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AP: A life transformed

Former actress devotes herself to India’s forlorn

By Cassie Biggs
Associated Press
Published July 4, 2007

RISHIKESH, India — Maggie O’Hara may have left the false eyelashes and spike heels behind when she ditched Hollywood for the banks of India’s sacred Ganges River, but the fiftysomething still knows how to command an audience.

Up the winding mountain path, at the home she built for disadvantaged children in this north Indian town, a crowd of admirers is gathering, offering cash, checks and even a white sheepskin rug.

Prabhavati Dwabha, as she is now known, drapes it dramatically over her chest, and laughs.

It’s the recognition the Colorado native dreamed of as she struggled to make it in Hollywood in the 1970s, taking roles most other actresses avoided — the bad girls, lesbians and prostitutes.

But though she still loves a bit of drama in her life, the ego has gone — shed on a transformational journey that ended here, in the Himalayan foothills, where for 14 years she has fought to improve women and children’s lives. [more]