Happy 111th Birthday Maureen O’Sullivan

Today is the 111th birthday of the beautiful actress Maureen O’Sullivan. The first film I saw her in was also one of my favorite all-time films:  The Thin Man. She had Mia Farrow, Prudence Farrow (the woman behind The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence”) and five other children. She was Jane in all the Tarzan films. The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

NAME: Maureen O’Sullivan
OCCUPATION: Film Actress
BIRTH DATE: May 17, 1911
DEATH DATE: June 23, 1998
EDUCATION: Convent of the Sacred Heart at Roehampton
PLACE OF BIRTH: Boyle, Ireland
PLACE OF DEATH: Scottsdale, AZ
HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME: 1990 at 6541 Hollywood Blvd. (motion pictures)

Father: Charles Joseph O’Sullivan (Lord Mayor of Cork)
Mother: Mary Lovett Fraser
Husband: John Farrow (film director, m. 12-Sep-1936, d. 28-Jan-1963, seven children)
Son: Michael Farrow (b. 1939, d. 1958 plane crash)
Son: Patrick Joseph Farrow (artist, b. 1943, d. 15-Jun-2009 suicide)
Daughter: Mia Farrow (actress, b. 9-Feb-1945)
Son: John Charles Farrow (b. 6-Sep-1946)
Daughter: Prudence Farrow (producer, b. 1948, subject of The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence”)
Daughter: Stephanie Farrow (b. 1949)
Daughter: Teresa ‘Tisa’ Farrow (actress, b. 22-Jul-1951)
Husband: James Cushing (m. 22-Aug-1983, until her death)

BEST KNOWN FOR: Maureen O’Sullivan was an actress best known for playing Jane in the Tarzan film series opposite Johnny Weismuller.

Maureen O’Sullivan, 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.

With Murder in Mind (12-May-1992)
Stranded (20-Nov-1987)
Peggy Sue Got Married (10-Oct-1986) as Elizabeth Alvorg
Hannah and Her Sisters (7-Feb-1986) as Norma
Too Scared to Scream (4-Jan-1985)
The Phynx (6-May-1970) as Herself
Never Too Late (4-Nov-1965) as Edith Lambert
Wild Heritage (Aug-1958) as Emma Breslin
The Tall T (1-Apr-1957) as Doretta Mims
Mission Over Korea (Aug-1953) as Nancy Slocum
All I Desire (Jul-1953)
Bonzo Goes to College (1952)
Where Danger Lives (14-Jul-1950) as Julie
The Big Clock (9-Apr-1948)
Tarzan’s New York Adventure (May-1942) as Jane
Tarzan’s Secret Treasure (1-Dec-1941) as Jane
Maisie Was a Lady (10-Jan-1941) as Abigail Rawlston
Pride and Prejudice (26-Jul-1940) as Jane Bennet
Sporting Blood (12-Jul-1940) as Linda Lockwood
Tarzan Finds a Son! (16-Jun-1939) as Jane
Let Us Live (29-Mar-1939) as Mary Roberts
Spring Madness (11-Nov-1938) as Alexandra Benson
The Crowd Roars (5-Aug-1938) as Sheila Carson
Port of Seven Seas (1-Jul-1938)
Hold That Kiss (13-May-1938) as June Evans
A Yank at Oxford (18-Feb-1938) as Molly Beaumont
My Dear Miss Aldrich (17-Sep-1937) as Martha Aldrich
Between Two Women (9-Jul-1937) as Claire Donahue
The Emperor’s Candlesticks (2-Jul-1937) as Maria
A Day at the Races (11-Jun-1937) as Judy
Tarzan Escapes (27-Oct-1936) as Jane
The Devil-Doll (10-Jul-1936) as Lorraine
The Voice of Bugle Ann (15-Feb-1936) as Camden Terry
The Bishop Misbehaves (13-Sep-1935)
Anna Karenina (30-Aug-1935) as Kitty
Woman Wanted (2-Aug-1935) as Ann
Cardinal Richelieu (26-Mar-1935)
West Point of the Air (23-Mar-1935)
David Copperfield (8-Jan-1935) as Dora
The Barretts of Wimpole Street (8-Sep-1934) as Henrietta Barrett
Hide-Out (18-Aug-1934) as Pauline
The Thin Man (23-May-1934) as Dorothy
Tarzan and His Mate (16-Apr-1934) as Jane Parker
Stage Mother (20-Sep-1933)
Tugboat Annie (4-Aug-1933) as Patricia Severn
Strange Interlude (30-Dec-1932) as Madeline
Payment Deferred (7-Nov-1932)
Skyscraper Souls (16-Jul-1932) as Lynn
Tarzan the Ape Man (25-Mar-1932) as Jane Parker
A Connecticut Yankee (6-Apr-1931) as Alisande
Just Imagine (23-Nov-1930)
Song o’ My Heart (7-Sep-1930)

One comment

  1. what can you really say about a person (Woman or Man) who has had a LONG and Successful life, with accomplishment like Maureen O’Sullivan? *I* say, “Thank god for the wonderful example you have shared with us of how to have a good life.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.