Alfred Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English director, and filmmaker. Dubbed the “Master of Suspense”, for his use of innovative film techniques in thrillers, Hitchcock started his career in the British film industry as a title designer, and art director for a number of silent films during the early 1920s. His directorial debut was the 1925 release The Pleasure Garden. Hitchcock followed this with The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, his first commercial and critical success.
It featured many of the thematic elements his films would be known for such as an innocent man on the run, and also featured the first of his famous cameo appearances. Two years later, he directed the thriller Blackmail (1929) which was his first sound film. In 1935, Hitchcock directed spy thriller The 39 Steps. Three years later, he directed the comic thriller The Lady Vanishes starring Margaret Lockwood, and Michael Redgrave.
In 1940, Hitchcock transitioned to Hollywood productions, the first of which was the psychological thriller Rebecca starring Laurence Olivier, and Joan Fontaine. He received his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Director, and the film won Best Picture. The following year, Hitchcock reteamed with Fontaine on the romantic psychological thriller Suspicion (1941) which also starred Cary Grant. In 1943, Hitchcock directed another psychological thriller Shadow of a Doubt which starred Teresa Wright, and Joseph Cotten. Three years later, he reunited with Grant on the spy thriller Notorious which also starred Ingrid Bergman.
In 1948, Hitchcock directed Rope which starred James Stewart, the film was his first Technicolor film and is remembered for its use of long takes to make the film appear to be a single continuous shot. Three years later he directed Strangers on a Train (1951). He collaborated with Grace Kelly on three films: Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), and To Catch a Thief (1955). For Rear Window Hitchcock received a nomination for Best Director at the Academy Awards. 1955 also marked his debut on television as the host of the anthology television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents which he also produced. The show made him a household name.
In 1958, Hitchcock directed the psychological thriller Vertigo starring Stewart, and Kim Novak. He followed this with the spy thriller North by Northwest (1959) which starred Grant. In 1960, he directed Psycho the biggest commercial success of his career and for which he received his fifth nomination for Best Director at the Academy Awards. Three years later he directed horror film The Birds starring Tippi Hedren. The following year he reunited with Hedren on psychological thriller Marnie.
In recognition of his career, Hitchcock garnered the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Academy Fellowship Award, American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award, Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, Directors Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award. He also has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1980, Hitchcock received a knighthood.