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.
- He was listed as the editor of a series of anthologies containing mysteries and thillers. However, he had little to do with them. Even the introductions, credited to him, were, like the introductions on his television series, written by others.
- He delivered the shortest acceptance speech in Oscar history: while accepting the 'Irving Thalberg' (qv) Memorial Award at the 1967 Oscars, he simply said "Thank you."
- Was a close friend of 'Albert R. Broccoli' (qv), well known as the producer of the James Bond - 007 franchise. Hitchcock's _North by Northwest (1959)_ (qv) was the influence for the helicopter scene in _From Russia with Love (1963)_ (qv)
- Told 'Franšois Truffaut' (qv) that although he had made two films prior to _The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)_ (qv), he considered that to be his first real film.
- As with 'W.C. Fields' (qv) and 'Arthur Godfrey' (qv) before him, he was legendary for gently tweaking his sponsors during the run of his TV show. One typical example runs, "We now interrupt our story for an important announcement. I needn't tell you to whom it will be most important of all."
- Was at his heaviest in the late 1930s, when he weighed over 300 pounds. Although always overweight, he dieted and lost a considerable amount of weight in the early 1950s, with pictures from sets like _To Catch a Thief (1955)_ (qv) showing a surprisingly thin Hitchcock. His weight continued to fluctuate throughout his life.
- 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."
- He adopted American citizenship in 1956.