Saturday, March 3, 2007

Hitchcock with James Stewart, a favourite leading man. However, as Alfred said, 'Cary Grant is the only actor I ever loved in my whole life.'

Herding his thespians well, Hitch led eight different actors to Academy Award nominated performances, including Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson, Albert Basserman, Michael Chekhov, Claude Rains, Ethel Barrymore, and Janet Leigh.
Fontaine won the Award for 1941's Suspicion, but, in a travesty of monumental proportions, Alfred himself never won the Best Director award at the annual Oscar competition.

When finally given the statuette -- the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award -- at the 1967 Academy Awards, Hitchcock's acceptance speech was characteristically unexpected, the Master just saying, 'Thank you.'

Hitchcock always had a razor-edged sense of humour, oscillating feverishly between whimsical and macabre.

A renowned practical joker, only a few of his pranks -- suddenly showing up on sets in a dress, for example -- actually inspired laughs. Most were said to be more cruel than funny. Usually he delved into someone deep enough to find out their phobias, such as mice or spiders, and, in turn, promptly sent them a boxful.

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