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Maureen O’Hara dead: Queen of Technicolor and star of movie classics was 95

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Stefanie Keenan/WireImage

Maureen O’Hara, the spirited, red-haired star of such Hollywood classics as How Green Was My Valley, Miracle on 34th Street, and numerous films with leading man John Wayne, has died. She was 95.

Her longtime manager Johnny Nicoletti told the Associated Press O’Hara died in her sleep at her home in Boise, Idaho.

“She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favorite movie, The Quiet Man,” said a statement from her family.

The Irish actress, who became known as the “Queen of Technicolor,” began her acting career starring in 1939’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and went on to star in the 1941 film How Green Was My Valley, which won five Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director for John Ford, beating out Orson Welles and Citizen Kane. She also played Natalie Wood’s mother in the 1947 Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street.

Her acting credits also included pirate films such as The Black Swan and The Spanish Main, as well as other films like The Parent Trap (as the mother of Hayley Mills’ twin characters), The Foxes of Harrow, Sitting Pretty, and Rio Grande, one of five films she made opposite Wayne (the others are The Quiet Man, McLintock!, The Wings of Eagles, and Big Jake.

O’Hara took a hiatus from movies after Big Jake, but returned to the big screen in 1991 playing John Candy’s mother in Only the Lonely. Her last acting credit is the TV movie The Last Dance in 2000.

Never nominated for an Academy Award, O’Hara received an honorary Oscar at the Governor’s Awards in November 2014.

She is survived by a daughter, grandson, and two great-grandchildren.