London, May 28 : He was the master of suspense and thriller and the name behind many successful films, but behind the scenes Alfred Hitchcock was a man who took an apparently perverted pleasure in torturing his female stars - physically and emotionally.
According to 'Alfred Hitchcock And His Leading Ladies', Hitchcock lusted after his leading ladies and the cruelty he showed them, fuelled and ruined his 'high-flying' career.
The book talks about Hitchcock' s relationship with the American actress Tippi Hedren and how the association resulted in his career's downfall.
The then 65-year-old Hitch had made no secret of his desire for Tippi, who was already married with a baby.
During filming of 'The Birds', Hitchcock had banned any of the other cast and crew from talking to Tippi, then in her 30s, and, on one occasion, had attempted to grab and violently kiss her in the back of a car as they drove on to the set.
Tippi did her best to discourage Hitchock's advances but, when the pair were reunited for 'Marnie', the 26-stone director's obsession grew worse.
He began to describe fantasies he had of them living together, sent her passionate letters and refused to let her travel to New York to receive an award for fear of letting her out of his sight.
But despite the warning signs, even Tippi wasn't prepared for what Hitchcock did next.
"He stared at me and simply said, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, that from this time on, he expected me to make myself sexually available and accessible to him - however and whenever and wherever he wanted," The Daily Express quoted Tippi, as saying.
"That was the moment, after almost three years of trying to cope, when I finally had enough - that was the limit, that was the end," she recalls.
According to Hitchcock biographer Donald Spoto "Hedren was Hitchcock's last great obsession and arguably his downfall."
"Considering the films he made and the leading ladies who came after Tippi, it is clear he lost all interest in his women, his actors, his stories - indeed, in movies," he added.