Monthly Archives: October 2015

Alfred Hitchcock: Lady Killer Extraordinaire

Alfred Hitchcock is celebrated as one of Hollywood's most popular film makers.

Alfred Hitchcock is celebrated as one of Hollywood’s most popular film makers.

Alfred Hitchcock, who was born in Leytsonstone, London, on August 13, 1899, was celebrated throughout the world as a genius. Classics such as “Rear Window,” “Vertigo” and “Psycho” have made him one of the most popular and celebrated of all film makers. He was also one of the 20th-century’s most enthusiastic practitioners of the creepy and sometimes warped practical joke.

As a young man, Hitchcock trained as an engineer.

As a young man, Hitchcock trained as an engineer.

Hitchcock, who died at the age of 80 on April 29 1980, admitted to Francois Truffaut in 1966 that “I do have a weakness for practical jokes and have played quite a few in my time.” Alfred Joseph Hitchcock’s pranks varied from ostensively harmless japes, through mind games, and on to sadistic humiliation. Some pranks were simply amusing. Hitchcock would often enlist a colleague to whom he would tell a tantalizing story in a loud voice while they were in a packed elevator. He would perfectly time his exit just before the punch line and then bow politely to the eavesdropping, frustrated passengers.

Hithcock in action – the world he loved.

Hithcock in action – the world he loved.

His targets were often people he had privately identified as “phonies” and “big heads.” Pompous guests would be invited to dinner parties where he would slip whoopee cushions on to their chairs before they sat down. Sometimes, the food would be served in the wrong order,starting with dessert. At one lavish meal, guests were disturbed to find all the food laced with coloring. They found it hard to eat blue soup, blue trout, and even blue peaches and ice cream. Hitchcock was fascinated to see how they would react.

The famed director was a world-class prankster.

The famed director was a world-class prankster.

Actresses were often the target of his “jokes.” When one unsuspectingly revealed her fear of fire to Hitchcock, he later played an elaborate trick on her, getting a technician to pump smoke into a telephone box after the door had been surreptitiously locked.

Early childhood experiences may have shaped Hitchcock's erratic behavior.

Early childhood experiences may have shaped Hitchcock’s erratic behavior.

All sorts of theories have been aired to explain his behavior. Some suggest he was damaged as a child when – at about the age of five – he was sent by his father William (a greengrocer) with a note to a local police chief, who locked the little boy in a cell. After about 10 minutes, the policeman released Hitchcock, saying: “That’s what we do to naughty boys.” Hitchcock later said he could never forget the fear of such a humiliation.

 

The director was raised in an affluent yet strict family.

The director was raised in an affluent yet strict family.

There was certainly an element of bullying. Assistant cameraman Alfred Roome had been the target of one of his jokes but exacted revenge by putting a fake smoke bomb under Hitchcock’s car. “You never saw a fat man get out of a car quicker,” he recalled. “Hitch never tried anything on me again. He respected you if you hit back. If you didn’t, he’d have another go.”

Hitchcock put his cool blonde leading ladies through grueling situations.

Hitchcock put his cool blonde leading ladies through grueling situations.

But what a lady killer. There he is, lurking with rotund grandeur at the very forefront of film greatness. There are lots of reasons to love Hitchcock, of course: the style, the guile, the pace, the pitch. Hitch – as he wanted to be called – knew how to frame a shot. But when it came to the ladies, it’s slim pickings. Indeed, that is literally what his women do. We’ve seen Doris Day, Tippi Hedren, Janet Leigh, Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, and Eva Marie Saint pick their way through a range of awful experiences and deceitful pathologies so extreme you’d be howling with laughter, were the art of cinema not so very serious. There’s the vamp, the tramp, the snitch, the witch, the slink, the double-crosser and, best of all, the demon mommy. Don’t worry, they all get punished in the end.

Alfred Hitchcock and wife Alma on their wedding day.

Alfred Hitchcock and wife Alma on their wedding day.

