Biography

Maureen Paula O'Sullivan was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, on May 17, 1911. The future mother of Mia Farrow was a schooldays classmate of Vivien Leigh at the Convent of the Sacred Heart at Roehampton in London. Even as a schoolgirl, Maureen desired an acting career; she studied hard and read widely. When the opportunity to be an actress came along, it almost dropped in her lap. The director Frank Borzage was in Dublin filming “Song o’ My Heart” (1930) when Maureen, then 18, met him. Borzage suggested a screen test, which she took. The results were more than favorable, as she won the part of Eileen O’Brien. The part was a substantial one, so much so that Maureen went on to Hollywood to complete the filming. Once in sunny California, Maureen wasted no time landing roles in other films such as “Just Imagine” (1930), “Princess and the Plumber” (1930), and “So This Is London” (1930). Maureen was on a roll that her contemporaries could only have wished for when they were coming up through the ranks. In 1932, Maureen was teamed up with Olympic medal winner Johnny Weissmuller for the first time in “Tarzan the Ape Man” (1932). Five other Tarzan films followed, the last being “Tarzan’s New York Adventure” (1942). The Tarzan epics rank as one of the most memorable series ever made. Most people agree that those movies would not have been successful had it not been for the fine acting talents, not to mention beauty, of Maureen O’Sullivan. But she was more than Jane Parker in the Tarzan films; she had great roles and played beautifully in films such as “The Flame Within” (1935), “David Copperfield” (1935), and “Anna Karenina” (1935). She turned in yet another fine performance in “Pride and Prejudice” (1940). After the 1940s, Maureen made far fewer films, not because she lost popularity but by choice. It isn’t always easy to walk away from a lucrative career, but she did because she wanted to devote more time to her husband, John Farrow, an Australian writer, and their seven children. The couple were married from 1936 until his death in 1963. She did not, however, retire completely; Maureen still found time to make an occasional appearance in films or TV or on the stage. Later movie-goers remember her as Elizabeth Alvorg in the hit film “Peggy Sue Got Married” (1986). Her final silver screen appearance was in “The River Pirates” (1988). Some TV movies followed, but only until 1996. She maintained homes in New Hampshire and Arizona, and it was in Scottsdale that Maureen died on June 23, 1998, of a heart attack. She was 87 years old.

Maureen Paula O'Sullivan was born in County Roscommon, Ireland, on May 17, 1911. The future mother of Mia Farrow was a schooldays classmate of Vivien Leigh at the Convent of the Sacred Heart at Roehampton in London. Even as a schoolgirl, Maureen desired an acting career; she studied hard and read widely. When the opportunity to be an actress came along, it almost dropped in her lap. The director Frank Borzage was in Dublin filming “Song o’ My Heart” (1930) when Maureen, then 18, met him. Borzage suggested a screen test, which she took. The results were more than favorable, as she won the part of Eileen O’Brien. The part was a substantial one, so much so that Maureen went on to Hollywood to complete the filming. Once in sunny California, Maureen wasted no time landing roles in other films such as “Just Imagine” (1930), “Princess and the Plumber” (1930), and “So This Is London” (1930). Maureen was on a roll that her contemporaries could only have wished for when they were coming up through the ranks. In 1932, Maureen was teamed up with Olympic medal winner Johnny Weissmuller for the first time in “Tarzan the Ape Man” (1932). Five other Tarzan films followed, the last being “Tarzan’s New York Adventure” (1942). The Tarzan epics rank as one of the most memorable series ever made. Most people agree that those movies would not have been successful had it not been for the fine acting talents, not to mention beauty, of Maureen O’Sullivan. But she was more than Jane Parker in the Tarzan films; she had great roles and played beautifully in films such as “The Flame Within” (1935), “David Copperfield” (1935), and “Anna Karenina” (1935). She turned in yet another fine performance in “Pride and Prejudice” (1940). After the 1940s, Maureen made far fewer films, not because she lost popularity but by choice. It isn’t always easy to walk away from a lucrative career, but she did because she wanted to devote more time to her husband, John Farrow, an Australian writer, and their seven children. The couple were married from 1936 until his death in 1963. She did not, however, retire completely; Maureen still found time to make an occasional appearance in films or TV or on the stage. Later movie-goers remember her as Elizabeth Alvorg in the hit film “Peggy Sue Got Married” (1986). Her final silver screen appearance was in “The River Pirates” (1988). Some TV movies followed, but only until 1996. She maintained homes in New Hampshire and Arizona, and it was in Scottsdale that Maureen died on June 23, 1998, of a heart attack. She was 87 years old.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 82

