Patricia Hitchcock O’Connell, Alfred Hitchcock’s only child and an actor who made a memorable appearance on his father’s Strangers on Train ‘and was involved in his work for decades after his death, died at the age of 93.
Hitchcock died Wednesday in her sleep in Thousand Oaks, California, her daughter Terre Carrabba said Wednesday. She died of natural causes, Carrabba said.
“She’s always been great at preserving my grandparents ‘heritage and making sure they’ will always be remembered,” said Karrubba, one of Patricia Hitchcock’s three daughters. “It was the end of an era when they were all gone.”
Called Pat Hitchcock, she was born in London in 1928 to Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville Hitchcock and spent most of her family and life together. As a child, Alfred Hitchcock directed classics such as The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanish and Shadow of a Doubt, produced by David O. After signing a multiplication agreement with Selznik, he moved to California and became known as the Master of Suspense. Alma was his inevitable mentor, a former film editor, through which he explored storytelling ideas and screenplay treatments.
“My mother has a lot more to do with movies than she ever gave credit to – he relied on her for everything, absolutely everything,” Pat Hitchcock told The Guardian in 1999.
Pat visits his father’s movie sets and has starred in school plays in his teens and has appeared on stage with Broadway Productions including Solitaire and Violet. She joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London in 1947 and when she was about to graduate her father approached her and told her that her role was in her new film Strangers on a Train, which she had adapted from the novel Patricia Highsmith. In a 1951 production, Robert Walker and Farley Grangers meet on a train and act as strangers – at least Walker thinks they agree – to double murder: Walker kills Granger’s wife, and Granger kills Walker’s father. Pat Hitchcock plays Granger as the sister of a woman in love (Ruth Roman).
Walker goes to his side, strangles Granger’s wife on the amusement park grounds, and forces Granger to honor the bargain. He attended a party attended by Granger and chatted with an elderly woman about the best way to kill someone – strangulation. He put his hands on her neck as he looked up and saw Pat Hitchcock looking back in fear. His murder victim is shocked by her resemblance – they wear such glasses – he almost kills the guest. Hitchcock’s character then cleared his throat, thinking she might have killed him, leading to suspicions over the murder of Granger’s wife.
Hitchcock is an active, witty actor with a heartfelt face, and among her other acting credits are TV sitcoms My Little Margie and The Life of Riley and many roles in the TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. She also starred in her father’s Stage Freight ‘and his horror masterpiece Psycho, in which she played Janet Lee’s office colleague, after which she was famously stabbed to death in a motel shower.
Most recently, she has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, appeared in several film festivals and several Hitchcock documentaries, and preceded Jeff Kraft and Aaron Levantel in “Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock’s before San Francisco and Photographs”. She also wrote a book about her mother, who died in 1982, “Alma Hitchcock: The Woman Behind the Man.” (Alfred Hitchcock died in 1980).
Pat Hitchcock has been married for more than 40 years to Joseph O’Connell, who died in 1994. They have three children.
She insists that her childhood was happy and that her parents were normal, but that she could not control her father, nature and his distorted and sometimes cruel humor. As a girl, she often eats alone, was sent to boarding school and lost her college education when her father decided to return to England. She regretted that he had not acted in more of his films.
“I definitely want him to trust the kinship,” she liked to say.
At home, the director once painted the face of a clown while she was asleep, waking up the next morning and anticipating her shock when she first looked in the mirror. During the filming of Trains on a Train, he realized her fear of heights and bet her $ 100 not to ride on her ferris wheel on set. She disputed a story from Donald Spoto’s 1983 biography The Dark Side of Genius, which left her alone and terrified for an hour.
“What happened was they turned off the lights and pretended they were going away – all I could say was 35 seconds – and the lights came on and we came downstairs,” she told the Chicago Tribune in 1993. The ‘sadistic’ part is that I never got a hundred dollars. “