Feature

The actress who beguiled Hitchcock

The director groomed Tippi Hedren for stardom and gave her the leading role in his 1963 classic, The Birds.

Tippi Hedren has mixed feelings about her mentor, Alfred Hitchcock, said Geoffrey Macnab in the London Independent. The director, then in his 60s, groomed the young Hedren for stardom and gave her the leading role in his 1963 classic, The Birds. But he was so infatuated with the glacial blonde that, when she refused to sleep with him, he kept her under contract at $600 a week but stopped her from working for almost two years. “It was an extremely difficult time. To be the object of someone’s obsession is horrible,” says Hedren. “I demanded to get out of the contract, but he just said, ‘Well, you can’t. You’ve got your daughter to raise and your parents are getting older.’ I said, ‘No, I want to get out. The people who love me do not want me in this situation.’” Yet Hitchcock’s obsession with Hedren had its upside. “He was such a fabulous drama coach,” she says. “He gave me an education in filmmaking that would have taken 15 years for me to acquire. He had me sit in on meetings at every phase of making a motion picture.” Now 82, she chuckles affectionately when recalling Hitchcock’s penchant for reciting dirty limericks. “He ruined my career,” she says, “but he didn’t ruin my life.”

Recommended

U.K.: More Russians have fled Putin's draft than fought in Ukraine
Russian men feeling to Georgia to escape Putin's draft
Dodging the Draft

U.K.: More Russians have fled Putin's draft than fought in Ukraine

Will Ukraine be Putin's downfall?
Vladimir Putin.
Picture of Harold MaassHarold Maass

Will Ukraine be Putin's downfall?

Is the far-right victory in Italy cause for concern?
Giorgia Meloni.
Devika Rao

Is the far-right victory in Italy cause for concern?

Russia claims victory in 4 staged Ukrainian referendums
Referendum voting in Donetsk, Ukraine
Prelude to a theft

Russia claims victory in 4 staged Ukrainian referendums

Most Popular

Returning the Crown Jewels
Queen Elizabeth.
Briefing

Returning the Crown Jewels

The most shocking claims from the newest books about Trump's presidency
A book.
Briefing

The most shocking claims from the newest books about Trump's presidency

New Pacific island forms after underwater volcano erupts
Home Reef Erupts
Speed Reads

New Pacific island forms after underwater volcano erupts