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Today, at 95, Maureen O’Hara is a living testament to the enduring power of the Golden Age of Hollywood. But there’s more to her than glamor, as she wrote in the first pages of her 2004 autobiography, ‘Tis Herself: “Above all else, deep in my soul,” she declared, “I’m a tough Irishwoman.” Born in Dublin on Aug. 17, 1920, O’Hara got her break with the 1939 Alfred Hitchcock film Jamaica Inn and went on to appear in more than 50 movies.
A self-described tomboy who performed many of her own stunts in films of various genres—from musicals to Westerns opposite her dear friend John Wayne—O’Hara was honored in 2014 with an Honorary Oscar presented by Clint Eastwood and fellow Ireland native Liam Neeson. After suffering from a stroke in 2005, O’Hara moved from Ireland to Wyoming, where she lives with her grandson.
Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.