Helen Clarvoe

Helen Clarvoe is the main villainess from "Beast in View," episode 2.21 of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

She was played by the late Joan Hackett.

In the episode, Helen Clarvoe is being harassed by Dorothy Johnson, who blames Helen for ruining her engagement to Helen's brother and had been harassing Helen (as well as Helen's mother) over the phone on several occasions. In actuality, Helen had been behind the phone calls, doing so while pretending to be Dorothy.

In the past, Helen and Dorothy were good friends, but on the night of Dorothy's wedding to Helen's brother, Helen told a lie about Dorothy stealing some of her family's fortune, leading to the engagement being called off. It was revealed that Helen had (assumingly) harbored some jealousy of Dorothy, due to her own father praising Dorothy over her. After her actions, Helen became schizophrenic out of guilt and pretended to be Dorothy—even imitating her accent and high voice. In her psychotic state, Helen vandalized a modeling studio by drawing on the walls with her lipstick, and later shot and killed photographer Jack Terola.

Helen's reveal came in the episode's climax, when the real Dorothy appeared and informed lawyer Paul Blackshear that Helen pointed a gun at her and forced her to go out to the hall, while Helen continued switching personalities—denigrating herself in her "Dorothy" persona. She appeared to be brought back to normal when the real Dorothy pleaded with her to come out, but when Helen saw her, she reverted back to her psychosis, insisting that she is Dorothy and the real Dorothy isn't. Helen later recalls her actions while staring at her mirror, prompting Helen to fire a shot that shattered the mirror. At episode's end, Helen ends up in Paul's arms, and is eventually arrested.


  • The episode, "Beast In View," was remade as part of the revived Alfred Hitchcock Presents series in 1986, featuring Janet Eilber as the episode's villain.