G.P. Putnam’s Sons Publisher
October 10, 2023
$5.95 (Audiobook); $14.99 (Kindle); $29.00 (Hardcover)
Alfred Hitchcock was fixated — not just on the dark, twisty stories that became his hallmark, but also by the blond actresses who starred in many of his iconic movies. The director of North by Northwest, Rear Window, and other classic films didn’t much care if they wore wigs, got their hair coloring out of a bottle, or were the rarest human specimen — a natural blonde — as long as they shone with a golden veneer on camera. The lengths he went to in order to showcase (and often manipulate) these women would become the stuff of movie legend. But the women themselves have rarely been at the center of the story, until now.
In Hitchcock’s Blondes, bestselling biographer Laurence Leamer offers an intimate journey into the lives of eight legendary actresses whose stories helped chart the course of the troubled, talented director’s career — from his early days in the British film industry, to his triumphant American debut, to his Hollywood heyday and beyond. Through the stories of June Howard-Tripp, Madeleine Carroll, Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Janet Leigh, Kim Novak, Eva Marie Saint, and Tippi Hedren—who starred in fourteen of Hitchcock’s most notable films and who bore the brunt of his fondness and sometimes fixation — we can finally start to see the enigmatic man himself. After all, “his” blondes (as he thought of them) knew the truths of his art, his obsessions and desires, as well as anyone.
About the author —
Laurence Leamer is the New York Times bestseller author of nineteen books. As a young man, he worked in a French factory, a West Virginia coal mine and a school in the mountains of Nepal. The subjects Leamer has written about are as varied as his life, from the costs of power in Washington to the travails of celebrity in Hollywood, and from the legal struggles of two Pittsburgh lawyers against a coal mogul to the games played in the elegant salons of Palm Beach. The award-winning author’s books focusing on women have been particularly well regarded starting with The Kennedy Women, a number two New York Times bestseller.
His recent book, Capote’s Women, a national bestseller, is being made into an eight-hour series starring Naomi Watts, Diane Lane, Calista Flockhart, Molly Ringwald, and Tom Hollander. Leamer’s newest book, Hitchcock’s Blondes, is the second part of a trilogy about intriguing women involved with creative geniuses. The author has a wife, Vesna Obradovic Leamer, who takes care of everything else in their complicated lives. He is fortunate as well in having a terrific daughter, Daniela Mantilla, a great son in law, Antonio Mantilla, and two dynamite grandkids, Alejandro and Emilia. If one has good health, a close family and loyal friends one has everything. The author lives in Palm Beach, Florida and Washington, D.C.