Posted on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021 by Joshua Meyer
Pat Hitchcock, the only child of Alfred Hitchcock and an actress in his films Psycho and Strangers on a Train, has died at the age of 93.
The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Pat Hitchcock “died Monday at her home in Thousand Oaks,” California. This news comes from her daughter, Katie Fialla, who is a studio executive for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment.
On IMDb, Hitchcock has 18 acting credits to her name. She was the daughter of Alfred Hitchcock and screenwriter and film editor Alma Reville, the latter of whom she credited as Alma Hitchcock: The Woman Behind the Man in a 2003 book. The 2012 biopic Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, dramatized her parents’ relationship during the making of Psycho.
Born in London’s South Kensington district, Hitchcock’s family moved to the Bel-Air neighborhood in Los Angeles in 1939 after producer David O. Selznick enlisted her father to direct the 1940 thriller, Rebecca. As a teen, she starred on Broadway before crossing over into film with the 1949 TV movie The Case of Thomas Pyke. In 1952, she married businessman Joseph O’Connell Jr. in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, becoming involved in radio programs. Her last credited role is as Mrs. Harris in the 1978 film Skateboard.
Pat Hitchcock in Psycho and Strangers on a Train
In a 2004 interview with the Television Academy, Hitchcock spoke of her relationship with her father:
“I was very close to my father. He used to take me out every Saturday, shopping and to lunch. On Sundays, he took me to church regularly, until I could drive. Then I’d drive him to church regularly. It’s because of his diligence that my religion is so strong today.”
Hitchcock’s most substantial and recognizable role to modern cinephiles may be that of Barbara Morton, the effervescent younger sister in Strangers on a Train. During the cocktail party scene, she shared an intense look with Robert Walker’s unhinged character, Bruno, as his mock murder of a high-society lady bubbled over into actual strangling. Her own character wore a pair of glasses similar to those of the woman he killed at the amusement park, which caused him to flashback and faint.
In Psycho, she portrayed the receptionist, Caroline, at Lowery Real Estate, who offered Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) tranquilizers and talked about her husband Teddy, before a rich client swaggered in and started flirting with Crane. “I guess he must have noticed my wedding ring,” she said. Crane would then abscond with $40,000 of that client’s cash, leading her to the Bates Motel.
Outside these two classics, Hitchcock worked further with her father, appearing in his 1950 film Stage Fright and guesting on 10 episodes of his show Alfred Hitchcock Presents from 1955 to 1960. She also had an uncredited part as a court lady in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 biblical epic, The Ten Commandments.
Per THR, Pat Hitchcock is survived by her daughters, Mary, Tere, and Katie; her grandchildren, Kelly, Caitlin, Trisha, Kate, Samantha, and Chris; and her great-grandchildren, Ava, Joey, Maddie, Scarlett, Cole, Charlotte, Whitley, and Jamie. Our thoughts go out to her family at this time.
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