Maureen O'Sullivan

Maureen O'Sullivan
Paramount

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Maureen O'Sullivan
Film: North side of the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Actress
Born May 17, 1911 in Dublin, Ireland
Died June 23, 1998 of complications from heart surgery in Scottsdale, AZ

Maureen O'Sullivan was a veteran stage and film actress who appeared in screen adaptations of such literary classics as "Anna Karenina" and "Pride and Prejudice" but may be best remembered as Johnny Weissmuller's Jane in half a dozen "Tarzan" movies.

Born in Boyle in County Roscommon, Ireland, O'Sullivan was educated at convent schools in Dublin and London and at a finishing school in Paris.

She was discovered at the Dublin International Horse Show by the director Frank Borzage and made her debut in his "Song of My Heart" in 1930. California writers quickly dubbed her "the Emerald Isle's Gift to Hollywood."

Two years later O'Sullivan was cast with Weissmuller in "Tarzan the Ape Man," the film based on the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Interspersed with other films, she went on to play Jane Parker in five more "Tarzan" movies, earning Burroughs' compliment years later that she was the "perfect Jane."

Although the franchise has continued for decades, with other Tarzans replacing Weissmuller, O'Sullivan tired of the role after six films, ending with "Tarzan's New York Adventure" in 1942.

A strict Catholic, O'Sullivan married screenwriter John Farrow, a divorced Australian, in 1936 only after obtaining a papal dispensation. She frequently interrupted her career to have children.

In the 1960s, O'Sullivan starred in several plays, including "Roomful of Roses," "Morning's at Seven" and "Never Too Late" about middle-age pregnancy, a role she reprised in the 1965 film of the same title.

She appeared as the mother of the title character, played by her daughter Mia, in the 1986 Woody Allen film "Hannah and Her Sisters."

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