Perhaps he was just an unaccountably strange man. It’s telling that he was a fan of black satirical cartoonist Charles Addams – another man who liked practical jokes – and Hitchcock himself called it the “humor of the macabre.” He believed it was simply a typically London form of humor, and used to say as an example: “It’s like the joke about the man who was being led to the gallows, which was flimsily constructed, and he asked in some alarm, ‘I say, is that thing safe?’”

Though eccentric. Hitchcock appeared to live a normal family life. Shown here, with wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.

Though eccentric. Hitchcock appeared to live a normal family life. Shown here, with wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.

He was never really pressed in interviews about his behavior. Asked on a TV interview once in 1972 about his pranks, the then 72-year-old Hitchcock became rather defensive, saying that he had never meant to “harm” or “denigrate” anyone. His wife Alma (with whom he had a long but mostly celibate marriage) admitted his practical jokes made her “apprehensive.”

Hitchcock's lust for actress Tippi Hedren was well-documented. Here, a still from "Marnie," showing Hitchcock framing a scene with Hedren and Sean Connery.

Hitchcock’s lust for actress Tippi Hedren was well-documented. Here, a still from “Marnie,” showing Hitchcock framing a scene with Hedren and Sean Connery.

His ill-treatment of Tippi Hedren during the filming of “The Birds” is well documented – using live birds to attack her, and himself behaving like a sexual predator – but he extended the odd behavior to Hedren’s at-the-time six-year-old daughter and future actress, Melanie Griffith. He gave as a gift a painfully accurate wax doll figure of her mother in a miniature coffin, dressed in the same costume she wore in “The Birds.” Years later, a grown-up Griffith said of Hitchcock: “He was a mother–, and you can quote me.”

For a good look at Alfred Hitchcock’s life and work, ZootScoop recommends the following books:

Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light
by Patrick McGilligan

The Alfred Hitchcock Story
by Ken Mogg

Hitch: The Life and Times of Alfred Hitchcock
by John Russell Taylor

Hitchcock
by François Truffaut

Spellbound in Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies
by Donald Spoto

… and the record album, “Alfred Hitchcock – Music to be Murdered By

Alfred Hitchcock’s Leading Ladies Part 5:
Tippi Hedren

Tippi Hedren, last of the classic Hitchcock leading ladies.

Tippi Hedren, last of the classic Hitchcock leading ladies.

Tippi Hedren was the last of the classic Hitchcock leading ladies and starred in the last of his great films. In “The Birds,” she was a wealthy young socialite who travels to a seaside California town in pursuit of a new beau (Rod Taylor), only to find herself among the townspeople being pecked to death by swarms of seagulls. She next starred opposite Sean Connery in “Marnie,” widely considered to be Hitchcock’s final masterpiece. Hedren played a troubled young woman with a penchant for theft, with Connery as her boss-turned-husband who begins digging into her dark past. Hedren was hailed as a promising newcomer thanks to both roles, but spent the rest of her career struggling to gain her due respect.

 

 

With Sean Connery in "Marnie," considered Hitchcock's final masterpiece.

With Sean Connery in “Marnie,” considered Hitchcock’s final masterpiece.

Born Nathalie Kay Hedren, she was best known as a model when Hitchcock saw her in a soft drink commercial and signed her to a seven-year contract. The celebrated director fashioned her into his favorite archetype of American womanhood, the cool blonde, and encouraged press coverage that labeled her “Hitch’s new Grace Kelly.”

 

 

 

Hedren was a successful model when Hitchcock signed her to a seven-year contract.

Hedren was a successful model when Hitchcock signed her to a seven-year contract.

Perhaps most famous for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” Tippi Hedren is an actress of formidable gifts. Hitch himself said, when directing her in that classic film, that Hedren had “a faster tempo, city glibness, more humor (than another frequent Hitchcock heroine, Grace Kelly). She displayed jaunty assuredness . . . and she memorized and read lines extraordinarily well.”

Tippi Hedren is most famous for her role in "The Birds."

Tippi Hedren is most famous for her role in “The Birds.”

