It was far from Maureen O'Hara's first trip to Hollywood. But the 94-year movie star, who now calls Boise home, was a bit overwhelmed Saturday night when she was honored by Hollywood's elite and given an Academy Award for lifetime achievement.
"I'm honored beyond words," she said. "Thank you from all my heart."
None other than Clint Eastwood and Liam Neeson presented the Oscar to O'Hara, who sang the final words of the Irish ballad Danny Boy
and thanked the three men who she said helped make her career: John Wayne (they made five films together), Charles Laughton (who starred with O'Hara in The Hunchback of Notre Dame
) and director John Ford (who directed her alongside Wayne in 1952's The Quiet Man
, perhaps her best film).
O'Hara now lives in Idaho with grandson Conor FitzSimons.
Also honored at Saturday night's Motion Picture Academy Governors Awards gala were Harry Belafonte, Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and French screenwirter Jean-Claude Carriere.
Saturday's event is considered the unofficial kickoff to the film awards season. And most every actor and actress vying for an Oscar or Golden Globe nod was in attendance last night.
O'Hara closed with the old Irish saying: "May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back; and may the sun shine warmly upon your face."