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Saturday 3 December 2016

O'Hara laid to rest as friends praise film legend

ARLINGTON, VA - NOVEMBER 09: An Air Force Honor Guard casket team moves Maureen O'Hara, also known as Maureen FitzSimons Blair, into place before she is buried next to her husband, Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles Blair Jr., at Arlington National Cemetery November 9, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. An actress and singer who was known as the Queen of Technicolor and starred in movies including
ARLINGTON, VA - NOVEMBER 09: An Air Force Honor Guard casket team moves Maureen O'Hara, also known as Maureen FitzSimons Blair, into place before she is buried next to her husband, Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles Blair Jr., at Arlington National Cemetery November 9, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. An actress and singer who was known as the Queen of Technicolor and starred in movies including "How Green Was My Valley," ''Miracle on 34th Street" and "The Quiet Man," O'Hara died October 24 at the age of 95. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Maureen O'Hara

The family of the late John Wayne honoured one of Hollywood's most famous friendships by paying their respects at Maureen O'Hara's US funeral.

John Wayne's daughter, Marisa, attended the Washington DC funeral of Maureen O'Hara (95) yesterday because her father considered the Dublin-born star to be not only one of his best friends, but "the greatest actress of her era".

The duo starred together in numerous films, including The Quiet Man, which was directed by their mutual friend, Irish-American John Ford.

Friendly

Maureen, who died on October 24 at her home in Idaho, yesterday fulfilled a vow she made 37 years ago to be buried beside the love of her life, her husband US aviator Charles Blair.

Lt Col Blair was also exceptionally friendly with John Wayne - and Maureen was left devastated by the tragic deaths of both men within 12 months of each other.

Her husband was killed in a plane crash in 1978, while John Wayne lost a battle against stomach cancer in 1979.

The actress lived in Glengarriff in west Cork up until 2012 when she moved back to the US.

Maureen's Requiem Mass was celebrated yesterday in Washington before her burial at nearby Arlington Cemetery, accompanied by pipers and an Air Force guard of honour.

She was interred beside her late husband who, as a US Air Force officer and decorated veteran of World War II, was buried with full military honours after his death in 1978.

Friends, neighbours and relatives travelled from Dublin, Cork and Limerick to pay their respects to a woman who fearlessly championed Ireland.

Foynes Flying Boat Museum founder Margaret O'Shaughnessy was a close friend.

"We had nearly 30 years of friendship. That is a long time, so I wanted to travel for the funeral," she said.

Maureen O'Hara appeared in over 83 major films including some of the most iconic Hollywood productions of all time such as The Quiet Man, The Hunchbank of Notre Dame, Rio Grande, Miracle on 34th Street, How Green Was My Valley and McLintock.

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