 

Plenty has happened to Tippi Hedren between then and now. The 85-year old actress has seen the release of “The Girl,” an HBO film based on the Donald Spoto novel “Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies,” (click on the title for more information) which details the famous director’s relationships with several film actresses, including Hedren.

Hedren terms her relationship with Hitchcock "sexual blackmail."

Hedren terms her relationship with Hitchcock “sexual blackmail.”

In recent years, Hedren has publicly discussed her working relationship with Hitchcock; according to the actress, Hitchcock made several aggressive sexual advances toward her while they were working on “The Birds andMarnie,” and when she rejected him, he treated her coldly. Under an ironclad contract to Hitchcock, Hedren’s career nosedived because the director would not release her to do other films. As she put it, “it was sexual blackmail. No sex for him, no work for me.”The Girlstars Toby Jones (Alfred Hitchcock) and actress Sienna Miller (Hedren).

Hedren’s later films include “Roar (1981), which she also produced; “Deadly Spygames (1989); and “Citizen Ruth” (1996). Additionally, she has appeared in several television movies, including “Birds 2: The Land’s End (1994). More recently, Hedren was cast in the film “I Heart Huckabees (2004) and starred in the TV movie “Tribute (2009), which aired on the Lifetime network and also starred Brittany Murphy.

Hedren produced and starred in “Roar," a film born from her fascination with lions. She also authored "The Cats of Shambala."

Hedren produced and starred in “Roar,” a film born from her fascination with lions. She also authored “The Cats of Shambala.”

 

 

Tippi Hedren is the mother of actress Melanie Griffith and grandmother of Dakota Johnson, the young actress who underwent intense media scrutiny as a result of her starring role in the steamy “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Hedren was married to Peter Griffith, Melanie’s father, for nearly a decade, from 1952 to 1961. She has since been married twice, to Noel Marshall (1964-1982) and Luis Barrenechea (1985-1995), and is married to Dr. Martin Dinnes, a renowned veterinarian.

 

 

 

Tippi Hedren with her daughter Melanie Griffith and granddaughter Dakota Johnson.

Tippi Hedren with her daughter Melanie Griffith and granddaughter Dakota Johnson.

Outside of acting, Hedren has been involved in various projects. Among them, she has dedicated her life to animal rescue efforts. In 1972, she founded the Roar Foundation and Shambala Preserve, an animal preserve outside Los Angeles. It houses over 65 animals. Shambala also became the home for Michael Jackson’s two Bengal tigers after he closed his Neverland Zoo.

 

Hedren with Martin Dinnes, a renowned veterinarian.

Hedren with Martin Dinnes, a renowned veterinarian.

But her most significant contribution that has changed the lives of thousands occurred when Tippi Hedren visited a Vietnamese refugee camp in California 40 years ago and the Hollywood star’s long, polished fingernails dazzled the women there.

When she realized what was happening, Hedren flew in her personal manicurist to teach a group of 20 refugees the art of manicures. Those 20 women — mainly the wives of high-ranking military officers and at least one woman who worked in military intelligence — went on to transform the industry, which is now worth about $8 billion and is dominated by Vietnamese-Americans.

 

 

Tippi Hedren's work with Vietnamese women transformed their lives and the nail care industry.

Tippi Hedren’s work with Vietnamese women transformed their lives and the nail care industry.

“We were trying to find vocations for them,” says Hedren “I brought in seamstresses and typists — any way for them to learn something. And they loved my fingernails.”

Hope Village, the refugee camp, was in Northern California near Sacramento. Aside from flying in her personal manicurist, Hedren recruited a local beauty school to help teach the women. When they graduated, Hedren helped get them jobs all over Southern California.

“I loved these women so much that I wanted something good to happen for them after losing literally everything,” Hedren related in a recent BBC interview held in a museum she is building next to her home. The museum includes Hollywood memorabilia, a few photos of the women at Camp Hope and awards she’s won from the nail care industry.

“Some of them lost their entire family and everything they had in Vietnam: their homes; their jobs; friends — everything was gone. They lost even their own country.” The Vietnamese gave the nail salon business a radical makeover, makinga basic “mani-pedi” no longer a luxury but an affordable weekly beauty “must-have” for countless American women.

