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'Tis Herself

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,471 ratings  ·  158 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 ...more
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published February 24th 2004 by Simon & Schuster
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  1,471 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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Valerity (Val)
I inhaled this memoir in pretty short order as I really enjoy ones about old Hollywood. This one was especially good, as I really love John Wayne and read a super book about the relationship between Wayne and director John Ford. Turns out Maureen had her own difficult relationship with Ford over 40 years. They were all friends, so there was plenty of good stuff included about all of them and times spent together, both on and off the set. I was really looking forward to reading about the filming ...more
Aug 31, 2016 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
Debbie Zapata
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019sundaze
I first 'met' Maureen O'Hara in the 1961 movie The Parent Trap. I didn't know about any other movies she made until my first husband introduced me to the great Hollywood films of the 30's and 40's. He was a big fan of them and I became one also.

When I read this book, I was exicted to be able to be on familiar ground with nearly every movie Ms. O'Hara mentioned, but I still learned a lot. Like the fact that she did her own fencing when she was in pirate movies (she says she was always a tomboy
Regan Walker
Feb 28, 2016 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’
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 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
I have admired Maureen O'Hara as an actress for many years and now I can admire her as a person.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 27, 2011 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
Feb 10, 2008 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
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
4/5— I loved it! Maureen O’Hara has long been one of my favorite actresses, and her autobiography was perfect in every way. She was the fiery red head that we see in her movies, strong and confident and beautiful. I also especially loved reading about her long-time friendship with John Wayne. Anyone who likes reading about the Golden Age of Hollywood should read this book. ...more
Mary Havens
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the ending - who would have thought that there would be a Gospel invitation?!?!
The actual book was good/interesting too. It's hard to swallow everything she said though. I don't know if John Ford was really as controlling/manipulative/malevolent as she said. It's just hard to believe! And I'm not going to read a bunch of other sources to find out.
Her marriage to Bill Price -- unforgivable. You look at her and you think "she's beautiful, famous, employed, she's got it all!" and then she
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
I like Maureen O’Hara. Used to borrow my Grandpa’s tape of McLintock! a lot when I was a kid until I got my own copy. Loved that movie, it’s my favorite of hers and John Wayne’s. She always seemed so confident and strong, on and off the screen.

After reading her book though, I saw that while she was not short on confidence, it was the strong O’Hara backbone that I found surprisingly lacking. Her first two marriages happened because she didn’t know how to say no (her second one was almost like a
Kathy Ford
Jan 28, 2012 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
Samantha Glasser
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, movies
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
Jul 19, 2013 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
Barbara VA
Aug 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
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!
Stacey R
Apr 21, 2012 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, ...more
Jul 11, 2014 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
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A book as entrancing and as fey as herself; entrancing in that it moved along and swept you into her life, and fey in the way it seemed to raise question about her and some of the events in her life from her own suppositions. She admits to spending time going over her recollections trying to puzzle out if she missed another meaning along the way, she also relies on her intuitions people. She also confesses she has moments when she may see things not as they are. She seems to have spent no small ...more
Elaine Reinhard
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Beautiful lady and a wonderful history of her fabulous life. She tells us so many fascinating things about the awesome people she loved and worked with. Read it and enjoy.
Aug 09, 2010 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 ...more
Dec 30, 2014 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
Jan 12, 2008 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 ...more
Sep 18, 2008 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 ...more
Sep 12, 2012 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 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 ...more
Andy Hickman
Apr 08, 2014 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
Apr 17, 2011 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 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.
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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.
“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.” 20 likes
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