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DURING her Hollywood heyday, actress MAUREEN O’HARA lived a bizarre double life, pretending everything was great to her adoring fans and friends while being bullied and beaten by her drunken, secretly gay second husband.
That’s the bombshell revelations dropped in the book, “Maureen O’Hara, The Biography”.
Author Aubrey Malone rips the lid off "The Quiet Man" beauty’s shocking lies and cover-ups, including her steamy affair with a married man and the abuse she endured from hubby Will Price, who blew her fortune.
Now 93, Irish-born Maureen was already hiding a secret when she arrived in Hollywood at age 17 to fulfill a seven-year movie contract set up by actor-director Charles Laughton. He was her co-star in the 1939 classic “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.
Before leaving Ireland, she’d been tricked into marrying George Brown, a film production assistant, who’d dated her a few times. Inviting her to his house, he ambushed her with an arranged wedding.
The redhead described being in a surreal “out-of-body” state when she said “I do.”
She kept the never-consummated marriage secret and had it annulled in 1941.
By then, she was ready to wed Price, a dialogue director she’d met on the set of “Hunchback.”
She portrayed him as the “perfect Irish suitor,” saying, “I knew I had found a real friend.
“I had traveled halfway around the world to find the one man I could love.”
But that was a lie. Price was a brutal bully, boozer, gold digger and closet homosexual, the book claims.
Maureen was so desperate “to make things work…it blinded her to his demonic behavior.”
Two months after their wedding she realized he was a drunk. According to the author, a hooker called O’Hara from a brothel, screaming for her to “pick the son of a *$!%& up and get him the hell out of here!”
O’Hara covered up her shame.
Instead, she told fans Price would cook her fabulous meals and dote on her. And the star talked about feeling a “wave of pain” when he went to Marine boot camp during World War 2.
He returned home from battle mean and nasty, says the book. One night, he raged at pregnant Maureen about her antique doll collection, bellowing, “I hate them! Get them out of here!”
When she refused, he smashed them and punched her in the belly, endangering their baby, daughter Bronwyn, born in 1945. Still, she kept silent because “nights like this were too revolting to relate to the world or her family,” says the author.
But Price had O’Hara under his thumb. He took over her finances. He bought a five-room Bel Air mansion and hired a huge staff while continuing to booze and play the ponies.
By 1951, she was broke. The miserable screen siren plunged into a brief, but steamy affair with Enrique Parra, a wealthy Mexican, who was married with children.
In 1953, she divorced Price, whom she’d learned was secretly gay.
She finally found happiness with aviator Charles Blair. They wed in 1968, but he died in a plane crash a decade later.
However, there was one man in her life who never disappointed her – John Wayne. Her “Rio Grande”, “Big Jake” and “McClintock” co-star became a close pal, but never a lover. Revently, Maureen presided over the ground breaking for the John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset, Iowa.
Now, the movie icon lives in Boise, Idaho close to her family. Suffering from Type 2 diabetes, she has outlived most of her contemporaries – and her secret double lives.