Sir Alfred Hitchcock

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Sir Alfred Hitchcock

Leytonstone, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Greater London, England
Death 29 Apr 1980 (aged 80)
Bel Air, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea, Specifically: Ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean
Memorial ID 486 · View Source
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Film Director. Alfred Hitchcock received world-wide acclaim as British-born American film director, with his numerous suspense films, including "Dial M for Murder" in 1954, “North by Northwest" in 1959, "Psycho" in 1960, and "The Birds" in 1963. Called the “Master of Suspense,” Queen Elizabeth II made him, as a British citizen, a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1980 for his achievements. He held joint American and British citizenship. Named after his Uncle Alfred, he was the second son and youngest of three children to a Roman Catholic Irishman, William J. Hitchcock, a fresh fruits and vegetables grocer, and Emma Jane Wheland. When Hitchcock's father died in 1914, he left St. Ignatius School to study at the London County Council School of Engineering. Upon his graduation, he became a draftsman for a cable company in London. During this period, he became intrigued with photography and film making, initially working as a title card designer for what would become Paramount Studios. In 1920, he accepted a position at Islington Studios, designing title cards for silent movies. For a short period in the early 1920s, Hitchcock would work as a set designer in the German film industry, and in 1922, he was given a chance to direct a movie, "Number 13,” which was canceled due to financial problems. In 1925, he received a second opportunity to direct, with "The Pleasure Garden” in 1925, made at the UFA Studios in Germany, which flopped with audiences. Hitchcock's luck finally changed with a drama thriller called "The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog” in 1927, which became a commercial success in Great Britain and the United States. In 1926, he married his assistant director, Alma Reville, who would become his closest collaborator in every one of his films. Hitchcock would go on to create a number of pioneering cinematic techniques, including using "the wrong man" theme, in which a leading man is mistaken for someone else; using famous landmarks as a backdrop for suspense sequences; experimenting in using sound repetition of certain words to stress the impression on the audience; and using incidents from his childhood years to highlight drama, such as after misbehaving, he was required to stand at attention in front of his mother's bed for hours. He was noted for his cameo appearances in his own films. In his film, "The 39 Steps" in 1935, Hitchcock introduces the “MacGuffin,” a plot device around which the story seems to evolve, yet at the end, it is of intrinsic importance. By the end of the 1930s, Hitchcock had become such a successful director in Britain, that David O. Selznick signed him to a seven year contract, thus Hitchcock moved to Hollywood, California. During his period in Hollywood, Hitchcock would continue his suspense films, beginning with "Rebecca" in 1940, which received the Oscar for Best Picture, but only a nomination for Best Director. The Oscar was given to Selznick, as the film's producer, rather than to Hitchcock as its director. He received nominations for Best Director for his 1944 film “Lifeboat” and his 1945 film “Spellbound.” During World War II, Hitchcock would produce a number of patriotic themed suspense movies, including making two movies for the Free French Government in Britain between 1943 to 1944, which were his only films in the French la nguage and released in 1993. In 1945, he served as film editor for a Holocaust documentary for the British Army, which showed the liberation of Nazi Concentration Camps; this film was not released until 2014. In 1945, Hitchcock began filming what is considered one of his best films, "Notorious" in 1946, which starred Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant, and cited a Nazi plot about using uranium to create an atomic bomb; when the FBI heard about the plot, they put Hitchcock under surveillance. Hitchcock thought his story line was science fiction until the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. In the post war years, Hitchcock would work with many stars, including James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant and Doris Day. Besides the films he made in England, he is credited with 34 Hollywood films with dozens being hits. Hitchcock was one of the early film producers who realized the importance of television. From 1955 to 1965, he was host and producer of a television series, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," which he would introduce the show and give it an epilogue. The television series would make him a celebrity himself, and his mannerisms would become very familiar with American audiences, and often the subject of parody. Hitchcock died of renal failure in his home at the age of 80. His body was cremated, and the ashes scattered over the Pacific Ocean; his wife, Alma, would die just two years later, on July 6, 1982. Over his forty-six year Hollywood career, Hitchcock was nominated for five Oscars as Best Director, which included the films “ Rear Window” in 1954 and “Psycho” in 1960, and one Oscar as Producer of Best Picture, yet never was a recipient of an Oscar. Although he was involved in making over 50 films that received an Oscar in at least one category, he never received one for his contributions. In 1967, Hitchcock was the recipient of the Academy's Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, an award given to “creative producers whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 486
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sir Alfred Hitchcock (13 Aug 1899–29 Apr 1980), Find a Grave Memorial no. 486, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea, who reports a Ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean.