Patricia Hitchcock O’Connell, the only child of Alfred Hitchcock and an actor herself who made a memorable appearance in her father’s Strangers on a Train and championed his work in the decades following his death, has died at age 93. Hitchcock died Monday in her sleep at home in Thousand Oaks, California, her daughter Tere Carrubba said Wednesday. "She was always really good at protecting the legacy of my grandparents and making sure they were always remembered," said Carrubba, one of Patricia Hitchcock's three daughters. "It's sort of an end of an era now that they're all gone." Known to many as Pat Hitchcock, the AP reports she was born in London to Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville Hitchcock in 1928 and spent much of her life in and around the family business. More:
- During her childhood, Alfred Hitchcock directed such classics as The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, and Shadow of a Doubt; moved to California after signing a multipicture deal with producer David O. Selznick; and rose to global fame as the "Master of Suspense."
- Pat would visit her father’s movie sets and by her teens was acting in school plays and appearing on stage, including the Broadway productions Solitaire and Violet. She would insist that her childhood was happy and that her parents were normal, but she wasn’t spared her father’s distant, controlling nature and his skewed and sometimes cruel sense of humor.
- As a girl, she often ate alone, was sent to boarding school, and would express regret that her father didn’t cast her in more of his films. "I certainly wish he’d believed in nepotism,” she liked to say.
- She was admitted to London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1947 and was about to graduate when her father contacted her and said he had a role for her in his new film, Strangers on a Train. (Read much more on her role here.)
- Hitchcock was a lively, witty actor with a heart-shaped face. Among her other acting credits: the TV sitcoms My Little Margie and The Life of Riley and a part in her father’s horror masterpiece Psycho, in which she plays an office colleague of Janet Leigh, who later in the film is famously stabbed to death in a motel shower.
- More recently, she worked for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and appeared at numerous film festivals and in numerous Hitchcock documentaries. Pat Hitchcock was married for more than 40 years to Joseph O’Connell, who died in 1994.
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