Born: 13 August 1899
Died: 28 April 1980 (Natural causes)
Birthplace: London, England
Best known as: The director of Psycho
Alfred Hitchcock's successful screen thrillers earned him the nickname "Master of Suspense," but he is also considered one of the greatest film directors in the history of cinema. He started out in British productions as a title and set designer, working his way up to the position of screenwriter and director by the mid-1920s. His notable early movies include The Lodger (1926), Blackmail (1929, the first British feature to use synchronous sound) and The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). He had commercial and critical success while still in Britain, and thrillers such as The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938) solidified his reputation for combining mystery and suspense with dashes of humor. In the '40s Hitchcock began making movies in the United States, hits such as Rebecca (1940), Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and Spellbound (1945, featuring a memorable dream sequence by Salvador Dali) as well as less successful but still technically daring films like Lifeboat (1944) and Rope (1948). He was in top form in the 1950s, and his movies from the era are still popular, including Strangers on a Train (1951), Rear Window (1954, with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly), Vertigo (1958), and North by Northwest (1959, starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint). His other films include Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963) and Frenzy (1972). Hitchcock was one of the most recognized directors in history by appearance as well as by name, thanks to his cameo roles in his movies and to his TV shows Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-62) and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962-65).
Extra credit: Hitchcock was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1980, shortly before his death.
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