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Alfred Hitchcock’s Most Frequent Collaborators, Ranked


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Summary

  • Alfred Hitchcock frequently cast the same actors in multiple films, building strong collaborations based on trust and familiarity.
  • Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, and Cary Grant were some of Hitchcock’s most renowned collaborators, delivering exceptional performances in his thrillers.
  • Clare Greet holds the record for appearing in more Hitchcock films than any other actor, making her the director’s most prominent collaborator.

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Like many famous directors, Alfred Hitchcock frequently cast the same actors in multiple of his films, with one actor appearing in more of his films than any other. Even though he never received an Academy Award for Best Director, despite his five nominations, Hitchcock, known as the “Master of Suspense,” is famed for directing some of the best thrillers of all time. His impressive portfolio includes the psychological thriller Vertigo (1958), starring James Stewart, which was named the British Film Institute’s greatest film ever made, uprooting Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941).

Esteemed Hollywood actors like Cary Grant and Grace Kelly collaborated in a number of Alfred Hitchcock movies. Hitchcock greatly valued the performances of his actors. He typically did not favor method acting or improvisation, maintaining strict control over the proceedings on set. This is possibly why Hitchcock frequently collaborated with the same actors; they were familiar with his cinematic vision and able to deliver the exact performance he was seeking. One particular actor, starring in seven of his films, stands above the rest as his biggest collaborator.

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10 Ingrid Bergman

Bergman starred in Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), and Under Capricorn (1949).

Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck in Spellbound

Ingrid Bergman, a legendary Swedish actress, became a Hollywood icon during its Golden Age. She collaborated on three movies with Alfred Hitchcock, beginning with Spellbound (1945), alongside Gregory Peck. Her natural allure, which contrasted with Hollywood’s then-prevalent makeup-heavy norm, significantly influenced American cinema. Bergman’s career, spanning over five decades, earned her three Academy Awards. She also stars as Alicia Huberman, the daughter of a jailed Nazi spy, in Notorious (1946), which is considered one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best female characters.

Notorious (1946) can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

9 Grace Kelly

Kelly was one of the biggest Hollywood stars to work with Hitchcock.

Rear Window

Release Date
September 1, 1954

Cast
Thelma Ritter , James Stewart , Wendell Corey , Grace Kelly , Raymond Burr

Grace Kelly is renowned for her collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock. Her big-screen debut came in 1952 with High Noon, a celebrated Western starring Gary Cooper. Hitchcock, captivated by Kelly’s talent, cast her in Dial M for Murder (1954), where her performance was widely praised. Kelly’s role in Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954) alongside James Stewart further cemented her status as Rear Window is considered among the best murder mysteries of all time. Kelly eventually left Hollywood in exchange for royalty after she married the Prince of Monaco in 1956.

8 Edmund Gwenn

Gwenn starred in four of Hitchcock’s movies.

Edmund Gwenn in Foreign Correspondent

The Academy Award-winning actor Edmund Gwenn starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1931 version of the 1921 silent film The Skin Game, where Gwenn played the character of Mr. Hornblower, who is a wealthy industrialist. This was Gwenn’s first Hitchcock movie. He then appeared in Waltzes from Vienna (1934), a biographical musical about Johann Strauss II. However, it was his small role as a Cockney assassin in Foreign Correspondent (1940), a thrilling spy movie, that solidified Gwenn’s status in Hitchcock’s cinematic world.

Foreign Correspondent (1940) can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

7 Phyllis Konstam

Phyllis Konstam starred in four of Hitchcock’s films during her acting career.

Phyllis Konstam in Murder!

Despite her fabulous acting talent, Phyllis Konstam was never the lead in any of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, playing only supportive or secondary roles in his films. In Blackmail (1929), she portrayed a friend of the main character, Alice, who becomes entangled in a web of crime and deceit after Alice kills a man. In Murder! (1930), she played a significant role in the central murder mystery, providing key clues to the resolution of the crime. She also appeared in The Skin Game (1931), further cementing her position as a talented actress in Hitchcock’s early sound films.

Murder! (1930) can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

6 James Stewart

Stewart starred in four Hitchcock movies, including Rear Window (1954) and Vertigo (1958).

