The Hitchcock Blondes

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Who were the Hitchcock blondes?

THe Hitchcock BlondesThey were a trademark of Alfred Hitchcock’s many movies. I should say one of the trademarks because another was his habit of appearing in tiny cameo roles

Horror and suspense were Hitchcock’s true specialities and this was enhanced – deliberately – by his use of what he referred to as ‘icy blondes’.

See the quote below.

In the middle of the suspense, their was invariably a cool and rather aloof flaxen-haired women. Meet them below.

Hitchcock had borrowed a theme that we know from fairy stories – that of the Beauty and the Beast.

His films might have horror, evil-doers and terrifying moments (the beast) but these contrasted with the actresses he used (the beauties).

 

Hitchcock was a legendary filmmaker and it was his combination of suspense and subtlety – enhanced by the loveliness of his actresses that proved to be an enduring combination.

quote

Grace Kelly

Grace_Kelly

  • This gorgeous blonde actress starred in HItchcock’s Dial M For Murder, To Catch a Thief and Rear Window
  • Grace Kelly gave up her acting career when she was only twenty six years old. What would make her give upa glittering and promising life in Hollywood? She exchanged her role for one that was much more glamorous when she married Prince Rainier, becoming Princess Grace of Monaco in 1952
  • She had three children. Albert, her only son,is the present ruler of Monaco and she also had two daughters, Caroline and Stephanie
  • Her daughters inherited a combination of good looks from both their parents. Caroline’s daughter, Charlotte Casiraghi,  is a renown beauty
  • Grace’s death in 1982 was controversially portrayed in the media. There was a car accident and the newspapers speculated at length that her daughter Stephanie – who was too young to hold a license – had been driving when the fatal accident took place. This was not the case – Grace had a heart attack at the wheel.

 Tippi Hedren

Tippi Hedren

  • For Hitchcock, Tippi starred in Marnie and The Birds
  • Tippi had classical Nordic looks – her ancestry includes German,Swedish and Norwegian heritages
  • The fear she demonstrated in The Birds was not faked. The birds that we see in the movie were real but the actress had been told that mechanical versions would be used. Her doctor insisted that she rest for a week after her scenes with the birds had been filmed
  • Tippi Hedren’s daughter followed in her mother’s footsteps. She is the actress Melanie Griffith
  • She said that Marnie was her favourite of the two films she made for Hitchcock

Janet Leigh

Janet Leigh

  • Which was Hitchcock’s most famous film? If you said Psycho, I’m inclined to agree and this was the film that starred Janet
  • Like Tippi, Janet also had an actress daughter. Jamie Lee Curtis is her daughter from her marriage to Tony Curtis
  • On the set of Psycho, Hitchcock used Janet to gauge the scariness of the mother’s corpse featured in the wheelchair. She would find dummies in her dressing room and Hitchcock took note which made her scream the loudest
  • Janet became an author in later life

 Eva Marie Saint

Eva Marie Saint

  • Eva Marie Saint starred in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest
  • Most actresses in those days used a stage name – Eva did not
  • Also unlike some of the other actresses of the time, her first feature film was made when she was thirty years old. That was On The Waterfront which she made with Marlon Brando
  • Before working with Hitchcock, her hair was very long. He wanted a sophisticated look so insisted on as horter style
  • She played the part of Superman’s adopted mother, Martha Kent, in Superman Returns made in 2006

Kim Novak

Kim Novak

  • Vertigo was the movie Kim Novak starred in for Hitchcock
  • Coincidentally, one of her first jobs was that of spokeswoman for a deep-freeze company making her an experienced ‘icy blonde’
  • Although in her Hitchcock film she played two roles – one a blonde, the other a brunette
  • Her home was destroyed by fire and most of her valuables and memorabilia was destroyed. A year after this, in 2006, her new home was burgled and she was badly injured when she had an accident while riding a horse. In 2010 she received treatment for breast cancer and declared free of the disease

It’s hard to choose the best of the Hitchcock Blondes!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

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Author: Jackie Jackson

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