Alfred Hitchcock was born on August 13, 1899 in London, England. He graduated from St. Ignatius College, where he studied engineering, and took art courses at the University of London. He worked briefly as a technical calculator for a cable company, but soon decided to focus on art, becoming an advertising layout draftsman for a London department store. In 1920, he got a job writing and illustrating title cards for silent pictures. He rose quickly, to script writer, art director and assistant director. By 1925, he had become a director, making a melodrama called The Pleasure Garden. In 1929, he directed Blackmail, Britain's first widely successful talking feature. The other movies he directed in England included The Lodger (U.S. title, The Case of Jonathan Drew), The Man Who Knew Too Much, The 39 Steps, and The Lady Vanishes. He was approached by producer David O. Selznick about directing in the United States, and he accepted so he could take advantage of the better-equipped American studios. His first American film, Rebecca, won the Academy Award for best picture. The other movies he directed in the United States included Shadow of a Doubt, Spellbound, Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds, Frenzy, and Family Plot. In 1979, he was awarded the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award. In 1980, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He died from liver failure and heart problems on April 29, 1980 at the age of 80.