Decades after the fall of Saigon, 51% of nail technicians in the United States – and approximately 80% in California — are of Vietnamese descent. And many are direct descendants of that first class of women inspired by the nails of a Hitchcock blonde who was instrumental in transforming their lives.

Tippi Hedren's work on behalf of Vietnamese women was recognized at a special awards ceremony sponsored by Opi Nail Products.

Tippi Hedren’s work on behalf of Vietnamese women was recognized at a special awards ceremony sponsored by Opi Nail Products.

On October 8th Opi Nail Products honored Tippi Hedren for aiding Vietnamese refugees after the Vietnam War and in developing Vietnamese participation in the nail industry. Her work was highlighted in “Happy Hands,” a short documentary depicting her efforts. Hedren added this award to the nearly 100 she has received for her humanitarian efforts as well as in the film industry.

 

To read more about Tippi Hedren, ZootScoop suggests:

The Cats of Shambala
by Tippi Hedren

Tippi Hedren: Unauthorized and Uncensored
by R.B. Grimm

Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies
by Donald Spoto

The Tippi Hedren Handbook: Everything You Need to Know About Tippi Hedren
by Emily Smith

 

Alfred Hitchcock’s Leading Ladies Part 4:
Janet Leigh

janet leigh headshot

Blonde beauty Janet Leigh had 60-odd film and TV roles to her credit.

 

Janet Leigh‘s most famous movie scene was so terrifying it put her off showers for the rest of her life. Leigh, who died in 2004 at the age of 77, insisted she always locked the bathroom door after seeing the finished cut of Alfred Hitchcock‘s “Psycho,” in which her character was slashed to death in a motel shower in what may be the silver screen’s most memorable murder.

 

 

Janet Leigh's shower scene in "Psycho" won her an Oscar nomination.

Janet Leigh’s shower scene in “Psycho” won her an Oscar nomination.

 

The blond beauty had 60-odd film and TV roles in a career whose highlights included playing Frank Sinatra‘s romantic interest in “The Manchurian Candidate” and Charlton Heston‘s abducted bride in Orson Welles‘ “Touch of Evil.”

Yet the shower scene in “Psycho” became Leigh’s defining moment, the role earning her an Academy Award nomination for supporting actress.

Among her sixty starring roles, Janet Leigh starred with Frank Sinatra in "The Manchurian Candidate."

Among her sixty starring roles, Janet Leigh starred with Frank Sinatra in “The Manchurian Candidate.”

 

Leigh played embezzling office worker Marion Crane, who checks into the Bates Motel and never checks out. Dressed as his own mother, psychotic hotel clerk Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) repeatedly stabs Marion in the harrowing sequence, which was accompanied by the shrieking violins of composer Bernard Herrmann‘s score.

“‘Psycho’ scared the hell out of me when I saw it finished. Making it and seeing it are two different things,” Leigh told The Associated Press in 2001, when “Psycho” was picked No. 1 on the American Film Institute’s top 100 list of most thrilling U.S. movies. “That staccato music and the knife flashing. You’d swear it’s going into the body. I still don’t take showers, and that’s the truth.”

As shock value, part of Hitchcock's plan for the movie was to have Ms. Leigh ⎯ a major star ⎯ die early in the movie.

As shock value, part of Hitchcock’s plan for the movie was to have Ms. Leigh ⎯ a major star ⎯ die early in the movie.

The scene left countless moviegoers sneaking the occasional peak around the shower curtain to make sure the bathroom was clear of knife-wielding lunatics. It also was a drastic departure from Hollywood convention, defying expectations of audiences who until that point had identified with Leigh as the movie’s main character. Part of Hitchcock’s plan was having a big movie star playing the part and dying early in the movie. That was the shock value.

Leigh had a classic storybook introduction to Hollywood. Born in Merced, California on July 6, 1927, she was attending the University of the Pacific when retired screen star Norma Shearer saw her photograph at a ski resort. Shearer recommended the teenager to talent agent Lew Wasserman, who negotiated a contract at MGM for $50 a week.

