Actress Maureen O’Hara dies at 95

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Actress Maureen O’Hara presents the award for Best Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries during the 9th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on March 9, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Legendary actress Maureen O’Hara, best known for her roles in “Miracle on 34th Street” and films by John Ford, died Saturday of natural causes, her family said.

O’Hara, 95, passed away in her sleep.

“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 favorite movie, ‘The Quiet Man,'” a family statement said.

O’Hara was born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, Ireland, a suburb of Dublin, where her mother was an accomplished contralto and her father ran a business and was part owner of a soccer team, according to her biography on the Internet Movie Database. She was one of six children.

A passionate redhead, O’Hara starred in films with leading men such as Tyrone Power, John Payne, Rex Harrison, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Brian Keith, Sir Alec Guinness and John Wayne.

O’Hara and Wayne made “The Quiet Man” in 1952, directed by John Ford. O’Hara was a favorite of Ford, who cast her in five films, including “How Green Was My Valley” and “Rio Grande.”

She came to Hollywood in 1939 to star as Esmeralda with Charles Laughton in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Last November, she received an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement.

“Her characters were feisty and fearless, just as she was in real life. She was also proudly Irish and spent her entire lifetime sharing her heritage and the wonderful culture of the Emerald Isle with the world,” the FitzSimons family statement said.

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Maureen, we have a simple request: visit Ireland one day and think of her,” the family said.

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