photoset: miracle on 34th street

“I have been the mother to almost forty children in movies, but I have always had a special place in my heart for little Natalie. She always called me Mamma Maureen and I called her Natasha, the name her parents had given her. She loved making little ceramics on the weekends and used to bring me gifts of lovely painted animals and people. Unfortunately, Hurricane Hugo in St. Croix stole them all and I can’t find even one. They’re up there somewhere in the jet stream watching over me. When Natalie and I shot the scenes in Macy’s, we had to do them at night because the store was full of people doing their Christmas shopping during the day. Natalie loved this because it meant she was allowed to stay up late. I remembered al the tricks we pulled as kids in our house, trying to stay up past bedtime, and so I really enjoyed this time with Natalie. We loved to walk through the quiet, closed store and look at all the toys and girls’ dresses and shoes. The day she died, I cried shamelessly. it was such a horrible way to go for such a lovely, lovely girl.”

Maureen O'Hara on Natalie Wood