Dubbed Janet Leigh (her birth name was Jeanette Helen Morrison) she starred at 19 in her first movie, “The Romance of Rosy Ridge,” opposite Van Johnson, and her salary was quickly boosted to $150 a week. She became one of MGM’s busiest stars, appearing in six movies in 1949.

Janet Leigh was just 19 when she starred with Van Johnson in her first film, "The Romance of Rosy Ridge."

Janet Leigh was just 19 when she starred with Van Johnson in her first film, “The Romance of Rosy Ridge . “

Among her films: “Act of Violence” (with Van Heflin), “Little Women,” “Holiday Affair” (Robert Mitchum), “Strictly Dishonorable” (Ezio Pinza), “The Naked Spur” (James Stewart), “Living It Up” (Martin and Lewis), “Jet Pilot” (John Wayne), “Bye Bye Birdie” (Dick Van Dyke) and “Safari” (Victor Mature).

With Dick Van Dyke in "Bye, Bye, Birdie," Ms. Leigh showed off her comedic talent.

With Dick Van Dyke in “Bye, Bye, Birdie,” Ms. Leigh showed off her comedic talent.

Leigh had been married twice before coming to Hollywood: to John K. Carlyle in 1942, the marriage later annulled; and Stanley Reames in 1946, whom she divorced two years later.

In 1951, she married Tony Curtis when their stardoms were at a peak. Both their studios, MGM and Universal, worried that their immense popularity with teenagers would be hindered if they were married.

Teen idols Janet Leigh wed Tony Curtis in 1951, increasing their popularity among the bobby sox set.

Teen idols Janet Leigh wed Tony Curtis in 1951, increasing their popularity among the bobby sox set.

 

 

Aided by a splurge of fan magazine publicity, their appeal rose. They appeared in four films together, including “Houdini” and “The Vikings.” The “ideal couple” divorced in 1963. In her 1984 autobiography, “There Really Was a Hollywood,” (click on the title for more information) she refrained from criticizing Curtis.

 

 

 

Following their marriage, Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis made four films together. Pictured here, starring in "Houdini."

Following their marriage, Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis made four films together. Pictured here, starring in “Houdini.”

“Tony and I had a wonderful time together; it was an exciting, glamorous period in Hollywood,” she said in an interview. “A lot of great things happened, most of all, two beautiful children (Kelly Curtis and Jamie Lee Curtis).” Her 1964 marriage to businessman Robert Brandt, Leigh’s spouse at the time of her death, was longer lasting.

Janet Leigh recalls her marriage to Tony Curtis as "a wonderful time together and most of all, for daughters Jamie Lee and Kelly Curtis."

Janet Leigh recalls her marriage to Tony Curtis as “a wonderful time together and most of all, for daughters Jamie Lee and Kelly Curtis.”

 

 

 

 

 

Leigh appeared in Jamie Lee’s 1980 thriller “The Fog” and co-starred again with her daughter in one of her last roles in 1998’s slasher sequel “Halloween H2O: 20 Years Later.”

In recent years, Leigh was very choosy about acting projects and except for her daughter’s flicks, declined regular offers to trade on her “Psycho” fame with other horror roles. According to a spokesman, as Halloween approached every year, she would be approached to do something tied into the holiday. But she never did that because she thought it would have cheapened it.”

Janet Leigh in her self-described "most favorite role:” mother to daughters Jamie Lee and Kelly Curtis.

Janet Leigh in her self-described “most favorite role:” mother to daughters Jamie Lee and
Kelly Curtis.

To learn more about the movie, the director and its star, ZootScoop.com recommends:

“Psycho: Behind the Scenes of a Classic Thriller”
by Christopher Nickens and Janet Leigh.

“The Moment of Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Taught Americans to Love Murder
by David Thomson.

“Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho”
by Stephen Rebello.

“There Really Was a Hollywood: An Autobiography”
by Janet Leigh.

