Jane Stanton Hitchcock

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Jane Stanton Hitchcock
Jane Johnston Crowley

(1946-11-24) November 24, 1946 (age 72)
Other namesJane Crowley Stanton
Alma materSarah Lawrence College
  • Jim Hoagland (m. 1995)
  • William Mellon Hitchcock
    (m. 1975; div. 1991)

Jane Stanton Hitchcock (born November 24, 1946) is an American author, playwright, and screenwriter. She has written several plays but is known mostly for her mystery novels Mortal Friends, One Dangerous Lady, Social Crimes, The Witches' Hammer and Trick of the Eye.[1][2][3] Hitchcock also wrote the screenplays for Our Time and First Love.

Early life[edit]

Hitchcock was born Jane Johnston Crowley on (1946-11-24)November 24, 1946,[4] to Robert Crowley, a surgeon, and Joan Crowley (known professionally as Joan Alexander),[5] an actress known for playing Lois Lane on the radio serial The Adventures of Superman,[6][7] and Della Street on the radio serial Perry Mason.[5] Joan divorced Crowley and married Arthur Stanton, who adopted Jane when she was nine years old;[1] at which time, Jane came to be known as Jane Crowley Stanton.

She attended The Brearley School,[8] The Mary C. Wheeler School,[9] and Sarah Lawrence College, graduating in 1968. In 1975, she married William Mellon Hitchcock, adopting his last name, by which she would hitherto be known as Jane Stanton Hitchcock.[1][3]


Film and theatre[edit]

Hitchcock wrote a screenplay (under the name Jane C. Stanton) for the 1974 film Our Time, directed by Peter Hyams.[10] The film was set in 1955 at an all-girls boarding school in Massachusetts and dealt with the issue of abortion in a privileged setting.[11][12] In 1977, Paramount released First Love, a film written by Hitchcock who shared credit with David Freeman, and was directed by Joan Darling.[13][14][15]

In 1981, The American Place Theatre produced Hitchcock's play Grace under the direction of Peter Thompson. The Off-Broadway play was Hitchcock's "first professional New York production."[16] In 1983, another play by Hitchcock, a farce entitled Bhutan, was staged at the South Street Theater in Manhattan.[17]

Hitchcock's theatrical adaptation titled The Custom of the Country, based on Edith Wharton's novel by the same name, was staged by Shakespeare & Company at The Mount, Wharton's former home in Lenox, Massachusetts.[18] In September 1985, the play was staged by the Second Stage Theatre under the direction of Daniel Gerroll.[19][20]

In December 1989, Hitchcock's Vanilla, a play directed by Harold Pinter was staged at London's Lyric Theatre.[1][2][21]


Vowing not to rely on the "aid of actors and a director," Hitchcock changed mediums from plays to novels. In 1992, she published her first novel Trick of the Eye which was received with what William Norwich, of The New York Times, described as positive reviews.[1] In 1992, the book was nominated in the "Best First Novel" category for the Hammett Prize,[22] as well as the Edgar Award.[4][23] The murder mystery novel is narrated from the point of view of the protagonist Faith Crowell, an artist "who specializes in trompe l'oeil art" and is employed as a decorator to the rich. Crowell is hired to redecorate a ballroom originally designed for the coming-out party of her patron's daughter, who was murdered a few years after the debutante ball.[1][2] The book was adapted into a television film aired by CBS on October 23, 1994.[24]

Hitchcock published The Witches' Hammer in 1994.[25] Her third novel Social Crimes was released in 2002.[1] Social Crimes was the first of a two-book series introducing Jo Slater, a New York socialite who commits murder. According to Norwich, many readers of the same social circle, of which Hitchcock is also a member, had delighted in speculating that the character was in fact based on them.[1] In The New York Times Book Review about Social Crimes, Sarah Haight remarked that "Hitchcock depicts the glamour and fickleness of the Slaters' upper-crust life with the witty weariness of a seasoned observer."[26]

