Nov 4, 2014 5:33 PM
Maureen O'Hara cries at thought of honorary Oscar
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) Maureen O'Hara's most recent film credit was more than a dozen years ago, but the 94-year-old actress said she's ready for a role anytime.
"I don't worry about going to movies," she said. "I worry about acting in movies."
O'Hara is among this year's recipients of honorary Academy Awards. She'll accept the Oscar statuette her first at the film academy's Governors Awards ceremony Saturday night alongside fellow honorees Hayao Miyazaki, Jean-Claude Carriere and Harry Belafonte.
O'Hara said she cried when she heard the news, then cried again when discussing the honor during a recent interview.
"It's just absolutely wonderful," she said. "I keep thinking, 'Oh, this is a league of baloney. They're not telling me the truth.'"
The Irish actress has made more than 60 films since her big-screen debut in 1938, including John Ford's 1941 best picture winner, "How Green Was My Valley." She starred opposite John Wayne in several films, including "Rio Grande," ''The Wings of Eagles," and one of her favorites, "The Quiet Man." Other credits include "Miracle on 34th Street" and "Sentimental Journey."
"Making movies is a wonderful experience," she said. "It's wonderful the stories that you fall in love with and you make and they wind up being very successful, and it breaks your heart almost. I don't mean with sadness. It breaks your heart with joy."
What else did she love about her early acting days?
"As kids and anybody who says they don't love this, they're fibbers we loved making the money," she said.
While dieting and exercising in preparation for Saturday's ceremony, O'Hara is thinking about how to express her gratitude for the award.
"It's hard to know how you're going to say thank you to all the people you should say thank you to," she said, "so it's going to be very difficult."
The easy part, she said, is finding a place to keep her shiny new Oscar. She's already cleared off a spot atop the fireplace "and high enough so one of the kids can't knock it down!"
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences established the Governors Awards in 2009 to recognize recipients of honorary Oscars. Highlights from Saturday's untelevised dinner ceremony will be included in the 2015 Academy Awards telecast.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .