Belfast Telegraph

O'Hara cried at thought of Oscar

Maureen O'Hara has revealed how she cried when she heard she was to receive an honorary Oscar.

The 94-year-old actress is among this year's recipients of honorary Academy Awards. She'll accept the Oscar statuette - her first - at the film academy's Governors Awards ceremony on November 8 alongside fellow honorees Hayao Miyazaki, Jean-Claude Carriere and Harry Belafonte.

Maureen said she cried when she heard the news, then cried again when discussing the honour during a recent interview.

"It's just absolutely wonderful," she said. "I keep thinking, 'Oh, this is a league of baloney. They're not telling me the truth'."

Although her most recent film credit was more than a dozen years ago, the actress said she's ready for a role any time.

"I don't worry about going to movies," she said. "I worry about acting in movies."

The Irish actress has made more than 60 films since her big-screen debut in 1938, including John Ford's 1941 best picture winner, How Green Was My Valley. She starred opposite John Wayne in several films, including Rio Grande, The Wings Of Eagles, and one of her favourites, The Quiet Man. Other credits include Miracle On 34th Street and Sentimental Journey.

"Making movies is a wonderful experience," she said. "It's wonderful the stories that you fall in love with and you make and they wind up being very successful, and it breaks your heart almost. I don't mean with sadness. It breaks your heart with joy."

What else did she love about her early acting days?

"As kids - and anybody who says they don't love this, they're fibbers - we loved making the money," she said.

While dieting and exercising in preparation for Saturday's ceremony, Maureen is thinking about how to express her gratitude for the award.

"It's hard to know how you're going to say thank you to all the people you should say thank you to," she said, "so it's going to be very difficult."

The easy part, she said, is finding a place to keep her shiny new Oscar. She's already cleared off a spot atop the fireplace - "and high enough so one of the kids can't knock it down!"

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences established the Governors Awards in 2009 to recognise recipients of honorary Oscars. Highlights from Saturday's untelevised dinner ceremony will be included in the 2015 Academy Awards telecast.

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