Best Known For: Maureen O’Sullivan was an actress best known for playing Jane in the Tarzan film series opposite Johnny Weismuller.
Actress. Born May 17, 1911, in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland. As a child, O’Sullivan attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart at Roehampton, in London, where future screen legend Vivien Leigh was a classmate. At age 18, O’Sullivan was discovered at a horse show in Dublin by Hollywood director Frank Borzage. She moved to Hollywood and started her film career dubiously with the 1930 musical flop Song O?? My Heart co-starring John McCormack. Her first real success came in 1931 with Will Rogers in A Connecticut Yankee.
Legendary producer Irving Thalberg tapped her for what became her most famous role, as Jane in the Tarzan series, opposite Olympic swimmer-turned-actor Johhny Weissmuller.
After 12 years in the movies, O’Sullivan took a break to raise her seven children, Michael, Patrick, Maria (Mia), John, Prudence, Theresa (Tisa), and Stephanie, whom she had with her husband, Australian writer and director John Farrow. She returned to the big screen in 1948, with The Big Clock, directed by her husband.
Her career, spanning 64 years and over 60 films, included Francis Ford Coppola‘s Peggy Sue Got Married(1986) and Hannah and her Sisters(1986) with her daughter Mia, and directed by Mia’s then-boyfriend Woody Allen. O’Sullivan was frequently seen at Mia’s side during her bitter custody battle with Allen.
John Farrow died in 1963. O’Sullivan re-married in 1983, to businessman James Cushing. Her oldest son, Michael, died in a plane crash in 1958 while taking flying lessons. O’Sullivan died in 1998 at the age of 87.