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Philadelphia Inquirer (25/Aug/1994) - Producer, writer Joan Harrison



Producer, writer Joan Harrison


"No production which does not satisfy the feminine point of view is a success," she once told the Los Angeles Times.

Miss Harrison went into the movie business after her editorial-writer father discouraged her interest in journalism, warning that its practitioners were known for excessive drinking, smoking and swearing.

Her screenplays for Hitchcock have become suspense classics. Her adaption of Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca starred Sir Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. The film won the Academy Award for best picture of 1940.

Foreign Correspondent came next; then Suspicion in 1941, starring Cary Grant and Fontaine, and Saboteur in 1942, starring Robert Cummings and Norman Lloyd.

Her work independent of Hitchcock was bought but never made it to the screen, so she signed on at Universal Studios and became one of Hollywood's first female producers.

Her first project at Universal was 1944's Phantom Lady starring Franchot Tone. Her other films include Uncle Harry in 1945, Ride the Pink Horse in 1947, Once More My Darling in 1949 and Circle of Danger in 1951.

When Hitchcock decided to venture into the new medium of television, he called Miss Harrison to produce Alfred Hitchcock Presents... the 1950s and early '60s.

In 1958, with Hitchcock as witness, she married novelist Eric Ambler, who survives.