by Kyrah Forbes
“Me Jane.” That’s the first phrase associated with long-standing fans of Maureen O’Sullivan, her best remembered role as Johnny Weissmuller’s wife in the Tarzan jungle adventures. My personal favorite was the 1932 movie, Tarzan the Ape Man.
What a delightful, romantic couple they were! That first Tarzan movie is forever emblazoned in our memories; it was a example of how love doesn’t really need words, but also of how quickly words can be learned. Facial expressions of this beautiful woman and handsome man told the story they wished to convey. How well I remember. Or is it because I still view O’Sullivan movie classics on a regular basis?
Learning she had a blocked artery in her brain, she entered the hospital on June 19 to have surgery, an angioplasty, to clear the blockage. Considering it to be a routine surgery, she wasn’t fearful, but she suffered a tragic reaction which ultimately caused her death on June 23, 1998 in a Scottsdale hospital at the age of 87.
Born in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland on May 17, 1911, she arrived in Hollywood in 1930. She was originally under contract with Fox then MGM. Her film roles were usually second leads though some were in major productions. She married writer-director John Farrow, an Australian writer (who would later win an Academy Award for screenwriting), in 1936. In 1942 she retired to raise their seven children, including Mia Farrow and Tisa Farrow. She later returned to an occasional film, hosted a TV series for awhile, and was even a member of the “Today” show. She also appeared in a Broadway play.