Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Maureen O’Hara has found peace in Idaho – but still has a place in her heart for Ireland and Hollywood. After a bitter legal struggle with a former personal assistant back in Cork, O’Hara has settled into a new life in Boise staying with her grandson Conor FitzSimons and as a great-grandmother to his two kids. Allegations of elder abuse and financial mismanagement by her personal assistant Carolyn Murphy was made which Murphy strongly denied.

In a statement last summer in Glengarrif,Cork where she then lived O’Hara stated “Discoveries give me grave concern regarding the handling of my affairs . . . Carolyn Murphy’s no longer my personal assistant.”

Murphy replied “I have done nothing wrong . . . I didn’t take any money” and she strongly denied allegations of elder abuse. ”

The 92-year-old screen legend has revealed her contentment in her new home in a moving interview with the Idaho Statesman.

And even now, as she relaxes in the company of her great-grandchildren, O’Hara finds time for some self critique as ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ fills the seasonal screens again.

As they watched the 1947 classic, she told Bill Roberts from the paper: “How did I do that? Why didn’t I pay attention? Oh, I did a good job with that scene.”

O’Hara is now living in a purpose built new home in Idaho after her only grandson Conor FitzSimons brought her back from Ireland. She is reticent to talk about the dispute with her former PA but plans to write a book on the experience.

Her New York based lawyer Ed Fickess explained: “Maureen took steps to discharge the power of attorney, then fended off a second power of attorney and took steps to be reunited with her family, especially her grandson.”

The report says that her recently built Boise home is dotted with memorabilia from her more than a half-century in film including a poster from 1955’s ‘The Magnificent Matador’ co-starring Anthony Quinn, and a photo of John Wayne, with whom she made five movies.

Roberts reports that when O’Hara talks about her new hometown, she sometimes uses both city and state: Boise, Idaho. “Funny thing,” she said, “when you are in the picture business, you don’t learn a thing by the one name.

“Scripts must tell the audience exactly what location you are talking about. People say, ‘Oh, this is my town ... and they tell their neighbors you better go see that movie because we get credit for our town. The most important part of showing a movie is to please the public.”

Recalling her childhood in ‘Dirty’ Dublin, O’Hara admitted she sees similarities between the city of her birth and her new home.

“I see cows and sheep along the roadside in the Treasure Valley and it reminds me of home,” she told Roberts...



  1. Family makes a big difference in the quality of life.

  2. Well, how cool is that. I live in Boise, Idaho! Maybe I will run into Miss O'Hara sometime. Maybe she will take in a film at the historic Egyptian Theatre.

    Wouldn't that be awesome!!

  3. I met Maureen in Ireland last year, when she was still with Carolyn Murphy. This whole thing confuses me so much because Carolyn was the sweetest, nicest, most attentive caretaker to Maureen, never letting her overexert herself and always putting her first. We all loved Carolyn, and it makes me very sad that this happened. My guess is that it's not Maureen who is behind the dispute, but rather her children. Maureen will be 93 this year and is doing as well as can be expected, but her memory is not as sharp as it was and she depends on the assistance she received from Carolyn and now receives from her grandson. Someone is taking advantage of Maureen here.

    1. I'm not sure on all the details but I do know that Maureen has always been very close to her grandson Conor. She lived part of the year with him for years in Arizona until 2005 when she had gone back to Ireland and had a medical emergency and her doctor advised her she was no longer well enough to travel that's when she decided to stay for good in Ireland. I think they have been somewhat hard on Ms. Murphy, from all the accounts I have read she has been extremely helpful with Maureen. Last year when her grandson and nephew Charlie Fitsizmons Jr. had gone to Ireland to visit her they had noticed that her memory loss had gotten worse and due to her arthritis/diabetes she was having a much harder time getting around and were worried that with her frequent outings she was over doing it. I guess they decided it would be best to move her home with her grandson who she was always very close with. In a few photos of her since moving back that are on her official facebook page ran by Maureen's longtime pal/confidant June Parker Beck she looks better then she has in years I think. Happier/energetic and must be loving the time with her grandson/great grandchildren. Also the end of this month she is traveling to Iowa where she is going to be the guest of honor at this year's John Wayne celebration.

  4. What a shame that Maureen is having such troubles in her elder years. I sure hope family isn't taking advantage of her, as backlots says. It's hard to know sometimes if a 93-year old lady is aware of everything, either because of age or hearing, or who knows what. I hope she is able to be happy with her family. It's funny to think of the ultimate Irish lass living in Boise! Nice article, David.

  5. I can kind of see it - Irish - potatoes - Idaho. :)

  6. Oh David, what a groaner! But true! LOL!

  7. David,
    I'm sorry to hear that O'Hara has had legal troubles. So senseless but I'm glad she's happy in Idaho with her beautiful grand children by her side. She's steal pretty too.

    Very nice that she gave an interview and her memorabilia from her Hollywood career sounds delightful. It's hard to believe she's 92 as she doesn't look it. Those Irish genes and staying out of the sun.

    Thanks for bringing us up to speed on her whereabouts and how she's faring. I would love to see her do a cameo or two in films. I think she would make a fine addition to Downton Abbey actually. She could play Thomas's long lost mother.

  8. I wish Maureen O Hara would make one more good movie. I hate it when a star's last movie is a clinker. Maureen made the corny Only The Lonely with John Candy - which was kind of beneath her. Gene Hackman made Welcome To Mooseport. I like my stars to end on top!

    1. David, Maureen did make a good movie after "Only the Lonely." In the mid-to-late 90's, she did a made-for-TV movie called "The Christmas Box." It is based on the Richard Paul Evans book of the same name. Also stars Richard Thomas (John Boy Walton) and Annette O'Toole. It's very sweet and heartwarming...Maureen is a wealthy widow, who takes a young family under her wing. At first she's very crotchety, but gradually, their love for her and hers for them, softens her. Despite being in her 80's (or thereabouts) in the film, Maureen is beautiful and elegant.

      This is one of my family's must-see Christmas movies. Do look for it.

  9. as a young boy in dublin I lived about six houses away from where
    Maureens family lived,saw her a few times when she was making
    the quiet man and also saw her in our local church in Milltown'
    at that time their house was in Churchtown right opposite the
    golf course, I saw Rock Hudson one day visiting
    her parents. soon after that they joined her in
    the states. Ray.