On film they were effervescent, almost spilling over the screen with mystery and magnetism. Alfred Hitchcock fancied women who had fire underneath their cool, icy exterior of sunglasses and headscarves. They were almost untouchable. Under their slicked, bleached bouffants was danger and deception and maybe a plan. Besides being merely flaxen and fierce, the women constructed arguments to domineering male costars, showing them that they were forces you shouldn’t reckon with.

Their secret plots are what made Hitchcock films the way they are because what happened was always what you never thought would happen. The most popular actresses of the era were taken off their pedestals of fame and put in immediate danger that drew audiences and cinematic praise for the director throughout his career.

These were a group of women who finally played characters who were curious about things beyond lipstick and panty hose; who had other things to worry about, like mental illness and murder. Their lives went beyond homemaking. To compare them in pop culture, they were the thinking man’s Bond Girl.

The women were all put together aesthetically as beautiful as possible with long black gloves and ball gown dresses but beneath their exteriors there was drama and pain and loss. Not one of them was perfect and we wouldn’t want them any other way.

Here are six of the most memorable Hitchcock women. They’re all mysterious. They’re all blonde. They’re all fierce.