TCM Star of The Month: Maureen O’Hara

Maureen O’Hara: Technicolor’s Queen

July: what a beautiful month. With the summer season finally in full swing, everything seems extra vibrant, extra lively, and full of color. It makes sense, then, that Turner Classic Movie would choose the vibrant and lovely Technicolor Queen, Maureen O’Hara, as their Star of The Month.

maureen-o'haraMaureen O’Hara

Maureen O’Hara always had a personality as colorful as her hair. As a child she would round up the neighborhood kids, organizing her very own backyard staged productions to show off her potential as an actress. As she grew older her dreams of performing never stopped despite her father’s urgings otherwise, and before the age of 20, O’Hara found herself starring in the major Hollywood picture, 1939’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The film, of course, was a hit and audiences soon fell in love with the young Irishwoman’s take on the gypsy, Esmeralda. However, it would not be until three years later that the woman would gain her title “The Queen of Technicolor.”

In 1942 O’Hara starred in her first Technicolor film To the Shores of Tripoli. Although her pearly complexion and green eyes photographed beautifully in three-stripe technology, one thing was still missing: her fiery red hair! Yes, for some reason some higher-up on the production line decided to dye her hair brunette for the film. For her next Technicolor film, this mistake would be corrected, and with it a film legacy would begin. Over the next two decades, O’Hara would be featured in an impressive 34 Technicolor films, more than almost any other actress of her time.  With her natural hair color revived, O’Hara’s reign as the Queen of Technicolor began. Her fire-red hair, milky complexion and emerald eyes perfectly complimented the Technicolor-process so well that Herbert T. Kalmus, inventor of the process, often used her image to promote and sell his product. So, let us celebrate this champion of the Technicolor world by tuning into some her classics. Below are just a few I would suggest.

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The Black Swan

Maureen O’Hara and Tyrone Powers in The Black Swan (1942, Henry King) airing Tuesday, July 15 at 8:00PM on TCM

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buffalo-bill-1944Maureen O’Hara and Joel McCrea in Buffalo Bill (1944, William A. Wellman director) airing Tuesday, July 22 at 9:45PM on TCM

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mclintock

Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne in McLintock (1963, Andrew McLaglen director) airing Tuesday July 22 at 11:30 on TCM

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Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub

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One Response to TCM Star of The Month: Maureen O’Hara

  1. Nanci says:

    She has always been a great beauty and a fantastic actress who just dominates a scene when she walks in 😉

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