Rod Taylor passed away on Wednesday ahead of his 85th birthday.
Veteran actor Rod Taylor has passed away aged 84, with reports suggesting he collapsed following a heart attack at his Los Angeles home on Wednesday (January 7th 2015). The news comes ahead of his 85th birthday on Sunday.
Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren in 'The Birds'
The star was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his death according to People, with other reports suggesting he had just left a dinner party. There is no notion that he had been previously suffering from ill health in the months before his death.
Tippi Hedren - A host of stars attended the 2014 Princess Grace Awards Gala which was presented by Christian Dior Couture at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States - Wednesday 8th October 2014
Tippi Hedren - A host of stars attended the 2014 Princess Grace Awards Gala which was presented by Christian Dior Couture at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States - Thursday 9th October 2014
“To be the object of someone’s obsession is horrible,” said Tippi Hedren, the actress who was very much the object of Alfred Hitchcock’s affections, for a large part of his career. Hedren’s tale of abuse and sexual harassment, whilst she was filming Hitchcock’s movies, such as The Birds and Marnie, is detailed in Donald Spoto’s biography of Hitchcock’s life and has now been committed to screen in The Girl, a BBC and HBO drama starring Sienna Miller as Tippi and Toby Jones in the role of the controlling movie director.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Hedren reveals that she told Miller to make sure that she was portrayed as a strong woman. “I wanted to make sure she understood where I was coming from,” she explained. “He was so insistent and obsessive, but I was an extremely strong young woman. There was no way he was going to get the better of me.”
Hedren also describes how she was conned into filming scenes in The Birds in which she was attacked by actual ravens, as opposed to the mechanical birds that were used elsewhere in the movie. After being pecked to within an inch of her life, the doctor ordered her to rest, much to Hitchcock’s chagrin. “She can’t rest for a week, we have nobody else to film,” came the unflinching director’s response. At the point that their relationship imploded, Hedren refused to speak to him, other than through intermediaries. He refused to call her by her name, referring to her only as The Girl.
Scarlett Johansson is the focus of a new string of photos to be released from Hitchcock – the new movie based on Alfred Hitchcock’s relationship with his wife. The movie centres on the period of time around the filming of Hitchcock’s classic thriller, Psycho, of which Janet Leigh (played by Scarlett) became the undoubted star.
In the photos (courtesy of Deadbolt), we see Scarlett in all her retro glory, wearing pastel coloured, 1950s cats-eye sun-shades and driving a vintage car. Elsewhere, she can be seen wearing a cream coloured cardigan and pencil skirt, being measured by a wardrobe assistant, whilst Hitchcock (played by Anthony Hopkins) looks on, framing her with his hands.
Another recent Hitchcock biopic, The Girl, examined Hitchock’s dubious and allegedly abusive relationship with another of his leading ladies, Tippi Hedren (The Birds) but Hitchcock is more interested with the relationship between the director and his wife, Alma Reville. Of course, Scarlett Johansson’s on-screen glamour plays a large part in the movie and even in the trailer, tension can be detected between the wife and the leading lady, as Reville (played by Helen Mirren) tells her husband “don’t wait until half way through the movie (to kill off the leading actress) – do it after half an hour.”
HBO’s The Girl tells the tale of Alfred Hitchcock’s relationship with the screen star Tippi Hedren - played by Sienna Miller. The story itself seems to be the real winner here; the TV movie explores the theory that Hitchcock (played by Toby Jones) “behaved like a psychotic lout” towards Tippi Hedren during the two films that they made together (The Birds and Marnie).
When Hedren spurns Hitchcock’s sexual advances, he uses his directorial power to torture her. When filming The Birds, he insists that she films take after take of the scenes in which she is attacked by birds. He does his best to break her spirit but ultimately, she remains strong and ultimately retains the upper hand.
New York Daily News have praised the feature, saying that Miller and Jones’ performances “keep the story alive and moving,” though Jones’ Hitchcock has but one dimension: “an arrogant egomaniac who was unpleasant to everyone around him.” Imelda Staunton is landed with the role of his unenviable wife, portrayed here as an “enabler” of his torrid behavior. The power of this disturbing story, according to chron.com is so fierce that you will be left feeling like you need to take a shower afterwards. According to their report though, Toby Jones’ performance is caricatured and lacking in authenticity.
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