Birthday 1911-05-17

Day of Death 1998-06-23

Place of Birth Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Maureen Paula O'Sullivan
  • Морин О’Салливан
  • Maureen O’Sullivan

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2017 Tarzan aux sources du mythe as Herself (archive footage)
2003 Complicated Women as Herself (archive footage)
1998 In Search of Tarzan with Jonathan Ross as Herself
1994 Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is as Eleanor Biddlecomb
1987 Stranded as Grace Clark
1986 Peggy Sue Got Married as Elizabeth Alvorg
1986 Hannah and Her Sisters as Norma
1985 Too Scared to Scream as Marian Hardwick
1978 Mandy's Grandmother
1976 That's Entertainment, Part II as (archive footage)
1972 The Crooked Hearts as Lillian Stanton
1970 The Phynx as Maureen O'Sullivan
1965 Never Too Late as Edith Lambert
1961 Ben Casey (1 episode)
1958 Wild Heritage as Emma Breslin
1957 The Edge of Innocence as Julia Williams
1957 The Tall T as Doretta Mims
1955 Matinee Theater (1 episode)
1955 The Little Lamb: A Christmas Story as Mother
1954 The Steel Cage as Gladys Duffy
1954 Climax! (2 episodes)
1954 The Whistler (1 episode)
1954 Duffy of San Quentin as Gladys Duffy
1953 Mission Over Korea as Nancy Slocum
1953 All I Desire as Sara Harper
1952 Cavalcade of America (1 episode)
1952 Bonzo Goes to College as Marion Gateson Drew
1951 Schlitz Playhouse of Stars (1 episode)
1951 Search for Tomorrow (260 episodes)
1950 Lux Video Theatre (3 episodes)
1950 Where Danger Lives as Julie Dorn
1948 The Big Clock as Georgette Stroud
1942 Tarzan's New York Adventure as Jane Parker
1941 Tarzan's Secret Treasure as Jane Parker
1941 Maisie Was a Lady as Abigail 'Abby' Rawlston
1940 Pride and Prejudice as Jane Bennet
1940 Sporting Blood as Linda Lockwood
1940 Hollywood: Style Center of the World as Herself
1939 Tarzan Finds a Son! as Jane Parker
1939 Let Us Live as Mary Roberts
1938 Spring Madness as Alexandra Benson
1938 The Crowd Roars as Sheila 'Shelia' Carson
1938 Port of Seven Seas as Madelon
1938 Hold That Kiss as June Evans
1938 A Yank at Oxford as Molly Beaumont
1937 The Romance of Celluloid as Herself
1937 Between Two Women as Claire Donahue
1937 The Emperor's Candlesticks as Maria Orlich
1937 A Day at the Races as Judy Standish
1937 My Dear Miss Aldrich as Martha Aldrich
1936 Tarzan Escapes as Jane Parker
1936 The Devil-Doll as Lorraine Lavond
1936 Hollywood - The Second Step as Herself
1936 The Voice of Bugle Ann as Camden Terry
1935 The Bishop Misbehaves as Hester Grantham
1935 Anna Karenina as Kitty
1935 Woman Wanted as Ann
1935 The Flame Within as Linda Belton
1935 Cardinal Richelieu as Lenore
1935 West Point of the Air as 'Skip' Carter
1935 David Copperfield as Dora
1934 The Barretts of Wimpole Street as Henrietta Barrett
1934 Hide-Out as Pauline Miller
1934 The Thin Man as Dorothy Wynant
1934 Tarzan and His Mate as Jane Parker
1933 Stage Mother as Shirley Lorraine
1933 Tugboat Annie as Patricia 'Pat' Severn
1932 Strange Interlude as Madeline Arnold
1932 Robbers' Roost as Helen Herrick
1932 Payment Deferred as Winnie Marble
1932 Okay, America! as Sheila Barton
1932 Skyscraper Souls as Lynn Harding
1932 Fast Companions as Sally
1932 The Silver Lining as Joyce Moore
1932 Tarzan the Ape Man as Jane Parker
1931 The Big Shot as Doris Thompson
1931 Skyline as Katherine Kearny
1931 A Connecticut Yankee as Alisande / Woman in Mansion
1930 The princess and the plumber as Princess Louise
1930 Just Imagine as LN-18
1930 Song o' My Heart as Eileen
1930 So This Is London as Elinor Worthing

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