"I think God has blessed me and I’ve had a wonderful life,” Maureen O’Hara
said in 2004. The legendary Irish actress, who died on Oct. 24 at the age of 95, starred in more than 60 movies, including classics such as The Quiet Man and Miracle on 34th Street, and was known for playing strong, feisty women.
John Wayne, her frequent co-star, once called her “the greatest guy I know.” But in her private life, things looked a lot different. Maureen “didn’t show the same strength and toughness,” says biographer Aubrey Malone. “Men tended to abuse her.”
Maureen O'Hara at an award show in 2014. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Maureen’s professional highs came with personal lows, mostly due to a series of terrible husbands. Maureen’s first marriage to producer George Brown when she was only 19 was coerced, according to Malone, author of Maureen O’Hara: The Biography.
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“She was heading off to Hollywood and he was stuck in England, and he didn’t want to let her go, so basically he married her against her wishes,” Malone says. “She didn’t even know what was happening as the ring was being slipped around her finger.”
Maureen O'Hara is LA in 1954. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The unhappy marriage was annulled two years later, but that didn’t spell an end to her nuptial nightmares. Maureen’s second husband, director Will Price, was a violent alcoholic who beat her.
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In 1944, when she was pregnant with her only daughter, Bronwyn, Price punched her so hard she nearly had a miscarriage. “I was a stupid ass to marry Will,” Maureen later admitted. “I think I must have been taken in by his Southern charm.”
To read the full story on Maureen O'Hara, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!
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