The Many Faces of Una O’Connor

Today is the birthday of Irish character actress Una O’Connor (Agnes Terese McGlade, 1880-1959). O’Connor got her start at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and spent many years on the boards in both Ireland and England before coming out to Hollywood in 1933 for the screen adaptation of Noel Coward’s Cavalcade. She proved eminently castable in Hollywood’s universe of types, so she simply staged. Her scrawny neck, thin lips, weak chin, pointy nose and bulging eyes made her ideal for excitable housemaids, ornery aunts and the like, and she worked for as long as she wanted to (she retired shortly before she died).

O’Connor had many memorable roles in so many classic Hollywood films — Maid Marian’s nursemaid in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) springs immediately to mind. But we are in the midst of Halloween season and my amped up series of posts on classic horror films

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