Movies | October 19, 2020 6:30 am

Report: Only 19 Actors Who Worked With Alfred Hitchcock Are Still Alive

A moving look back at cinema history

Alfred Hitchcock with Lion "Passenger" at MGM
Alfred Hitchcock poses in his Mercedes-Benz 190 SL convertible with an illusion of the MGM lion in the passenger seat.
Bettmann Archive

Last week, Rhonda Fleming died at the age of 97. Fleming’s long career in Hollywood included prominent roles in some fantastic films — including opposite Robert Mitchum and Kirk Douglas in Out of the Past. Fleming’s first major role came in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1945 film Spellbound. Fleming’s death brings to an end one particular chapter in film history — and is a sign that another is slowly nearing its end.

Writing at IndieWire, Tom Brueggemann tallied up the number of actors with major roles in Hitchcock films who are still alive. Two years ago, this number was 24; with Fleming’s death, it’s dropped to 19.

The names on the list include some well-known stars, including Julie Andrews, who appeared in Torn Curtain; Sean Connery, who starred in Marnie and Shirley Maclaine, whose film debut came in The Trouble With Harry. The youngest of the group? Veronica Cartwright, who appeared in The Birds and is now 68.

Reading the list provides a good overview of Hitchcock’s career, which spanned decades. It’s also a reminder of the inner workings of the mid-20th century studio system and the unexpected directions film history can take.

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