In June 2005, Hitchcock published the sequel to Social Crimes which was titled One Dangerous Lady.[27] The author and journalist Dominick Dunne, a friend of Hitchcock's who received an early copy, writes in the April 2005 issue of Vanity Fair that he was amused by the resemblance he himself bears to the description of the murder victim in the novel, who is "bludgeoned to death."[28]

At the end of June 2009, Hitchcock published Mortal Friends, a novel set in Washington D.C. As part of the promotions for the book, she was interviewed by Bob Schieffer on the CBS News show Washington Unplugged.[29][30] Joanne Kaufman in The Wall Street Journal describes Mortal Friends as a "briskly entertaining".[31]

Hitchcock is working on her sixth novel, Bluff, which reportedly is somehow connected to her new found passion for poker.[3] She is an avid poker player[32] and competes in the World Poker Tour[3][33] and the World Series of Poker.[34][35][36]

Personal life[edit]

In 1991, Hitchcock divorced William Mellon Hitchcock[1] and later married Jim Hoagland in 1995. Hoagland is a two-time Pulitzer prize-winning journalist. He was also a columnist and contributing editor at The Washington Post. They live in Washington, D.C.[3] Hitchcock was a close friend of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis[3][37][38] and read Psalm 23 at the former First Lady's funeral in 1994.[1]

At the time of his death in 1987, Hitchcock's step-father, Arthur Stanton, had left his wife and Hitchcock's mother Joan Alexander Stanton, an inheritance estimated at about $70–80 million.[3][39] The estate was to be overseen by Kenneth Ira Starr[8] who the Stantons had met through their daughter.[3][40] Starr, on Joan Stanton's behalf, eventually began making investments in a number of questionable ventures in which he had a personal vested interest, many of which resulted in a loss.[8] Sometime after 2006, Hitchcock and her mother became suspicious of Starr's dealings. A family friend, Jim Fennell, had discovered a scheme to use their East Hampton home as collateral to obtain a $5 million line of credit under the premise that the funds would be used to make more investments. Instead, Starr had been using Stanton's money to fund his lavish lifestyle.[8][40] When Hitchcock learned of this, she convinced her mother to seek legal assistance and brought the case to the attention of the New York County District Attorney. Her mother sued Starr in April 2008[8][40] but she died in May 2009.[5][39] Hitchcock settled the lawsuit under undisclosed terms but continued to assist in the ensuing criminal investigation. Starr was charge in criminal court for defrauding several celebrity figures.[8][41] He pleaded guilty[3] in September 2010 and he was sentenced to seven and half years in federal prison in March 2011.[38][42] In January 2012, the fraud case was featured in an episode in the sixth season of American Greed which included interviews with Hitchcock detailing how she pursued Starr until his conviction was secured.[40]

