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'Tis Herself: An Autobiography by…

'Tis Herself: An Autobiography

by Maureen O'Hara

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While the book was fairly well-written, I have to say that I came away disappointed in the person of Maureen FitzSimons. I'm using her real name because this book was very much about who the person was/is and that person seemed to be the same whether on or off camera. I was mainly disappointed in the fact that she really was a naive person who made bad decisions that she never seemed to learn from. Yes, everyone makes silly mistakes as a young person. However, she was in the position to remove herself from maaaannnyyy of the situations she stayed in and chose not to. Some would say she stayed in relationships with people like John Ford or her husband Will for reasons of compassion, but I don't think so. I think she 1. didn't want bad press, 2. had too much pride, 3. enjoyed, in some sick way, the attention---negative as it was. I'm interested in hearing how others feel about that---but read the WHOLE book first before you flip out at me. :)

That said, someone should have thrown John Ford in jail. What a total sicko. I do have to say that I sensed a bit of sensationalism in some of the things she wrote about her experiences. Sometimes "standing up for your rights and not backing down" or "being stubborn" is actually just being a belligerent and spoiled person. This is the impression I got from her.

Still, she exemplified excellent loyalty to her friends, family, and countries---as well as true patriotism---so I guess I've got to give her that. I do hope I forget most of what I read here though, as I'd really like to see more of her movies and keep that enjoyment of her as an actress that I had before reading this. ( )
  lostinavalonOR | Oct 10, 2014 |
A behind the scenes first account of old hollywood and how it really worked. Her heritage and her talent are enough to make this a true page turner. ( )
  Bobbell03 | Apr 4, 2011 |
Maureen O’Hara’s autobiography is a delightful treat. She gives insight into her years in Hollywood with a matter-of-fact way of setting the record straight rather than revealing scandalous gossip. She also talks some about her personal life but with respect for the privacy of her family. The writing style flows easily and conversationally. However, the book is long so it won’t fly by in a breeze. Rather, this is one to spend some time with, as you would when meeting a new friend and having them reveal their life story to you. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Jul 11, 2010 |
Interesting read about a very private actress ( )
  Bonpetitepoodle | Oct 24, 2008 |
A fun read, chock full of stories about Hollywood under the studio system and especially John Ford. It's written in first person and in a style that feels like Ms. O'Hara is sitting across the table from you. ( )
  MrsMosley | Mar 22, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743246934, Hardcover)

"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 terms. I'm Maureen O'Hara and this is my life story."

-- From Chapter One of "'Tis Herself"

In language that is blunt, straightforward, and totally lacking in artifice, Maureen O'Hara, one of the greatest and most enduring stars of Hollywood's "Golden Era," for the first time tells the story of how she succeeded in the world's most competitive business.

Known for her remarkable beauty and her fiery screen persona, Maureen O'Hara came to Hollywood when she was still a teenager, taken there by her mentor, the great actor Charles Laughton. Almost immediately she clashed with the men who ran the movie business -- the moguls who treated actors like chattel, the directors who viewed every actress as a potential bedmate.

Determined to hold her own and to remain true to herself, she fought for roles that she wanted and resisted the advances of some of Hollywood's most powerful and attractive men. It was in the great director John Ford that she first found someone willing to give her a chance to prove herself as an important actress. Beginning with the Academy Award-winning "How Green Was My Valley," she went on to make five films with Ford and through him first met the great John Wayne, with whom she also made five films.

In O'Hara, Ford had found his ideal Irish heroine, a role that achieved itsgreatest realization in "The Quiet Man." And in O'Hara, John Wayne found his ideal leading lady, for she was perhaps the only actress who could hold her own when on screen with "The Duke." Ford, however, was not without his quirks, and his relationship with his favorite actress became more and more complex and ultimately deeply troubled. The on-screen relationship between Wayne and O'Hara, on the other hand, was transformed into a close friendship built on mutual respect, creating a bond that endured until his death.

Writing with complete frankness, O'Hara talks for the first time about these remarkable men, about their great strengths and their very human failings. She writes as well about many of the other actors and actresses -- Lucille Ball, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn, John Candy, Natalie Wood, to name a few -- with whom she worked, but ultimately it is about herself that she is most revealing. With great candor and a mixture of pride and regret, she reflects on just how this young girl from Ireland made it to America and onto movie screens all around the world. There were missteps, of course -- a troubled and deeply destructive marriage, a willingness to trust too readily in others -- but there were triumphs and great happiness as well, including her marriage to the aviation pioneer Brigadier General Charles F. Blair, who tragically died in a mysterious plane crash ten years after their marriage.

Throughout, "'Tis Herself" is informed by the warmth and charm and intelligence that defined Maureen O'Hara's performances in some sixty films, from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" to "Miracle on 34th Street" to "The Parent Trap" to "McLintock!" to "Only the Lonely." "'Tis Herself" isMaureen O'Hara's story as only she can tell it, the tale of an Irish lass who believed in herself with the strength and determination to make her own dreams come true.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:45 -0400)

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The Hollywood star traces her career and personal life, discussing such topics as her relationships with fellow actors, her marriage to plane crash victim Charles F. Blair, and her work on specific causes.

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