British actress and writer Patricia Hitchcock passed away on Monday at her Thousand Oaks, California home, as her daughter Kate Fiala confirmed to media outlets like The Hollywood Reporter. As her last name suggests, Pat was the daughter of legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock (and his wife of 54 years Alma Hitchcock), and got to appear in some of his projects. Born in London in 1928, at barely ten years of age she had to move to the US with her family, as his father obtained a contract to shoot Rebecca.
In the 40’s Pat took part in a few Broadway productions, and when at the end of the decade her father had to return to England to direct Stage Fright, she went with him and played a small part. As she would state later, “whenever they needed a maid with an English accent,” Hitchcock counted on her, although it was not something that happened often. In 1951 Pat had her most prominent role in Strangers on a Train, where she played Barbara Morton, who witnessed the attempted murder of Bruno (Robert Walter). Throughout the following decade she would appear in 10 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, the anthology series made for CBS to consolidate her father’s fame.
Finally, Pat also had a small part in Psycho (1960), after appearing in other productions like The Mudlark (1950) or Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956). Psycho would be the last time she worked with Alfred Hitchcock. “I wish my father had believed in nepotism,” she would say ironically years later. “I’d have worked a lot more. But he never had anyone in his pictures unless he believed they were right for the part.”
In 2003 Pat Hitchcock wrote Alma Hitchcock: The Woman Behind the Man with the purpose of claiming the figure of her mother Alma Reville, an editor and screenwriter, as an indispensable collaborator of Hitchcock. “I don’t think she ever got the credit for being as good as she was. My father depended on her for everything,” she assured then.