tinged Jamaica Inn.

Indeed, she often spoke highly of the iconic director recalling that she "never experienced the strange feeling of detachment with Hitchcock that many other actors claimed to have felt while working with him".

She is furthermore much-loved for her part in 1961's The Parent Trap alongside Hayley Mills. Her final performance was in The Last Dance, a 2000 TV movie. 

Her manager said she had “a wicked sense of humour and never took her good fortunes for granted.” Johnny Nicoletti added: “She was a classy, warm, feisty, funny woman and she was always so proudly Irish.”

Ms O’Hara will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington DC, next to her husband, the US Navy pilot General Charles Blair who died in a plane crash in 1978.

She had been married twice before she met Charles, and had one child – a daughter, Bronwyn, whose father was the director William Houston Price.

She died without ever revealing, even to her closest friends and family, one of Hollywood’s most famous secrets: what she whispered in John Wayne’s ear at the end of The Quiet Man to elicit the shocked reaction that director John Ford had sought from the star.