digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















For other people named Maureen O'Sullivan, see Maureen O'Sullivan (disambiguation).
Maureen O'Sullivan
Born Maureen Paula O'Sullivan
(1911-05-17)17 May 1911
Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland
Died 23 June 1998(1998-06-23) (aged 87)
Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.
Occupation Actress, Singer
Years active 1930–94
Religion Roman Catholic[1]
Spouse(s) John Farrow (m. 1936–1963; his death; 7 children)
James Cushing (m. 1983–1998; her death)
Children Michael Damien (1939–1958)
Patrick Villiers Farrow
Mia Farrow
John Charles (b. 1946)[2]
Prudence Farrow
Stephanie Farrow
Tisa Farrow

Maureen Paula O'Sullivan (17 May 1911 – 23 June 1998) was an Irish-American actress best known for playing Jane in the Tarzan series of films starring Johnny Weissmuller.

Early life[edit]

O'Sullivan was born in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland, in 1911, the daughter of Mary (née Frazer)[3] and Charles Joseph O'Sullivan, an officer in the Connaught Rangers who served in World War I.[4] She was of Irish, English and Scottish ancestry.[5] She attended a convent school in Dublin, then the Convent of the Sacred Heart at Roehampton (now Woldingham School), England. One of her classmates there was Vivian Mary Hartley, future Academy Award-winning actress Vivien Leigh. After attending finishing school in France, O'Sullivan returned to Dublin to work with the poor.

Film career[edit]

O'Sullivan's film career began when she met motion picture director Frank Borzage who was doing location filming on Song o' My Heart for 20th Century Fox. He suggested she take a screen test. She did and won a part in the movie, which starred Irish tenor John McCormack. She traveled to the United States to complete the movie in Hollywood. O'Sullivan appeared in six movies at Fox, then made three more at other movie studios.

In 1932, she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. After several roles there and at other movie studios, she was chosen by Irving Thalberg to appear as Jane Parker in Tarzan the Ape Man, opposite co-star Johnny Weissmuller. She was one of the more popular ingenues at MGM throughout the 1930s and appeared in a number of other productions with various stars. In all, O'Sullivan played Jane in six features between 1932 and 1942.[6]

In Pride and Prejudice, 1940

She starred with William Powell and Myrna Loy in The Thin Man (1934) and played Kitty in Anna Karenina (1935) with Greta Garbo and Basil Rathbone. After co-starring with the Marx Bros in A Day At The Races (1937), she appeared as Molly Beaumont in A Yank at Oxford (1938), which was written partly by F. Scott Fitzgerald. At her request, he rewrote her part to give it substance and novelty.

She played another Jane in Pride and Prejudice (1940) with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson, and supported Ann Sothern in Maisie Was a Lady (1941). After appearing in Tarzan's New York Adventure (1942), O'Sullivan asked MGM to release her from her contract so she could care for her husband who had just left the Navy with typhoid. She retreated from show business, devoting her time to her family. In 1948, she re-appeared on the screen in The Big Clock, directed by her husband for Paramount Pictures. She continued to appear occasionally in her husband's movies and on television. However, by 1960 she believed she had permanently retired. In 1958, Farrow's and O'Sullivan's eldest son, Michael, died in a plane crash in California.

Actor Pat O'Brien encouraged her to take a part in summer stock, and the play A Roomful of Roses opened in 1961. That led to another play, Never Too Late, in which she co-starred with Paul Ford in what was her Broadway debut. Shortly after it opened on Broadway John Farrow died of a heart attack. O'Sullivan stuck with acting after Farrow's death: she was the Today Girl for NBC for a while, then made the movie version of Never Too Late (1965) for Warner Bros.. She was also an executive director of a bridal consulting service, Wediquette International. In June and July 1972, O'Sullivan was in Denver, Colorado, to star in the Elitch Theatre production of Butterflies are Free with Karen Grassle and Brandon deWilde. The show ended on July 1, 1972. Five days later, while still in Denver, deWilde was killed in a motor vehicle accident.[7][8]

When her daughter, actress Mia Farrow, became involved with Woody Allen both professionally and romantically, she appeared in Hannah and Her Sisters, playing Farrow's mother. She had roles in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) and the science fiction oddity Stranded (1987). Mia Farrow named one of her own sons Ronan O'Sullivan Farrow for her mother. In 1994, she appeared with Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers in Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is, a feature-length made-for-TV movie with the wealthy husband-and-wife team from the popular weekly detective series Hart to Hart.

The handprints of Maureen O'Sullivan in front of The Great Movie Ride at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.

