Tis Herself
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Tis Herself

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  657 ratings  ·  78 reviews
"You are about to read the tale of the toughest Irish lass who ever took on Hollywood and became a major leading lady....In a career that has lasted more than sixty years, I have acted, punched, swashbuckled, and shot my way through an absurdly masculine profession....As a woman, I'm proud to say that I stood toe-to-toe with the best of them and made my mark on my own term...more
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published February 24th 2004 by Simon & Schuster
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Herb
What a fun read! I have always loved this classy lady. She is a lot more than Natalie Wood's mother in "Miracle on 34th Street." She is a sweet, funny, feisty, Irish fighting lady who has always given as good as she gets. I love the story about when she was driving an inebriated John Wayne home from a party & he made her stop at a perfect stranger's house, where he demanded a drink! Guess what? They gave it to him! Lots of fun.
Mom
Maureen O'Hara, every bit as wonderful in her autobiography as she is an actress. Entertaining, truthful, colorful, courageous and talented are some descriptors that identify who she is. Hollywood stars have to be tough to survive the rigors of their occupation. I wouldn't trade my life with any of them, at least, not their real lives. I love to imagine to be all of the characters they play. In their seemingly perfect lives, I might think that I would love to be them, with all of their fame and...more
Annie
Feb 10, 2008 Annie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Maureen O'Hara
This was also out of my Mom's library.

I have always loved Maureen O'Hara's spirited performances in her movies and was enthralled by her red hair (which I have always wanted).

Her book begins as a young girl and chronicles her acting career, her unfortunate marriage to an opportunist who was an abusive alcoholic, and her relationships with family and fellow actors. Maureen is an extremely intelligent, self-possessed woman who didn't know everything she needed to be able to make better decisions i...more
Jaime Contreras
This was a revealing book into the personal struggles that Maureen Fitzsimmons (AKA: O'Hara) had with her second husband, William H. Price and director, John Ford. While not a bash book, it pulls no punches and paints Ms. O'Hara as a sometimes confused, hesitant but always noble person. I was most touched by her level of forgiveness of those who hurt her, including William Houston price, her second husband; director, John Ford and Walt Disney. I love her strength, honesty, devotion to her faith...more
Stacey R
While I think a lot of Maureen O'Hara, this book showed me that even though she was/is a strong woman, she still made a lot of decisions that didn't make her life happy. Her association with John Ford, while a productive relationship work wise, was probably very detrimental to her personally. While reading about Ford I felt a darkness. It made me realize that putting actors and actresses (among others) on pedestals is something that we should take more care about doing. They are just people, not...more
Barbara VA
I LOVED THIS BOOK! What a classy lady! She has been a favorite actress of mine as long as I can remember and now I understand why. She gave as good as she got, kept quiet when she needed to and stood up for herself and others when it was the right thing to do. Loved her john Wayne and old Hollywood stories. The best part is that I finished it, quite accidentally, the day before her birthday and she was the Summer Under The Stars actress for 24 hours! A Must Read for any Classic Movie fan!
Sheridan
Like most of your reviewers I did not expect much from this but it is brilliant in nearly every way. This is a seventeen year old star grown up. This particularly shows in her lack of insight into complex people. It shows how stars living the life of the adored are in a way blinded to others. Her co-writer deserves special mention- he is masterful.
A strong woman, and Irish Republican and no apologies like her cohorts in the Ford Stock Company, this is a book that will be read and studied as long...more
Dayna
I really like Maureen O'Hara. More than one of her movies is among my favorites. It was kind of funny, while I was in the middle of reading this book a marathon of her best movies ran on TCM. I didn't watch all of them, but it was interesting to get a glimpse of some of the movies she talks about making. While it's an interesting memoir overall there is nothing shocking revealed. While Maureen O'Hara would class herself as anything but typical, I have to say it's a rather typical Hollywood story...more
Kathy Ford
I've always had a respect for Ms. O'Hara as an actress. My favorite movie of all the ones she did with Duke Wayne is, of course, The Quiet Man. But in every movie they are in together has a special place in my heart because of their chemistry. You can tell without a doubt that they have a one of a kind friendship. This friendship also comes through in her autobiography "Tis Herself." Ms. O'Hara makes it clear that John Wayne's friendship with her was one of the most cherished parts of her life....more
Jim
This is a very readable memoir by one of the last surviving major Hollywood stars of the 1940s. O'Hara is sometimes shocking in her revelations, and she makes no bones about her feelings about the various people in her life. For a self-described tough dame, she let herself be pushed around by several very unpleasant men in her personal life, and one often has the desire to tell her to stand up for herself, for crying out loud! Yet as a movie star, she was indeed a tough cookie, and stood up to s...more
Carolynne
Sep 29, 2008 Carolynne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: KBM, CLM, women of Irish background
Shelves: biography
One of the very few Hollywood living legends, now that Paul Newman has died, Maureen O'Hara details how she got involved in most of her major films and her journey from amateur Irish actress to the Queen of the Swashbucklers. She does not hold back talking about her leading men (did you know that Charles Laughton was fatherly, Jimmy Stewart was not a generous actor, and Errol Flynn was almost too drunk to stand, let alone act?) But she saves the frankest portrayal for famed director John Ford (d...more
Kelly
While I always admired the fiestiness and chutzpah that came across on screen when O'Hara acted, I had no idea that there was so much of those same characteristics in her personal life. O'Hara is candid about her life starting in her teens in Ireland, and tells her story of her rise and fame. Candid opinions on films she made under the contract system, other actors, her husbands, etc. The turmoil of living with alcoholics both in her personal and professional life. The values that she refused to...more
Christa
This is pretty belated, but I just realized I never moved shelves for this! Biographies are my favorite genre - I find it fascinating to learn about people's lives and what made them tick, especially in their own words. O'Hara's writing is compelling enough that I devoured the book while on a beach trip, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to everyone. It's a winner if you're into classic cinema - I adored hearing her first-hand accounts of working with John Wayne and John Ford! - but she do...more
Jim Dooley
Few things in my reading life are better than a memoir from a favorite performer. This one definitely delivers the goods. The writer may be head-strong and opinionated, but she delivers a perspective that is unique, informative, and highly entertaining.

