Alfred Hitchcock

Early Life

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, screenwriter, director and artist, was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England to his parents Emma Jane and William Hitchcock on August 13, 1899. He led a fairly normal childhood, being raised Catholic and attending Saint Ignatius College in his youth. He started his first job in 1915, at about that time he discovered his interest in film.

He joined the British film industry in 1920 with the job of drawing sets for movies. It happened to be there he met Alma Reville, his soon to be wife, who was working on Always Tell Your Wife (1923). When she suddenly fell ill she tasked Hitchcock with the job of completing the film. This sparked a collaboration in film-making between the two of them. His first chance at directing his own film was Number 13 (1922). However, production on the film met a standstill when the studio closed.

Determined to complete his first picture, beginning to end, he followed up with The Pleasure Garden (1925) which proved popular at the time. His first trademark film, The Lodger, came in 1927. He married Alma that same year and his only child, Patricia Hitchcock, would arrive in 1928. His British produced movies in the 1930's gained massive popularity in the United States, and in 1940 he moved his family to Hollywood. He would continue his career in film-making over the years, with Family Plot (1976) marking the end before his death in 1980.

Movies Known For

The Lodger (1927) Rebecca (1940) Lifeboat (1944)
Notorious (1946) Strangers on a Train (1951) Rear Window (1954)
Vertigo (1958) North By Northwest (1959) Psycho (1960)
The Birds (1963) Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV (1955) Alfred Hitchcock Hour TV (1962)

BrainDid You Know?

His first job was working as an estimator for the Henley Telegraph and Cable Company

Hitchcock made cameo appearances in the beginnings of many of his films, including: Easy Virtue (1928), The Lady Vanishes (1938), and Dial M For Murder (1954).

Many of his films featured "MacGuffins"- devices that drove the plot, but which actually served no real purpose. Ex. The $40,000 in the envelope in Psycho (1960).

He never won an Academy Award for best director.

His favorite movie was Destiny (1921) by Fritz Lang.

He won the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1979. He joked with friends that he must be about to die soon...and died a year later.

He claimed that Shadow of a Doubt was his favorite out of all the films he had directed.

Many directors including Dario Argento, Steven Spielberg and David Cronenberg have cited him as an influence.

He is the voice of the "Jaws" ride at Universal Studios.

He was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for both Motion Pictures and Television.

He was knighted in 1979, a year before his death.