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Biography for
Clara Thornhill (Character)
from North by Northwest (1959)

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In Hitchcock's "North By Northwest" (1959), Clara Thornhill (Jesse Royce Landis) is the mother of the protagonist Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant). She is an archetype of the modern merry widow, playing bridge, going out on the town, attending the theater, and sipping cocktails, all when not cheerfully poking holes in the ego of her middle-aged son. When she and Roger find themselves in a crowded hotel elevator with two of the sinister henchmen of the main villain of the piece, she innocently asks, "You're not REALLY trying to kill my son, are you?" Landis played the mother of the Grant character's love interest (played by Grace Kelly) in the earlier Hitchcock film "To Catch A Thief" (1955). In real life Landis was 10 months younger than her "North By Northwest" screen son.

Page last updated by mbrachman, 4 years ago
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