Maureen O'Hara offers alternate versions of generally accepted film stories (such as her view of Charles Laughton), takes other stories much deeper than I'd heard before (John Ford), and confirms other popular tales (as with John Wayne). Through i...more
Jessica
A straightforward chronicle of "The Queen of Technicolor's" film career which spanned more than six decades. Full of grace and integrity O'Hara is candid about her friendships with Hollywood legends like John Ford and John Wayne. It is no surprise that this tough, Irish lass became a star, more unexpected was the vulnerability she showed in her personal relationships.
Meghan
I've always thought Maureen O'Hara was an amazing woman. Reading about her life only confirms it. It was so interesting to read about her experiences during the "GOlden Age" of film and about all the people she worked with. I was sad the book ended. I wanted to read more of her anecdotes about her years in Hollywood (and Ireland, and the St. Croix).
Sylvia Ney
I’ve always been a fan of her acting, but had only a glimpse of her strength both on and off screen. This book reflects her pride, determination and sense of fairness. I believe she has offered an honest and candid review of her life, and her relationships with some of Hollywood’s greatest. This book is worth its price and your time.
Katie
i have always loved the movies i've known maureen o'hara from-the quiet man, miracle on 34th street, mclintock, and the parent trap. now i get to love maureen herself. what a fun and insightful read. it's great to know these personal details while watching some of my favorite films.
Emily
This book was a nice delight I would have given it 5 stars but there just wasn't enough....shazasm in it! My full review is on my blog check it out!! http://emmegmel.wordpress.com/2013/03...
Melissa
Interesting observations of the actress' friendship with John Wayne, but she's a bit full of herself.
Drew Zagorski
Loved this book from beginning to end! I'm a huge fan of Maureen O'Hara, so sure, my review here is more than a bit slanted. That said, a lot of Hollywood bios are very poorly written. Reading this book was like sitting down with Maureen and listening to her spin her yarn. I could hear her Irish lilt with every word and really enjoyed reading it. Very interesting segments on her relationship with John Ford, and learned a lot about her life outside of Hollywood. This read added to my admiration f...more
Andy Hickman
Honest and gritty autobiography. You get the feeling that she is looking you straight in the eye and telling you exactly how it is. Love it.
Most interesting is her intense interactions with the likes of John Ford and Walt Disney. "Image" is as much a product of design as any other marketable commodity.
Her affection for her late husband, Charlie Blair, and her close friend, John (Duke) Wayne, is precious.
Thanks, Ms O'Hara, for sharing your amazing life with us. - Andy
Michelle
This was a very entertaining read. Maureen O'Hara is a Hollywood great and she is not afraid to say it! She seems to contradict herself quite a bit throughout her book by saying how tough she can be, yet it seemed that many times that description couldn't be applied. There were also a handful of memories blamed on naivety that seemed hard to believe. Many of her tales are very interesting to read and some very surprising. All in all, she is definitely a great Irish storyteller as well as actor a...more
Melinda Seyler
Mar 08, 2013 Melinda Seyler rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Melinda by: newleaph@gmail.com
'Tis herself : a Memoir by Maureen O'Hara with John Nicoletti.
Don't know why i picked this up; probably because it was sitting in a display for St. Patrick's Day and I like biographies. I knew who Maureen O'Hara was and never thought of it before , but she is in two of my favourite movies: Miracle on 34th Street and The (original) Parent Trap.
Interesting read, as I find all bios. Her relationships with many men were disastrous- from husbands to director John ford. According to her, she had no l...more
Karen
Loved this book. When you read it you could hear her talking it. So many things You don't know about this lovely film Icon, the film industry of yesteryear, the stars most of whom are gone. She relives the golden Age of Hollywood as only someone who has lived it can
Margaret
Maureen O'Hara has always been one of my favorite actresses. It was a treat to read this book and get to know her. This book has been sitting in my library for years. Wish I read it sooner. I don't want to give much away. It is too fun to read and discover so many interesting stories! Would not want to spoil that for anyone! I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in Maureen O'Hara and her work.

