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Hitchcock's Secret Cameo?

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First reported by David Rowlett, in North by Northwest (1959) there is a short sequence onboard the train (approximately 45 minutes into the film) where a rather lugubrious lady has her ticket checked by a pair of rail guards.

After a brief (unheard) exchange of words, the guards move on and the lady seemingly looks directly at the camera and gives a slightly comical shrug of the shoulders.

In the shooting script dated 18/Aug/1958, the woman had three lines of dialogue...

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However, by the time the sequence was filmed, the dialogue had been dropped.

Hitchcock had already made an obvious cameo near the start of the film. With that out of the way, did he decide to play one of his many practical jokes by slipping into a blue dress to make a second cameo in drag?

You decide for yourself...

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Still sceptical, eh? Have one more look at that infamous profile...

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So, who it is really?

Although the lady does indeed bear more than a passing resemblance to Hitchcock, the role was actually played by renowned character actress Jesslyn Fax. Fax had previously appeared in Rear Window (1954) and the Suspicion episode titled "Four O'Clock", and would go on to appear in several episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

The following screen grabs show her in "Four O'Clock", which was filmed a couple of years before North by Northwest (1959):

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