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'Tis Herself

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  1,184 Ratings  ·  128 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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Aug 31, 2016 Antigone rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir-biography
Chances are you've seen one of Maureen O'Hara's motion pictures, though you probably can't call it to mind at the moment. If it wasn't How Green Was My Valley or The Hunchback of Notre Dame, or even the highly-acclaimed production of The Quiet Man, then it was most certainly the Christmas classic, Miracle on 34th Street. How about The Parent Trap? You may have caught her wielding a sword with Errol Flynn, saddling up alongside John Wayne, or trading quips with Alec Guinness in Our Man in Havana. ...more
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.
Aug 13, 2012 Mom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Regan Walker
Feb 28, 2016 Regan Walker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: irish, autobiography
This is the story of Hollywood legend Maureen O'Hara in her own words: “Above all else, deep in my soul, I’m a tough Irishwoman.”

And so she was.

She was born August 17, 1920 and named Maureen FitzSimons. Her family was a large, happy one, prominent in Ireland. As I read the story of her wonderful family, her early acting successes and her many professional opportunities, contrasted with her first two dismal marriages to unworthy men, I kept thinking of that book, Smart Women, Foolish Choices. We’
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
I have admired Maureen O'Hara as an actress for many years and now I can admire her as a person.
Feb 10, 2008 Annie rated it really liked it
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
Nov 27, 2011 Sheridan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 19, 2013 Margaret rated it it was amazing
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
Stacey R
Apr 21, 2012 Stacey R rated it really liked it
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
Aug 15, 2010 Barbara VA rated it it was amazing
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!
Jul 11, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 09, 2010 Dayna rated it liked it
Shelves: at-the-library
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
Dec 30, 2014 Noelle rated it really liked it
Maureen O'Hara's autobiography is quite a read. I gobbled it up, but I can't help but wonder if some of her stories were embellished just a touch. No matter, it was pure entertainment either way!

I loved her memories of filming The Hunchback of Notre Dame and working with Charles Laughton, her friendship with John Wayne and all the movies they made together, and the tumultuous relationship she shared with John Ford. Her personal life was just as crazy at times, sometimes downright scary, but she
Kathy Ford
Jan 28, 2012 Kathy Ford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 18, 2008 Carolynne rated it liked it
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
Jan 12, 2008 Jim rated it really liked it
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
Samantha Glasser
Jul 03, 2013 Samantha Glasser rated it really liked it
Shelves: movies, non-fiction
Maureen O'Hara begins this book stating that she wrote it both to revisit her life but also to set the record straight before she passed away and couldn't refute incorrect information. This instantly drew me in because it told me that although she was a movie star who worked with lots of legends, she was also realistic and down to earth.

Included are stories about cantankerous John Ford, dear friend John Wayne, beautiful Tyrone Power, and kind Roddy McDowall among others.

"It's hard when you outli
Sep 12, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it
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
Jul 09, 2008 Christa rated it really liked it
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
Andy Hickman
Apr 08, 2014 Andy Hickman rated it really liked it
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
Sylvia Ney
Jan 16, 2012 Sylvia Ney rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 17, 2011 Meghan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
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).
Sep 07, 2010 Jessica rated it really liked it
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.
Northern Belle Bookworm
Mar 06, 2013 Northern Belle Bookworm rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-s
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!!
Aug 09, 2011 Katie rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 27, 2008 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting observations of the actress' friendship with John Wayne, but she's a bit full of herself.
Maureen Walther
Feb 08, 2017 Maureen Walther rated it really liked it
I learned a lot about her, her marriages, and her relationship with John Ford. I have always admired her but never knew much of her private life and all that she experienced. It was like talking with an old friend.
Jan 05, 2017 Charity rated it really liked it
Great biography.

Interesting and informative, never got too bogged down, full of occasional flickers of insight into some of Hollywood's more famous personalities. I kept intending to read "just one chapter," and looked up four hours later to realize it was past midnight and my poor eyes felt like sandpaper. I actually cried reading the last few chapters, pertaining to Maureen losing John Wayne and her husband -- and as someone who has never seen a Wayne flick she can't mock, that's something.

Hugh Centerville
Aug 05, 2016 Hugh Centerville rated it it was amazing
From Esmeralda to Mrs. McClintock, Ruth reviews

Maureen O’Hara grouses, in her autobiography, ‘Tis Herself, about taking second billing to Hayley Mills in the 1961 Disney film, The Parent Trap. O’Hara had 20 years of stardom behind her, Mills was a 13-year-old newbie. Still, the billing made sense. The kids going to the Saturday matinee to see the film were there for Miss Mills, the girls to envy her, the boys to swoon, but here’s a dirty little secret: Some of the boys, expecting to fall in love
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Maureen O'Hara was an Irish-American actress and singer. The red-headed O'Hara was known for her beauty and playing fiercely passionate but sensible heroines, often in westerns and adventure films. She worked on numerous occasions with director John Ford and longtime friend John Wayne, and was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood at the time of her death.
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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.” 13 likes
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