This book was wonderful. Great stories about her home and family in Ireland. Great stories...more
Ker
Interesting read about a very good actress. Wow, director John Ford is a real piece of work! It's really amazing what some actors had to put up with to keep working in Hollywood. I love the insights on John Wayne.
Dawn
I've always admired this sassy lady, and I enjoyed her take on some of the most memorable people in the film industry. Her style is straightforward and intelligent without being too catty. She doesn't hesitate to admit to mistakes and flaws and she has some juicy tales to tell.
Amy Dance
Really liked this book, from the 1st page, when O'Hara describes how a gypsy foretold her fame. I love O'hara in Parent Trap & McClintock, & it was fun to hear about how these & other movies came about & the actors she worked with, esp. John Wayne. Her story is entertaining & talked both of her movies & private life without all of the Hollywood garbage of "who slept with who & did what drugs" drama. Her descriptions of interacting with different leading men & othe...more
Traci
I have loved Maureen O'Hara since I was a little girl and watched 'Parent Trap'; since then, I have seen most of her films and always thought she was a classy lady. I still think that, and I also appreciate her strength and sass, too. There was some really interesting tidbits about John Ford (what a piece of work he was, apparently!), John Wayne (I liked him more after she told of her experiences with him--I think he was much more vulnerable than he ever let on), and even Jimmy Stewart (she pres...more
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“Being an Irishwoman means many things to me. An Irishwoman is strong and feisty. She has guts and stands up for what she believes in. She believes she is the best at whatever she does and proceeds through life with that knowledge. She can face any hazard that life throws her way and stay with it until she wins. She is loyal to her kinsmen and accepting of others. She's not above a sock in the jaw if you have it coming.” 6 likes
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