 

 

Alfred Hitchcock’s Leading Ladies Part 3:
Eva Marie Saint

eva marie saint head image 1

Oscar-winner Eva Marie Saint was the consummate Hitchcock blonde.

“We know people like to be frightened or scared in movies,” says Eva Marie Saint, the actress who won an Academy Award in 1955 for “On the Waterfront.” But there’s something about being scared by Alfred Hitchcock. It isn’t when, he always said. That’s not the scary part. It’s what leads up to the scary part.”

Though an Oscar-winner for her “Waterfront” performance, Eva Marie Saint was easily more identified for the role of Eve Kendall in “North By Northwest, her only Hitchcock film.

 

 

 

With Cary Grant on the set of North by Northwest.

With Cary Grant on the set of North by Northwest.

She played a seemingly innocent woman on a train, who helps Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant), a suave accountant wrongly accused of murder, hide from the police. Little does Thornhill know, she’s actually working for a shadowy syndicate that would like nothing more than to kill him. But when her own life becomes endangered by the same people, Eve and Thornhill conspire to stop a conspiracy involving hidden microfilm. And, of course, they fall in love. While Saint’s career was largely cast in the shadow of “North by Northwest,” she went on to further acclaim and decades later won an Emmy.

Eva Marie Saint doesn’t remember the first Hitchcock movie she ever saw, but the 90-year-old star does recall the most indelible Hitchcock movie moment. “I remember Janet (Leigh) and I were talking about it once, and she said she couldn’t take a shower without locking the door,” Saint told about “Psycho’s most infamous scene. “I said, I have a secret, I can’t either. I take baths. It was so dynamic and the music has so much to do with it.”

The musical score for "Psycho" cuts though the imagination like a knife.

The musical score for “Psycho” cuts though the imagination like a knife.

The music had everything to do with it thanks to the master of suspense and film composers such as Dimitri Tiomkin, Alfred Newman, and, of course, Bernard Herrmann, whose music for “Psycho slices like a steak knife through the popular imagination.

“When people think of a Hitchcock movie, it isn’t just the visual, it’s the sound,” Saint says. “It plays a crucial role in enhancing the movie’s tension.”

Eva Marie Saint has hosted Hitchcock's movie music concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.

Eva Marie Saint has hosted Hitchcock’s movie music concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.

In fact, according to Hitchcock himself, “There are so few good, honest murderers left. Most of them are hoodlums or neurotic wrecks with no sense of style or form and certainly no interest in good music. I realize there may be a few who whistle while they work but that is hardly the same thing. This modern notion that all murders should be performed a cappella simply has no historical basis. You don’t think Nero was fiddling for his own amusement, do you? Certainly not!”

Those are a portion of liner notes — written by Alfred Hitchcock — on a 1958 record album, titled “Music to be Murdered By.” Eventually, inevitably, it ended up on CD.

Alfred Hitchcock's "Music to be Murdered By" debuts October 5th.

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Music to be Murdered By” debuts October 5th.

But now this amusing oddity is back where it belongs, on vinyl. This week, “Music to Be Murdered By” (click on the title for more information) will be available on a big 33 1/3 record, with the original cover of the famed director holding a gun and a hatchet to his head.

The album has 20 tracks, including songs such as “I’ll Never Smile Again” … “After You’ve Gone” … “Body and Soul” … “Lover Come Back to Me” and the soundtrack to one of the great scare films of the era, “Circus of Horrors.”

Hitch doesn’t sing, but he does interrupt the tunes occasionally for some dry, morbid commentary, much like those famous interludes on his long-running TV show. With vinyl so big again, this is definitely one for the collectors.

In addition to “Psycho” Herrmann also scored Hitch’s, “North by Northwest.” It was the last of a string of classics the director made in the 50s, including Rear WindowandVertigo,” the films that are also famous for the string of “Hitchcock Blondes” like Grace Kelly, Doris Day, Vera Miles, and, in 1959, Saint, despite the studio’s insistence on using Cyd Charisse.

Says Saint: "Hitchcock didn't talk about acting. He worked with me from the outside in."

