Cameo, sham-eo

A hot topic of discussion over at the Hitchcock Wiki Forum recently was that AH may have made a second cameo in North By Northwest. Hitchcock is famous for appearing briefly in his films, and he’s often easy to spot. But he always restricted himself to just one appearance per film. The idea of a second cameo in any film–heresy! So controversial has this been, even the Telegraph picked up the story.

The recognized cameo is easily spotted and comes just as the opening titles finish: trying to board a bus, Hitchcock gets the door slammed in his face. The second cameo occurred–supposedly–later, on the train, when Cary Grant emerges after hiding in the restroom. Just visible down the corridor at that moment is a woman, sitting, whose profile bears a striking resemblance to the director’s. Hitchcock in a dress?

DavyP has the details here. But after examining the evidence, the conclusion he reaches is that it’s a cameo, all right, just not Hitchcock’s. It’s an actress named Jesslyn Fax, a veteran of many Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes. Here’s the RW connection: she’s the woman who plays Miss Hearing Aid, the sculptress, seen napping at the end of the picture. Those cameos can be exhausting, I guess.

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