Vertigo

Release Date
May 9, 1958

Cast
Tom Helmore , Barbara Bel Geddes , Kim Novak , James Stewart , Henry Jones

James Stewart is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous collaborators. Their partnership began with the 1948 film Rope (1948), Hitchcock’s first in Technicolor. Alfred Hitchcock and James Stewart‘s collaboration resulted in several highly acclaimed movies. One of their most popular works is Rear Window (1954), where James Stewart starred alongside Grace Kelly. Their final collaboration was Vertigo (1958), a film that was initially met with mixed responses but was later recognized as a masterpiece, and was even named the greatest film ever made by the British Film Institute.

5 Cary Grant

Grant starred in some of Hitchcock’s best thrillers, including North by Northwest (1959) and Suspicion (1941).

North By Northwest

Release Date
September 8, 1959

Cast
Eva Marie Saint , James Mason , Cary Grant , Leo G. Carroll , Jessie Royce Landis

Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant‘s collaboration resulted in some of the finest thrillers, each leaving a lasting impact on American cinema. They made four movies together, starting with Suspicion (1941), where Grant starred alongside Joan Fontaine. The movie explores a tense marital relationship marred by suspicion and fear. Grant’s portrayal of a potentially dangerous husband was a departure from his usual charming roles. North by Northwest (1959) is perhaps their most iconic collaboration, with one of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history where enemies chase Grant’s character in a crop-duster plane.

4 Donald Calthrop

Calthrop appeared in five of Hitchcock’s early films.

Donald Calthrop in number seventeen

Donald Calthrop starred in five of Hitchcock’s early films. His collaboration with the famed director began with Blackmail in 1929, Britain’s first full-length sound film. In this groundbreaking movie, Calthrop portrayed the character of Tracy, a criminal whose actions set the story’s central conflict into motion. Following Blackmail, Calthrop appeared in Murder! (1930), where he played the role of Ion Stewart. Calthrop’s collaboration with Hitchcock continued with Number Seventeen (1932), one of Hitchcock’s lesser-known thrillers. He also played minor roles in Juno and the Paycock (1930) and Elstree Calling (1930).

Blackmail (1929) can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video and PLEX.

3 John Longden

Longden appeared in six of Hitchcock’s movies.

John Longden, Donald Calthrop, and Annya Ondra in Blackmail by Alfred Hitchcock

John Longden is noted for his significant collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock in the early stages of the legendary director’s career, starring in a total of six films. Longden’s work with Hitchcock began with the lead role in Blackmail (1929), the first successful full-length European talkie. This film marked a crucial point in both their careers, showcasing Hitchcock’s innovative use of sound and Longden’s versatile acting skills. Longden continued to work with Hitchcock, starring in a further 5 films. His contributions to these early Hitchcock films helped establish what would become the director’s famed suspenseful style.

2 Leo G. Carroll

Carroll was one of Hitchcock’s most frequent collaborators.

Leo G. Carroll in north by northwest

Leo G. Carroll’s collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock, spanning six films, made him one of the director’s most frequent and pivotal actors. In Rebecca (1940), his first Hitchcock role, Carroll played Dr. Baker, a minor yet significant character who added a layer of mystery to the story. He took on a more substantial role in Spellbound (1945) as Dr. Murchison, a psychiatrist with concealed motives, integral to the film’s suspense. Lastly, in North by Northwest (1959), one of Hitchcock’s best thrillers, Carroll played the role of The Professor. Carroll would later play a character based on Hitchcock himself in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).

North by Northwest (1959) can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.

1 Clare Greet

Greet appeared in more Hitchcock films than any other actor.

Clare Greet in Jamaica Inn

Clare Greet had a unique and enduring collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock, appearing in seven of his films, more than any other actor or actress. Greet’s partnership with Hitchcock began in the silent film era with The Ring (1927), where she played the role of a fortune-teller. She would go on to play small roles in some of Hitchcock’s most famous films, including Murder! (1930), where she played a theater troupe member, and Jamaica Inn (1939), where she played a small but memorable role, adding to the film’s tension. Greta will forever remain in history as Alfred Hitchcock‘s most prominent collaborator.

Jamaica Inn (1939) can be streamed on Apple TV.

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