80 (passed away Apr. 29th, 1980)
Aug. 13th, 1899
Leytonstone, London, England, UK
Alfred Hitchcock's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Alfred Hitchcock was the son of East End greengrocer William Hitchcock and his wife Emma. Raised as a strict Catholic and attending Saint Ignatius College, a school run by Jesuits, Hitch had very much of a regular upbringing. His first job outside of the family business was in 1915 as an estimator for the Henley Telegraph and Cable Company. His interest in movies began at around this time, frequently visiting the cinema and reading US trade journals.
In 1920, Hitch learned that Lasky were to open a studio in London and managed to secure a job as a title designer. He designed the titles for all the movies made at the studio for the next two years. In 1923, he got his first chance at directing when the director of Always Tell Your Wife (1923) fell ill and Hitch completed the movie. Impressed by his work, studio chiefs gave him his first directing assignment on Number 13 (1922); however, before it could be finished, the studio closed its British operation. Hitch was then hired by Michael Balcon to work as an assistant director for the company later to be known as Gainsborough Pictures. In reality, Hitch did more than this -- working as a writer, title designer and art director. After several films for the company, Hitch was given the chance to direct a British/German co-production called The Pleasure Garden (1925). Hitchcock's career as a director finally began. Hitchcock went on to become the most widely known and influential director in the history of world cinema with a significant body of work produced over 50 years.
- In the New Year's Honour's list of 1980 (only a few months before his death), he was named an Honorary (as he was a U.S. citizen) Knight Commander of the British Empire.
- He was reportedly furious when 'Brian De Palma' (qv) decided to make _Obsession (1976)_ (qv), because he thought it was a virtual remake of _Vertigo (1958)_ (qv). Ironically, De Palma stopped making mystery/adventure films after Hitchcock's death in 1980, with the possible exception of _Body Double (1984)_ (qv).
- He allegedly refused the British honour of C.B.E. (Commander of the order of the British Empire) in 1962.
- Due to his death in 1980, he never got to see _Psycho II (1983)_ (qv) . It remains unsure as to whether or not he was approached regarding the second movie, or any other "_Psycho (1960)_ (qv) -Expansion" motion picture.
- Lent his name and character to a series of adolescent books entitled "Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators" (circa late 1960s-early 1970s). The premise was that main character and crime-solver Jupiter Jones won the use of Mr. Hitchcock's limousine in a contest. Hitch also wrote forewords to this series of books. After his death, his famous silhouette was taken off the spine of the books, and the forewords (obviously) stopped appearing as well.
- On April 29, 1974, the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York sponsored a gala homage to Alfred Hitchcock and his contributions to the cinema. Three hours of film excerpts were shown that night. 'Franšois Truffaut' (qv) who had published a book of interviews with Hitchcock a few years earlier, was there that night to present "two brilliant sequences: the clash of the symbols in the second version of _The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)_ (qv) , and the plane attack on 'Cary Grant' (qv) in _North by Northwest (1959)_ (qv)." After the gala, Truffaut reflected again on what made Hitchcock unique and concluded: "It was impossible not to see that the love scenes were filmed like murder scenes, and the murder scenes like love scenes...It occurred to me that in Hitchcock's cinema...to make love and to die are one and the same."
- Though he was Oscar-nominated 5 times as Best Director, DGA-nominated 6 times as Best Director, and received 3 nominations from Cannes, he has never won in any of these competitive categories, a fact that surprises fans and film critics to this day.
- When he won his Lifetime Achievement award in 1979, he joked with friends that he must be about to die soon. He died a year later.