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How a Venerable SF Department Store Played a Role in The Birds

Photo: Universal Studios
Photo: Universal Studios

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Before she became a Hitchcock blonde, Tippi Hedren was a model and single mother looking for commercial jobs in Los Angeles. And then Alfred Hitchcock's people called. Hedren tells Variety, "For three days, I was put through this incredible learning time. Both Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, were my drama coaches, which was pretty amazing. He tried so hard to break me, make me cry. But I didn't do it. And then after everybody looked at my screen test, I was invited out to dinner with the Hitchcocks. Hitch placed a beautifully wrapped package from Gump's in San Francisco in front of me. And I opened it and it was a gold and sea pearl pin of three birds in flight. And he said, "We want you to play Melanie Daniels in 'The Birds.'" The store doesn't currently offer Hedren's bird pin on its website, but this ruby-eyed dove brooch could be a workable alternative for all you Hitchcock fans.
· My First Time in Variety: Tippi Hedren [Variety]
· Mapping Hitchcock's Murder Mysteries in Northern California [Curbed]