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The 'Master of Suspense' was an enigmatic character who liked to keep his private life private. But as one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of cinema, the spotlight was often pointed in his direction. He had a penchant for blond actresses, who in his words made the 'best victims' and loved to eat as well as cook, as evidenced by his portly figure. Here are ten more interesting facts about the legend that we think you'll enjoy reading.
1. Feared eggs
2. A cool customer
In his French border crossing form, Hitchcock filled his profession as 'producer'. When a customs official asked him what he produced, he replied 'gooseflesh'.
3. The Oscar eluded him
A number of great actors such as Peter O' Toole and Bill Murray have never won an Oscar. Hitchcock was also unlucky at the prestigious awards, winning only the honorary lifetime achievement Oscar in 1967.
4. Shortest Oscar speech
Maybe Hitchcock didn't care much for the Academy Awards. When he was presented with the lifetime achievement Oscar, he muttered 'thank you', followed by 'thank you very much indeed' and walked off like a boss.
5. Made a cameo in his movies
Hitchcock reserved a few seconds of screen space for himself, often in humorous situations. Avid fans will known what we're talking about. If you've missed him, we'll start you off with North By Northwest : in about two minutes into the movie, you see a man rushing to catch a bus in New York's Madison Avenue, only to miss it. That man is Hitchcock.
6. A jailbird
At age six, little Alfie was locked up in jail for five minutes at the instruction of his dad in response to bad behavior. The experience would haunt him for the rest of his life, with Hitchcock admitting that he would do anything to steer clear of imprisonment.
7. A little help from creatives
Hitchcock was an enterprising director who often solicited the assistance of famous writers such as Raymond Chandler, Dorothy Parker, Vladimir Nabokov, and artist Salvador Dali to take his script and visual imagery to the next level.
8. Became a bit psycho to keep the ending of 'Psycho' a secret
This involved buying the rights to the book, having his secretary buy as many copies of the book as possible, having his cast and crew take an oath on maintaining secrecy, declining press screenings of the movie, and even taking out newspaper ads requesting viewers not to divulge the ending. It was how the world worked before ***spoiler alert***!
9. A prankster
Hitchcock's practical jokes could be funny or downright bizarre. They included dousing crew members with laxatives, sending 400 smoked herrings as a birthday gift to an actor, and giving Birds actress Tippi Hedren's six-year old daughter Melanie Griffith a replica doll of her mum in a miniature coffin.
10. Refused to meet Steven Spielberg
Hitchcock was paid a whopping $1 million to voice the Jaws themed ride at Universal Studios. He said that it made him feel like a 'whore', and cited it as a reason for not ever wanting to meet Jaws director Steven Spielberg.