About Maureen Paula Farrow (O'Sullivan)
Maureen Paula O’Sullivan (17 May 1911 – 23 June 1998) was an Irish actress who was considered Ireland's first film star.
O'Sullivan was born in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland, the daughter of Roman Catholic parents Mary Lovatt (née Fraser) and Charles Joseph O'Sullivan, an officer in The Connaught Rangers who served in The Great War. She attended a convent school in Dublin, then the Convent of the Sacred Heart at Roehampton in London (now Woldingham School). One of her classmates there was Vivien Leigh. After attending finishing school in France, O'Sullivan returned to Dublin and began working with the poor.
O'Sullivan's film career began when she met motion picture director Frank Borzage, who was doing location filming on Song o' My Heart for 20th Century Fox. He suggested she take a screen test. She did and won a part in the movie, which starred Irish tenor John McCormack. She then traveled to the United States to complete the movie in Hollywood.
O'Sullivan appeared in six movies at Fox, then made three more at other movie studios. In 1932, she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. After several roles there and at other movie studios, she was chosen by Irving Thalberg to appear as Jane Parker in Tarzan the Ape Man opposite co-star Johnny Weissmuller, with whom she had a brief affair during the early 1930s. Besides playing Jane, she was one of the more popular ingenues at MGM throughout the 1930s and appeared in a number of other productions with various stars.
In all, O'Sullivan played Jane in six features between (1932) and (1942). She did not mind doing the first two jungle movies, but feared being typecast and grew increasingly tired of the role.
She also starred with William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man (1934) and played Kitty in Anna Karenina (1935) with Greta Garbo and Basil Rathbone. She appeared as Molly Beaumont in A Yank at Oxford (1938), which was written partly by F. Scott Fitzgerald. At her request, he rewrote her part to give it substance and novelty. She played another Jane in Pride and Prejudice (1940) with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, and supported Ann Sothern in Maisie Was a Lady (1941).
After appearing in Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942), O'Sullivan asked MGM to release her from her contract so she could care for her husband who had just left the Navy with typhoid. She then retired from show business, devoting her time to being a wife and mother.
Marriages and later life
O'Sullivan was first married to Australian-born writer, later award-winning director, and Catholic convert John Farrow (12 September 1936 - 28 January 1963, his death). She was a widow for twenty years, then married James Cushing (22 August 1983 - 23 June 1998, her death).
She and Farrow were the parents of seven children: Michael Damien (1939–1958), Patrick Joseph (1942–2009), Maria de Lourdes (Mia), John Charles (born 1946), Stephanie, Prudence, and Theresa Magdalena "Tisa" Farrow.
In (1948), she re-appeared on the screen in The Big Clock for Paramount Pictures, which was directed by her husband. She continued to appear occasionally in her husband's movies and on television. By 1960, she believed she had permanently retired, perhaps prompted by roles such as Mrs. Mimms in The Tall T in which her aging is the focus of the roles.
Then fellow Irish thespian Pat O'Brien encouraged her to take a part in summer stock. The play A Roomful of Roses opened in 1961. That led to another play, Never Too Late, in which she co-starred with Paul Ford in what was her Broadway debut. Shortly after it opened on Broadway, John Farrow died of a heart attack.
O'Sullivan was predeceased by her eldest son, Michael, who died in a plane crash in California. O'Sullivan stuck with acting after the death of her husband. She was the Today Girl for NBC for a while, then she made the movie version of Never Too Late (1965) for Warner Bros.. She was also an executive director of a bridal consulting service, Wediquette International.
In June and July 1972, Maureen O'Sullivan had been in Denver, Colorado, to star in the Elitch Theatre production of Butterflies are Free with Brandon De Wilde. The show had ended on July 1. Five days later, while still in Denver, De Wilde was killed in a motor vehicle accident.
When her daughter, Mia Farrow, became involved with Woody Allen both professionally and romantically, O'Sullivan appeared in Hannah and Her Sisters, playing Farrow's mother. She also had important roles in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), starring Kathleen Turner and Nicolas Cage, and the sci-fi oddity Stranded (1987).
In 1994, she appeared with Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers in Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is, a feature-length made-for-TV movie with the wealthy husband-and-wife team from the popular weekly detective series, Hart to Hart.
Maureen O'Sullivan died in Scottsdale, Arizona of complications from heart surgery on 23 June 1998. She was 87 years old.
She is buried in the Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery in Niskayuna, New York, her widower's hometown.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California facing the star of Johnny Weissmuller.
So This Is London (1930) Song o' My Heart (1930) Just Imagine (1930) Princess and the Plumber (1930) A Connecticut Yankee (1931) Skyline (1931) The Big Shot (1931) Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) The Silver Lining (1932) Fast Companions (1932) Skyscraper Souls (1932) Okay, America! (1932) Payment Deferred (1932) Strange Interlude (1932) Robbers' Roost (1932) The Cohens and Kellys in Trouble (1933) Tugboat Annie (1933) Stage Mother (1933) Tarzan and His Mate (1934) The Thin Man (1934) Hide-Out (1934) The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934) David Copperfield (1935) West Point of the Air (1935) Cardinal Richelieu (1935) The Flame Within (1935) Woman Wanted (1935) Anna Karenina (1935) The Bishop Misbehaves (1935) The Voice of Bugle Ann (1936) The Devil-Doll (1936) Tarzan Escapes (1936) A Day at the Races (1937) The Emperor's Candlesticks (1937) Between Two Women (1937) My Dear Miss Aldrich (1937) A Yank at Oxford (1938) Hold That Kiss (1938) Port of Seven Seas (1938) The Crowd Roars (1938) Spring Madness (1938) Let Us Live (1939) Tarzan Finds a Son! (1939) Sporting Blood (1940) Pride and Prejudice (1940) Maisie Was a Lady (1941) Tarzan's Secret Treasure (1941) Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942) The Big Clock (1948) Where Danger Lives (1950) No Resting Place (1951) Bonzo Goes to College (1952) All I Desire (1953) Mission Over Korea (1953) Duffy of San Quentin (1954) The Steel Cage (1954) The Wings of Eagles (1957) The Tall T (1957) Wild Heritage (1958) Never Too Late (1965) The Phynx (1970) Too Scared to Scream (1985) Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) Stranded (1987)
Hollywood Extra: The First Step (1936) Hollywood - The Second Step (1936) Unusual Occupations: Film Tot Holiday (1947) Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Shower of Stars (1955) Mandy's Grandmother (1978)
The Today Show (Today Girl from 1963–1964) The Great Houdini (1976) All My Children (cast member in 1981) Morning's at Seven (1982) Guiding Light (cast member in 1984) Search for Tomorrow (cast member in 1985) Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood (1988) With Murder in Mind (1992) The Habitation of Dragons (1992) Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is (1994)
Maureen O'Sullivan's Timeline
May 17, 1911
Boyle, Roscommon, Ireland (Eire)
September 12, 1936
Santa Monica, CA, USA
November 27, 1942
February 9, 1945
Los Angeles, CA, USA
June 23, 1998
Scottsdale, AZ, USA