It’s been three years since a lengthy list of sexual harassment scandals in Hollywood came to light with the dawn of the #MeToo movement. Decades before that, however, the legendary actress Maureen O’Hara risked her entire career to call out the inappropriate behavior in Hollywood.


In a newly-surfaced 1945 interview, the Miracle On 34th Street star said she was ready to “quit the industry” altogether after being branded a “cold potato without sex appeal” for refusing to sleep with studio executives.

“I am so upset with it that I am ready to quit Hollywood,” said O’Hara, who was 25 years old at the time. “It’s got so bad I hate to come to work in the morning. I’m a helpless victim of a Hollywood whispering campaign. Because I don’t let the producer and director kiss me every morning or let them paw me they have spread word around town that I am not a woman – that I am a cold piece of marble statuary.”

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“I guess Hollywood won’t consider me as anything except a cold hunk of marble until I divorce my husband, give my baby away and get my name and photograph in all the newspapers,” she added. “If that’s Hollywood’s idea of being a woman I’m ready to quit now.”

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O’Hara still managed to go on to have a decades-long career as a leading lady. In a 2004 interview, she said once again that she was often accosted during her career, saying that she “rebuffed the advances of Howard Hughes and Errol Flynn.”

“I’ve always been a tough Irish lass,” O’Hara said. “I proved there was a bloody good actress in me. It wasn’t just my face. I gave bloody good performances.”

However, she added that she “paid a price for standing up to the men who ran the studios – in particular, the producers and directors who expected to sleep with their prettiest stars.”


“I wouldn’t throw myself on the casting couch, and I know that cost me parts,” O’Hara added. “I wasn’t going to play the whore. That wasn’t me.”

O’Hara sadly passed away at her home in Idaho at the age of 95. As you can see, she truly was an incredible woman.


This piece originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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