Says Saint: “Hitchcock didn’t talk about acting. He worked with me from the outside in.”

Saint recalls that “Hitchcock didn’t talk about acting. He worked with me from the outside in. My hair, my makeup, my shoes, my jewelry, my purse, my gloves, everything. And just from creating that exterior for me, he gave me the sense of a spy lady. But we never talked about emotion. He told me not to use my hands, I have a habit of doing that, and to lower my voice. And always, in my scenes with Cary Grant, look directly into his eyes, which was not difficult.”

 

 

By creating her exterior, Hitchcock gave Saint the sense of being a spy lady.

By creating her exterior, Hitchcock gave Saint the sense of being a spy lady.

When it came time to shoot her big kiss with Grant, Saint recalls she could only think of one thing. “I was hoping I wouldn’t step on his feet,” she confessed with a smile. “That was the scene on the train and we had to move like the train was moving and there was a still man taking photos while we were doing the scene. He was up about 12 or 15 steps, he got so involved in the kissing scene he fell off the ladder. He didn’t hurt himself so we can laugh about it. So then we had to do it again, which wasn’t bad.”

 

 

 

 

When it came to kissing Grant, Saint hoped she wouldn't step on his toes.

When it came to kissing Grant, Saint hoped she wouldn’t step on his toes.

Not bad at all for a woman who played opposite nearly every matinee idol of the 50s and 60s, from Paul Newman in “Exodus,” to Montgomery Clift in “Raintree County,” Warren Beatty in “All Fall Down,” and Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront.”

Her years studying first at the American Theatre Wing at the New School and later at the Actors Studio prepared her for that last one, an indelible collaboration with the Studio’s legendary founder, Elia Kazan, and American Theatre Wing alum Marlon Brando, who three years earlier had revolutionized acting in “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

A Hitchcock happy ending.

A Hitchcock happy ending.

North by Northwestis one of Saint’s personal favorites. She still has a telegram she received from Grant and Hitchcock when the two legends were shooting the famous crop-dusting scene. “They sent a telegram from Bakersfield saying ‘Glad you’re not here.’”

 

 

 

With husband of 65 years, Jeffrey Hayden.

With husband of 65 years,
Jeffrey Hayden.

She and her husband, producer/director Jeffrey Hayden, will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary. When asked what others can learn from their relationship, Saint isn’t sure how to answer. So she calls out to her husband. “My husband said ‘Patience, humor, and we’re all God’s children.’ I don’t know what that means,” she says, letting out a big laugh. “I am very patient. I take pride in being patient with my husband, my children, my grandchildren. I was patient about my career. I really did feel that if I worked hard, if I were out there every day making the rounds, something good would happen.”

 

 

 

"Patience, humor and we're all God's children," is Saint's husband, Jeffrey Hayden's formula for a successful relationship.

“Patience, humor and we’re all God’s children,” is Saint’s husband, Jeffrey Hayden’s formula for a successful relationship.

Saint continues to work and appeared last year in Akiva Goldsman’s film “Winter’s Tale,” a May-December romance opposite Colin Farrell. But she’ll always be best known for her work with Hitchcock and Elia Kazan. In a recent interview with NPR, she said that when she watches her old movies “It’s almost another person on the screen.”

In 2014, Eva Marie Saint starred with Colin Farrell in the May-December romance, "A Winter's Tale."

In 2014, Eva Marie Saint starred with Colin Farrell in the May-December romance, “A Winter’s Tale.”

 

 

 

When asked what the 30-year-old who appeared in Kazan’s “On the Waterfront would think of who she has become over the last 60 years, Saint responded “I think she’d be very proud. She was very fortunate. She met this wonderful man and they have this wonderful family and she is still with that wonderful man. I think the young girl would say ‘She worked hard. She kept her heart open for love in her life.’ And I think she’d be very happy for me because I’m very happy for me.”

Eva Marie Saint, at 90, considers herself very fortunate, both professionally and personally.

Eva Marie Saint, at 90, considers herself very fortunate, both professionally and personally.