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The Globe and Mail (14/Aug/1979) - Hitchcock celebrates his 80th birthday



Hitchcock celebrates his 80th birthday

Film director Alfred Hitchcock celebrated his 80th birthday here yesterday with a family luncheon in between working on the script of his 54th feature film.

"Today may be my 80th birthday but I have no big celebrations planned," he said through a studio spokesman.

The London-born Hitchcock, the master of film suspense, has been in hospital twice this year because of arthritis and has a heart pacemaker.

His wife of 52 years, Alma, had a stroke but is in good health and was at the studio party along with their daughter, Patricia, and their grandchildren, the spokesman said.

Hitchcock has said his next film, The Short Night, will be based on the life of British spy George Blake.

Five months ago, Hollywood stars most closely associated with Hitchcock, including Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant and James Stewart, turned out to honor the man whose films have included Spellbound, To Catch a Thief, North by Northwest, Psycho, Topaz, and Frenzy. Hitchcock, who became only the seventh person to win the Life Achievement Award of the American Film Insitute, told his audience after receiving a standing ovation: "This has encouraged me. I will go on." A master at frightening audiences with such chilling scenes as the murder of actress Janet Leigh in the shower scene in Psycho, Hitchcock maintains he has another side.

I know when an audience is going to scream and I enjoy it," he once said. "But, really, I'm quite sensitive and cowardly about many things."