Published works[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Norwich, William (2002-06-06). "At Home With: Jane Stanton Hitchcock; In the Land of Toile, Murder Most Foul". The New York Times. pp. F1, F6. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  2. ^ a b c Sellers, Frances Stead (1992-09-06). "False Perceptions and Dark Designs". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Roberts, Roxanne (2017-04-24). "A 70-year-old socialite's unlikely journey from Park Avenue to the poker table". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
  4. ^ a b "Hitchcock, Jane Stanton 1946-". Contemporary Authors. Gale. 2009.
  5. ^ a b c Weber, Bruce (2009-05-22). "Joan A. Stanton, Radio Voice of Lois Lane, Is Dead at 94". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  6. ^ Sammis, Fred R.; et al., eds. (1953). "Joan Alexander–Success Story" (PDF). TV–Radio Annual. Radio–TV Mirror. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  7. ^ Weber, Bruce (2009-05-22). "Joan A. Stanton, Radio Voice of Lois Lane, Is Dead at 94". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Shnayerson, Michael (2010-08-01). "All The Best Victims". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  9. ^ Laurie, Flynn, ed. (2009). "Jane Stanton Hitchcock '64". Now & Then At Wheeler. 7 (2). Retrieved 2017-06-30 – via issuu.com.
  10. ^ a b Cocks, Jay (1974-04-29). "Cinema: Growing Pains". Time. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  11. ^ Canby, Vincent (1974-04-11). "The Screen: Our Time". The New York Times. p. 31. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  12. ^ "Goings on about town: Our Time". The New Yorker. 1974-04-22. p. 24. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  13. ^ a b Maslin, Janet (1977-11-05). "Movie Review: First Love, Film of the 70's, Misogynistic on Ugly Affair". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  14. ^ a b Haskell, Molly (1977-11-14). "First Love and Other Mixed Blessings". Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  15. ^ a b Flatley, Guy (1976-10-22). "At the Movies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  16. ^ Lawson, Carol (1981-10-02). "Broadway; Zoe Caldwell and Judith Anderson plan to do Medea.". The New York Times. p. C2. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  17. ^ Mitgang, Herbert (1983-12-01). "'Bhutan,' A Farce At South Street Stage". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  18. ^ Johnson, Malcolm L. (August 12, 1984). "Clipping from Hartford Courant - Newspapers.com". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2017-11-09 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ Holden, Stephen (1985-09-03). "Going Out Guide". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  20. ^ Rich, Frank (1985-09-23). "Stage: An Adaptation, Custom Of The Country'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  21. ^ Nemy, Enid (1989-12-01). "On Stage". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  22. ^ "The Hammett Prize: Past Winners, Nominees, and Judges". International Association of Crime Writers: North American Branch. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  23. ^ "Category List – Best First Novel". Edgars Database. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  24. ^ a b Leonard, John (1994-10-24). "TV Notes". New York Magazine. p. 106. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  25. ^ "The Witches' Hammer by Jane Stanton Hitchcock". Kirkus Reviews. May 20, 2010.
  26. ^ Haight, Sarah (2002-07-28). "Books In Brief: Fiction & Poetry". The New York Times Book Review. p. 17. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  27. ^ Roberts, Roxanne; Thomas, Laura (2005-06-20). "Out & About". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  28. ^ Dunne, Dominick (2005-04-01). "Sympathy for the Defense". The Hive. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  29. ^ Seifert, Lauren (2009-06-30). "Money, Power And Murder Inside The Beltway". CBS News. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  30. ^ Christine (2009-06-30). "DC-Based Novel "Mortal Friends" Hits Bookshelves This Week, Honey". AdWeek. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  31. ^ Kaufman, Joanne (2009-07-16). "The Case of the Beltway Basher". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  32. ^ "Jane Hitchcock - Poker Player". Card Player. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  33. ^ "Second Time Around Much Kinder Than The First". World Poker Tour. 2017-04-22. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  34. ^ "Jane Stanton Hitchcock Chipping Up". Poker News. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  35. ^ "World Series of Poker - Official Tournament Coverage and Results". World Series of Poker. July 9, 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  36. ^ Polla, Ada (2015-09-13). "Quills on Que". The Georgetown Dish. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  37. ^ Gordon, Meryl (2014-10-27). "Inside the Auction of the Decade". Town & Country. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  38. ^ a b Gordon, Meryl (2017-09-26). Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9781455588732.
  39. ^ a b Bernstein, Adam (2009-05-23). "1940s Radio Actress Joan Alexander Dies at 94". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  40. ^ a b c d Columbia, David Patrick (2012-01-31). "American Greed". New York Social Diary. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  41. ^ Gordon, Meryl (2011-07-25). "The Secret-Keeper". Newsweek. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  42. ^ Shifrel, Scott; Hutchinson, Bill (2011-03-02). "Ken Starr, accountant to the stars, sentenced to 7 1/2 years for Ponzi scheme". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2017-06-30.

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