THE BIRDS Costar Suzanne Pleshette Dies

On January 19, Suzanne Pleshette died of respiratory failure at her home in Los Angeles, ending a battle with lung cancer. In her role as Annie Hayworth in The Birds, she perfectly pulled off the character's special combination of wit, intelliegence and what Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" described as 'a poignant smile tinged with the sadness of a great love.' For me, Alfred Hitchcock's glacially blonde leading ladies have sometimes been a bit off-putting. Their icy inaccessibility often makes them, well, inaccessible. But the brunette co-stars? That's another story. Sophisticated, sultry and often salty, these were the kind of girls that I could cozy up to. Ms. Pleshette definitely fit that bill. May she travel well into the next realm.