As every Alfred Hitchcock fan knows, the master of suspense did cameo appearances in many of his films. In fact, he was in 39 of his more than 50 productions.
There are a variety of stories about how this playful phenomenon developed – but his daughter, Pat Hitchcock, tells the most probable version. She says that these appearances, at first, were a matter of necessity: the English studio he worked for needed extras and so virtually the entire crew would be called upon to make an appearance. Because of what Hitchcock describes as her father’s “rotund” appearance, he soon became recognizable and fans began to look forward to seeing him.
Through the years, according to Pat, the cameos began to become more difficult to stage: in order not to distract from the story, the appearances had to be placed near the beginning of the film. Additionally, the clever quality of the bits became more and more difficult to top. Above is the last cameo appearance he did in his final film, “Family Plot.” His silhouette can be seen through the Registrar of Birth’s and Death’s door.
Two of our other favorites are above, “North by North West,” and “The Birds.”
Below is a short YouTube video of all of Alfred Hitchcock’s cameo appearances. Enjoy.
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