Hitchcock’s youngest daughter Katie Fiala, an Amblin executive, said Hollywood journalist that her mother died Monday at her home in Thousand Oaks.
Also the daughter of editor and screenwriter Alma Reville – Pat Hitchcock’s parents had been married for 54 years – the London native appeared in 10 episodes of CBS. Alfred Hitchcock presents from 1955 to 1960, “whenever they needed a maid with an English accent,” she said Le Washington Post in 1984.
She played the hired aide in the Jean Negulesco palace drama La Mudlark (1950), starring Irene Dunne and Alec Guinness, and played an uncredited role in the Cecil B. DeMille film The ten Commandments (1956).
Hitchcock’s most important role came Strangers on a train (1951) as the bespectacled Barbara Morton, who, as the little sister of the character of Ruth Roman, watches the deranged Bruno (Robert Walker) almost strangle a woman to death at a cocktail party.
After starring as a teenager in a pair of 1940s Broadway comedies, she got a small role as Chubby Bannister, a classmate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art of Jane Wyman’s character, in Trac (1950). In real life, she was attending RADA at the time.
A one psychopath (1960), she appeared near the beginning of the film as a simple office worker Caroline, who offers to share tranquilizers with Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane.
In a 2004 conversation for the TV Academy’s website The Interviews: An Oral History of Television, Hitchcock spoke of working with his father, noting, “There was nothing unusual about it. Just like with [any other actor], we were discussing the scene and doing it. We haven’t tried any tricks.
Born July 7, 1928, Patricia Alma Hitchcock spent two years in a boarding school from the age of 8. The family moved to the United States in March 1939 when his father accepted producer David O. Selznick’s offer to direct Rebecca (1940), and they moved into a house on Bellagio Road in Bel Air.
She loved to ride horses and always wanted to be an actress.
“I was brought up more like an English child, so I knew what was expected, and I almost always did,” she told the Poster. “You didn’t speak unless you were told about it, but it didn’t bother me and didn’t have any repercussions. I didn’t know anything else.
“However, my father didn’t believe in punishment. When I did something wrong, he reasoned with me. Sometimes I wish he would have screamed more. He was like, ‘Do you realize how much you hurt your mother and me?’ Of course, I would like to go through the ground.
“I was very close to my father. He took me out every Saturday for groceries and lunch. On Sundays, he took me to church regularly, until I could drive. Then I drove him regularly to church. It is because of his diligence that my religion is so strong today.
She had leading roles on Broadway in Solitaire and 1942 et Violet in 1944 – each play only lasted about three weeks, however – graduated from Marymount High School in Los Angeles in 1947 and returned to her hometown to live with cousins and study acting at RADA.
In 1949, his father returned to England to do Trac, his first film outside America since Jamaica Inn (1939), with his mother working on the adapted screenplay. Two years later, she was back on Broadway as a nurse in The high ground.
She married businessman Joseph O’Connell Jr. in 1952 inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and has produced numerous network radio shows. She was ready for a big role – which would be the one landed by Ann B. Davis – in 1955 in the NBC comedy The Robert Cummings Show, but those hopes were dashed when she got pregnant.
Around this time, she also appeared on shows such as The suspense, ma petite margie, Riley’s life and a payment of Playhouse 90 directed by John Frankenheimer.
Years later, Hitchcock was executive producer of the 2000 documentary The man with the nose of Lincoln, about production designer Robert F. Boyle, who worked on several of his father’s films.
She said she decided to write the 2003 book Alma Hitchcock: The Woman Behind the Man because “I don’t think she ever had the credit for being as good as she was. My father depended on her for everything. At first she wrote the scripts then became a continuity and eventually she just worked with him all the time. (The couple’s relationship was explored in the 2012 film Hitchcock, with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren.)
His father died in April 1980 of kidney failure at the age of 80, his mother two years later at 82. Her husband died of a heart attack in 1994.
Survivors include his daughters, Mary, Tere and Katie; grandchildren Kelly, Caitlin, Trisha, Kate, Samantha and Chris; and great-grandchildren Ava, Joey, Maddie, Scarlett, Cole, Charlotte, Whitley and Jamie.
In her Poster interview, Hitchcock said she wished her father “believed in nepotism.” I would have worked a lot more.
“But he’s never had anyone in his photos unless he thinks they were right for the role,” she added. “He never adapted a story to a star or an actor. I often tried to allude to his assistant, but I never got very far. She would mention my name, he would say, “She’s not made for that”, and that would be the end of it all.