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The Hitchcock Blondes

Updated on August 15, 2015
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Who were the Hitchcock blondes?

Those gorgeous, icy blondes - they were certainly one of Alfred Hitchcock's trademarks. There are several hallmarks of his films. Probably the most famous is his habit of appearing in each film in a cameo role, often being on the screen for only a second or two. Spotting him became a popular sport.

Of course, horror and suspense were his best known trademarks and the horror of his movies was enhanced by his use of blonde actresses, often called 'icy blondes' because of their cool and somewhat aloof demeanor.

There was an element of 'the beauty and the beast' too, as the apparent innocence of the blonde actresses was the perfect foil to the scariness of the films' plots.I used to love his films when I was a kid - my gran was a huge fan - and I still love them to this day.

There are some brilliant filmmakers working today but I doubt that they'll equal Hitchcock as a true legend.He was considered to the the master of the horror film. This was largely because of their subtlety and suspense but there was also the element of psychology which was, and still is, lacking in so many other films within the same genre. Although he invariably used blonde actresses in his film, it is the ones who have that particular cool and icy exterior who truly deserve to be referred to as Hitchcock blondes.


Why this gentleman preferred blondes

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Grace Kelly

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About Grace Kelly

  • Grace Kelly's films of this genre were Rear Window, Dial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief.
  • She was an actress only until she was twenty six years old. She gave up her career when she married her handsome prince - Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1952.
  • As Princess Grace, she had three children. Her son Albert is the current ruler of the principality and she also had daughters Caroline and Stephanie.

  • Today, Grace's granddaughter, Charlotte Casiraghi, is probably one of the most beautiful women in Europe.Check out Google images for more.
  • Princess Grace's death was a matter of great speculation. She had a stroke whilst driving her car and was killed in the resultant accident. Her teenage daughter Stephanie was also in the vehicle and at the time, the newspapers erroneously reported that it was she who was driving. It was proved by eye-witnesses that Grace had been the one driving.

Tippi Hedren

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About Tippi Hedren

  • Tippi Hedren's Hitchcock films were The Birds and Marnie.
  • She was a Nordic blonde as her ancestry included German, Swedish and Norwegian heritages.
  • When The Birds was made, her terror was real. She had been told that mechanical birds would be used in the movie but in fact they were the real thing. She was so disturbed that her doctor ordered her to take a week's rest after the scenes with the birds had been filmed.

  • Her daughter is also an actress, Melanie Griffith. It's possible that in the eighties she was more famous than her mother but Tippi's films will endure, that's certain. Will her daughter's?
  • Of the two films she made with Alfred Hitchcock, she claims that Marnie is her favourite. I agree. It's a hard choice but Marnie always seems more chilling to me in a subdued way. This doesn't however, take away from the absolute creepiness of The Birds. What a great film.

Janet Leigh

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About Janet Leigh

  • Janet Leigh was the victim in the director's most famous film, Psycho.
  • She married actor Tony Curtis - they are the parents of actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
  • Hitchcock used Janet Leigh as the guinea pig to judge the scariness of the mother-in-the-wheelchair corpse during the making of the film. She would return to her dressing room and find the dummy corpse sitting in her chair. He then evaluated the corpse depending on Janet's screams.

  • Many people say that the murder scene in the shower in Psycho is the scariest movie scene ever. Afterwards, Janet Leigh said that she didn't take showers because of it. I'm not convinced that is actually the case -it sounds just a little bit like Hollywood advertising hype to me.
  • She was the author of four books.
  • The woman who was her body double in Psycho has a fascinating story. Read it here

Eva Marie Saint

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About Eva Marie Saint

  • Eva Marie Saint's film was North by Northwest.
  • She is one of the few actresses of her day who used her real name.
  • She made her first feature film when she was thirty years old. This was the widely acclaimed On the Waterfront starring Marlon Brando.
  • Until North by Northwest Eva Marie had very long hair. It was Hitchcock who insisted that she have it cut for the film so she would look sophisticated - like his other 'icy blondes'.

  • Eva Marie was Superman's mother.
  • In the 2006 film Superman Returns she played the part of Martha Kent who, with her husband, adopted Superman - Clark Kent - when he arrived on Earth.

Kim Novak

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About Kim Novak

  • Kim Novak's Hitchcock film was Vertigo.
  • She was ideally placed to be one of the 'icy blondes' as one of her first jobs was as a spokesperson for a company that sold deep freezes.
  • In Vertigo she played the parts of a blonde - and a brunette.

  • This century hasn't been good to Kim. Her home was almost destroyed by fire and she lost many of her valuables. The year after this her rebuilt home was burgled and in 2006, she was badly injured in a horse riding accident. However in 2010 she received treatment for breast cancer and was announced clear of the disease after her treatments.

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

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    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @PAINTDRIPS: Me too. There's one (I forget which) where his cameo was in a school or team photograph - very clever. I heard that as his films became more famous, he put the cameos nearer the beginning of the film - he thought that people were too busy watching out for him and not paying attention to the plot :)

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      I love that man's cameos. I love watching the movies just to see where he's going to show up. My favorite is in Lifeboat. I mean if you are on a life boat there can't be a cameo short of a shark but sure enough, Hitchcock shows up on the back of the newspaper. He's a genius.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Underrated: Aren't they? I can watch them over and over again.

    • Underrated profile image

      Underrated 

      5 years ago

      Best director of all time. Vertigo, Psycho and Rear Window are just masterpieces

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @jolou: Apparently so - but I suppose that's one reason why his films were so successful :)

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 

      5 years ago

      I love Alfred Hitchcock movies too. They don't make movies like that any longer. He really was a genius, and from what we have heard, quite a strange man too.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @imaginemdd lm: Thank you, I appreciate your comments. I'm a huge fan too and still haven't decided which is my favorite.

    • imaginemdd lm profile image

      imaginemdd lm 

      5 years ago

      What a fun and informative page about the blonde actresses in Hitchcock's films. I'm a big Alfred Hitchcock fan and enjoyed this page so much.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Tennyhawk: Thank you so much for your comments. I think my favorite scene is in Marnie when her horse is injured. The way she says 'there' gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. Just one simple world but so chilling.

    • Tennyhawk profile image

      Tennyhawk 

      5 years ago

      Hitchcock was a great director. It's interesting to learn about his thing for blondes. He always was very subtle when he put together his films, right down to the casting I guess. I love his morbid sense of humor. The exchanges between the father and Hume Cronyn about how to commit the perfect murder in Shadow of a Doubt are ghoulishly delightful.Thanks for a very informative lens about a truly memorable figure and some awesome films.

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