Happy Birthday Alfred!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to Alfred Hitchcock. He was born on August 13, 1899 and in his lifetime, produced some of the most creative and exciting thrillers in film history . 

Director and Producer Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone outside east London, to Emma and William Hitchcock, who already had two children, William and Ellen. His ancestors were scattered, but primarily Irish Catholic, and the family had many relatives who lived in the same area. 

Alfred Hitchcock did not have a family name in films to move him forward. He was on his own in that respect. His father was a greengrocer, but successful with his business. 

Hitchcock's family believed he was destined to become an engineer and enrolled him in engineering school. When WWI broke out, Hitchcock tried to enlist, but could not serve due to health issues. He returned to school and couldn't seem to focus on engineering. He was most often found writing short stories, which he loved. (I love them, too. In fact, I own four original publications of collections of Alfred Hitchcock's favorite short stories!) 

Hitchcock's former education in enjineering did help him greatly in one respect--he was required to know how to draw. He read a news article explaining that Paramount Pictures would be opening another studio near his school so he sent Paramount executives some drawings, suggestions for title cards. He was hired and quickly worked his way up to Assistant Director. He directed his first film,  The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog,in 1927. The film is a thriller about a murderer who targets sophisticated blond women. The film was a great success and thriller-chasing-the-sexy-blond set Hitchcock's lifelong style in stone. 

Alma Reville in November of 1955 from the Japanese book "Showa History Vol.14" published by Mainichi Newspapers Company. The photo is now in public domain. 

Alfred Hitchcock married Alma Reville (1899-1982) on December 2, 1926, and they began their famous working partnership. It was an often challenging relationship, but it worked. They had one child--Patricia Alma Hitchcock--and worked closely together to produce at least 49 films. 

Alfred Hitchcock was appointed a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire shortly before his death in 1980. By that time, he was too sick to personally receive the award, so the British Consul General presented the papers to Hitchcock personally. 

On March 16, 1980, Hitchcock introduced the next year's winner of the American Film Institute award in his last public appearance. He died on April 29, 1980. He was cremated and his remains were scattered over the Pacific Ocean. 

Happy Birthday Alfred Hitchcok, and thank you for sharing your talent with the world.