Personal life[edit]

O'Sullivan's first husband was Australian-born writer, award-winning director and Catholic convert John Villiers Farrow, from 12 September 1936 until his death on 28 January 1963. She and Farrow were the parents of seven children: Michael Damien (1939–1958), Patrick Joseph (Patrick Villiers Farrow,1942–2009), Maria de Lourdes Villiers (Mia Farrow, born 1945), John Charles (born 1946),[2] Prudence Farrow, Stephanie Farrow and Theresa Magdalena "Tisa" Farrow. A widow for twenty years, O'Sullivan was married to her second husband, James Cushing, from 22 August 1983 until her death in 1998. Maureen O'Sullivan became a US citizen on October 22, 1947 (Petition for Naturalization #133033), Los Angeles, California.[9]


Maureen O'Sullivan died in Scottsdale, Arizona of complications from heart surgery on 23 June 1998, at age 87. O'Sullivan is buried at Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery, Niskayuna, New York, Mr. Cushing's hometown. She was survived by six of her children, 32 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Michael, her oldest son, was killed at age 19 in a plane crash in 1958.[10]


O'Sullivan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, facing the star of Johnny Weissmuller. A black plaque marks her home on Main Street in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland. Just around the corner from there, opposite King House, is a tree, ceremonially planted by O'Sullivan to mark her return to her birthplace.

In 1982, O'Sullivan was awarded The George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film.


Feature films

Short subjects

  • Hollywood Extra: The First Step (1936)
  • Hollywood - The Second Step (1936)
  • Unusual Occupations: Film Tot Holiday (1947)
  • Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Shower of Stars (1955)
  • Mandy's Grandmother (1978)

Television work[edit]

Radio appearances[edit]

Year Program Episode/source
1941 Philip Morris Playhouse Night Must Fall[11]


  1. ^ "Maureen O'Sullivan, Movie Tarzan's 'Jane,' Dies at 87". The New York Times, June 24, 1998
  2. ^ a b California Births 1905-1995
  3. ^ Maureen O'Sullivan genealogy, showing mother's true maiden name
  4. ^ Profile, filmreference.com; accessed 22 September 2015.
  5. ^ Biodata, imdb.com; accessed 12 March 2014.
  6. ^ Child, Ben (28 December 2011). "Chimp claimed as Cheetah from the Tarzan films dies". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Remembering Brandon.net/A Word on the Elitch Theatre
  8. ^ McLean, Patrisha, All Fall Down, The Brandon deWilde Story c. 2012, Faces, Incorporated, pp. 170, 173; ISBN 978-1936447121
  9. ^ O'Sullivan Petition for Naturalization #133033, ancestry.com; accessed 22 September 2015.
  10. ^ O'Sullivan was the matriarch of a large and growing family
  11. ^ ""Playhouse" Star". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 18, 1941. p. 27. Retrieved July 21, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication - free to read

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maureen_O'Sullivan — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

1112 news items

Irish Times

Irish Times
Thu, 08 Oct 2015 17:00:00 -0700

However, Taoiseach Enda Kenny agreed with Independent TD Maureen O'Sullivan in the Dáil last month that such a clause should form part of the Bill. Climate justice attempts to address perceived injustices caused by climate change. Its addition is seen ...

Irish Times

Irish Times
Tue, 06 Oct 2015 13:43:35 -0700

Ireland's corporation tax regime is transparent and robust, Minister of State for Finance Simon Harris has insisted. He told the Dáil the State believed a multilateral response was the right response to aggressive tax planning. Mr Harris was responding ...

Irish Times

Irish Times
Thu, 07 May 2015 15:52:30 -0700

In separate articles in IrishTimes/ Opinion, Independent TDs Maureen O'Sullivan and Mattie Have your say: Should Irish voters pass the same-sex marriage referendum? 'Whatever the outcome of this referendum, the ability and the right of gay couples ...

Dublin People

Dublin People
Wed, 07 Oct 2015 02:04:20 -0700

Speaking at the launch, Dublin Central TD Maureen O'Sullivan (Ind), a member of the group, said one in seven adults in Ireland will have experienced a mental health difficulty in the last year. “It's important that Budget 2016 doesn't leave these ...


Wed, 05 Aug 2015 07:26:15 -0700

INDEPENDENT TD MAUREEN O'Sullivan has written to almost 100 US politicians seeking information on the immigration status of a former Irish Olympic swimming coach who was previously charged with 27 sexual offences. George Gibney has been in the ...

Laguna Beach Independent Newspaper

Laguna Beach Independent Newspaper
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 16:03:45 -0700

Maureen O'Sullivan performs jazz Sunday, Oct. 4, from 1 to 3 at Mozambique restaurant, 1740 S. Coast Hwy. Photo by Mitch Ridder. Women Artists Expo and Benefit 1:30-4:30 p.m. Woman's Club, 286 St. Ann's Dr. Auction, music food and drinks to benefit the ...

Irish Times

Irish Times
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:07:58 -0700

The Low Pay Commission's report is expected to come before the Cabinet at the end of July, Tánaiste Joan Burton has told the Dáil. She said it would form part “of our deliberations with regard to the forthcoming budget, by means of which we hope to ...

Irish Times

Irish Times
Tue, 22 Sep 2015 17:01:39 -0700

Independent TD for Dublin Central Maureen O'Sullivan summed it up: “I find it absolutely bizarre, and I find it out of touch with the reality that I know, that this is the first topic in the Dáil after the summer recess.” She believed the scheduling of ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight