Alfred Hitchcock is the best known Oscar-winning director for his suspenseful films.
But on the big screen, the director didn’t just produce moments of fear. He was accused of terrorizing one of his biggest actors, Tippi Hedren, and stalking him.
And much like the disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, when she refused his advances, Hitchcock allegedly blacklisted the star.
Alfred Hitchcock is known as the suspense master,
In Hollywood history, Hitchcock is known as one of the most prolific filmmakers. His unique approach to horror and stylistic camera work won him the title of “Master of Suspense.”
Hitchcock earned 46 Oscar nominations and six wins in his 60-year career for his films.
The British director has developed a television career in addition to notable films such as “Psycho” and “The Birds,”
He hosted and produced Alfred Hitchcock Presents from 1955 to 1965, a mystery anthology series that aired on CBS and later on NBC on a weekly basis.
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Hitchcock died at the age of 80 in 1980. A few months prior to his death, he was knighted.
In two of his films, Tippi Hedren starred in
Before Hitchcock discovered her, Tippi Hedren was a good model. She signed an exclusive seven-year deal with the filmmaker in October 1961 that would pay her $500 a week.
“According to The New York Times, “I signed her because she’s a classic beauty,” Hitchcock said at the time. “Movies don’t have her anymore.”
Hedren – whose daughter Melanie Griffith and granddaughter Dakota Johnson are both actors – first appeared in Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller The Birds.
A year later, in his psychological drama Marnie, she appeared alongside Sean Connery.
Tippi Hedren says she was sexually assaulted by Alfred Hitchcock
Hedren reported while working on The Birds that Hitchcock became fascinated with her and started stalking her. She said in her autobiography, Tippi: A Memoir, that despite her rejection, the director deliberately put her dressing room next to his office and made unwanted advances. Hedren described an incident in which Hitchcock allegedly groped her in a cab in his speech to NPR in 2016.
She said, “I can’t call it an assault, but it was very awkward,” And it was only when we got to the hotel, and all of a sudden he came up to me, as if he were going to kiss me, and, you know, it was an uncomfortable and very humiliating situation for me.
And there were about three more such cases, and I said, ‘I want to get out of the deal.’
Pic.twitter.com/cgyYTZtpaN- Tippi Hedren (@Tippi-Hedren) October 11, 2017 Hedren said she was then blacklisted by Hitchcock and threatened to end her career. She suggested, “He said, ‘Well, I’m going to ruin your career,’ and he did,” “He just kept me under contract, paid me my salary, a lot of directors and producers wanted me for their movie, but to get to me they had to go through him.”
Hedren acknowledged the parallels between him and Hitchcock when sexual harassment charges against filmmaker Harvey Weinstein emerged in 2017. “I’m watching all the coverage of Weinstein,” she wrote. “This is nothing new, nor is it limited to the entertainment industry.”
“I am blessed with a remarkable family. I am not only proud of them all, but extremely grateful for all their love and support.” pic.twitter.com/6lsBR9PEnd- Tippi Hedren (@Tippi_Hedren) November 10, 2016 “I dealt with sexual harassment constantly throughout my modeling and film career,” Hedren added. The first wasn’t Hitchcock. But I wasn’t able to take it anymore, so I just left and never looked back. Hitch said that my future was going to be ruined, and I told him to do what he had to do.
It took 50 years, but it’s about time women begin to stand up for themselves, as they appear to be doing in the case of Weinstein. Good for them!