When history looks back on actress Patricia Hitchcock, chances are the lead-off will be (sort of like the headline to this article) about her father, legendary and iconic director Alfred Hitchcock, director of such cinematic staples as Rear Window and Vertigo. Which is apt and absolutely fine, but somewhere within those hypothetical future text books there will hopefully be a thorough nod to her turns as an actress in not only her father’s canon of film, but in other talented director’s, too. For instance, how many cinephile’s meandering around the landscape realize that the only child of the Master of Suspense also had roles in The Ten Commandments? Or that she traded barbs with William Bendix in an oddball episode of The Life of Riley? This South Kensington native booked those gigs and others independent of her last name (although let’s be honest, the name probably didn’t hurt her casting chances). That said, it will be through her sly and knowing turns as an actress in Hitchcock films such as Strangers On a Train and Psycho that will get the star-billing when talking about her career through the years. And I’m confident that Ms. Hitchcock, who passed away on August 9, 2021 at the age of 93, would be quite fine with that delineation.
Breaking the news of Patricia Hitchcock’s death was her daughter, Katie Fiala, according to our Stage Fright aficionados over at The Hollywood Reporter.
Tributes for the talented actress – who once famously quipped that she wished her famous father “had believed in nepotism. I’d have worked a lot more” – have begun pouring in. Noted author Brian Rowe tipped the old Irish hat to the Suspense star saying, in part, that “It was a privilege to meet her and talk to her 20 years ago when she attended the Reno Film Festival. I will never forget the wonderful conversation we had!”
My quick Patricia Hitchcock anecdote: Never was I fortunate enough to meet this talented lady, yet her off-camera winks and asides to audiences in films like Strangers On a Train and Psycho truly had me smitten and marked her as someone who was in on the cosmic joke of her great father’s wonderful movies. She always felt like one of the movie-going audience and that quality endeared her to me and millions of other movie fans.
Patricia Hitchcock’s biggest legacy will be the family she left behind: Three daughters, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. We here at Vents extend our heartfelt condolences to the Hitchcock family.