August 13, 1899 - April 29, 1980
"Always make the audience suffer as long as possible."
When I was a kid, we used to have a book called Alfred Hitchcock's Haunted Houseful, in our book collection. Just the
cover of it used to scare the crap out of me.
"Jimmy Takes Vanishing Lessons," made me fantasize how great that would
Alfred Hitchcock began his film career here in London, working at
in Islington, North London.
He was very well known for his cameo walk on appearances in
each of his films. His last film was Family Plot, in 1976, which he also
produced. By the way, Gainsborough? Gone. Condos.
He was the recipient of the "Goodbye
Award", uh, I mean Life Achievement Award from the
American Film Institute in 1979.
Updated info: Alfred made the 1980 New Years Honor list, by the Queen, to receive a knighthood.
Traditionally all recipients receive the award in London, but because of Hitchcock's
health, the British consul general, Thomas W. Aston came to Universal Studios to present
it to him. Hitchcock received several cortisone injections that day, to ease his arthritis
(which was excruciating for him), and his pacemaker was given a good oiling that
afternoon. He was presented with the formal papers of knighthood on a makeshift office
set, as his own office had been dismantled immediately after his retirement.
Hitchcock was to return to the America Film Awards ceremony on March 16th,
1980, to present the next Lifetime Achievement award to Jimmy Stewart, but could only
manage a video presentation, as his health was deteriorating.
The next few weeks were filled with frequent visits to his home, by doctors and nurses.
Lawyers managed to get in some billing time, helping Hitchcock sort out his estate, worth
an estimated $20 million.
In early April, the pain from his arthritis mysteriously diminished, as a result, he
slept more peacefully. However (you knew that was coming), his liver failed, and his kidney
function slowed. His heart was enlarged, and no longer responding to the pacemaker. On the
evening of April 28th, the doctor had been called, and his family gathered.
-Thanks again, Kieran.
It was the morning of April 29th, when he met his end.
Hitchcock died in his sleep, in his home,
in Bel Air, California, on Bellagio Road.
His house was number 10957.
After he passed,
his wife Alma sat with him silently, kissed his hand, and left the room.
The people who live there now try to discourage visitors with the most timid German Shepherd
imaginable. Sweet dog though.
Very American, isn't it? Not like I imagined it to be, but then I was
hoping for the house from Edward Scissorhands.
Official Cause of Death: Heart Failure.
His funeral was held in Good
Shepherd Catholic Church, on Santa Monica Boulevard, in Beverly Hills.
cremated on the first of May, and his ashes were scattered off the coast of
California. There was a memorial in Westminster Abbey.
Trivia: Alfred Hitchcock's celebrated comment, "Actors are cattle," stirred
up a great deal of protest. So the master issued a correction; "I have been
misquoted. What I really said is: Actors should be treated as cattle."
More Trivia: Karen Black said that Hitch told her he had no belly button, and then
proceeded to show her the location where it used to be. Seemed he had so many operations
that they stitched it up.