Anthony Perkins in 1975, by Allan Warren
|Born||April 4, 1932|
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
|Died||September 12, 1992 (aged 60)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
Berry Berenson (m. 1973)
Janet Esselstyn Rane
Anthony Perkins (April 4, 1932 – September 12, 1992) was an American actor, director and singer. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his second film, Friendly Persuasion (1956), but is best remembered for playing Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) and its three sequels. His other films include Fear Strikes Out (1957), The Matchmaker (1958), On the Beach (1959), Tall Story (1960), The Trial (1962), Phaedra (1962), Five Miles to Midnight (1962), Pretty Poison (1968), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Mahogany (1975), The Black Hole (1979), North Sea Hijack (1980) and Crimes of Passion (1984).
Perkins was born in New York City, son of stage and film actor Osgood Perkins and his wife, Janet Esselstyn (née Rane). His paternal great-grandfather was wood engraver Andrew Varick Stout Anthony. He was five when his father died.
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Perkins made his film debut in The Actress (1953). The film was a commercial disappointment. Perkins was first really noticed when he replaced John Kerr on Broadway in the lead of Tea and Sympathy in 1954. This renewed Hollywood interest in him.
Perkins gained notice for his second film, Friendly Persuasion (1956), directed by William Wyler, in which he played the son of the lead character, played by Gary Cooper. The film was a hit and Perkins received the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor and an Academy Award nomination.
Subsequently, Perkins starred as troubled former Boston Red Sox baseball player Jimmy Piersall in the 1957 biopic Fear Strikes Out (1957) and in the two Westerns The Lonely Man (1957) (with Jack Palance) and The Tin Star (1957) (with Henry Fonda).
He released three pop music albums and several singles in 1957 and 1958 on Epic and RCA Victor under the name Tony Perkins. His single "Moon-Light Swim" was a moderate hit in the United States, peaking at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1957. He showcased his musical talents in The Matchmaker (1958) with Shirley Booth and Shirley MacLaine.
A life member of the Actors Studio, Perkins also acted in theater. In 1958, he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance in Look Homeward, Angel (1957–59) on Broadway. He played the role of Eugene Gant.
Perkins was Audrey Hepburn's love interest in Green Mansions (1959), one of Hepburn's few flops. He was a doomed lover in On the Beach (1959) and played a college basketball champion in Tall Story (1960), best remembered for being Jane Fonda's film debut.
Perkins in youth had a boyish, earnest quality, reminiscent of the young James Stewart, which Alfred Hitchcock exploited and subverted when the actor starred as Norman Bates in the film Psycho (1960). The film was a critical and commercial success, and gained Perkins international fame for his performance as the homicidal owner of the Bates Motel. Perkins' performance gained him the Best Actor Award from the International Board of Motion Picture Reviewers. The role and its multiple sequels affected the remainder of his career.
Perkins appeared in the film Goodbye Again (1961) with Ingrid Bergman, which was shot in Paris. His performance won him the Best Actor Award at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival. The film was a notable success in France but not the US.
He appeared in a short-lived Broadway play, Harold (1962), then was featured in a series of films shot in Europe: Phaedra (1962), shot in Greece with Melina Mercouri and directed by Jules Dassin; Five Miles to Midnight (1962) with Sophia Loren; Orson Welles' version of The Trial (1962, from the Kafka novel); Le glaive et la balance (1963), shot in France; and Une ravissante idiote (1964) with Brigitte Bardot.
Return to the U.S.
He starred in another French film, The Champagne Murders (1967) for Claude Chabrol, then made his first Hollywood movie since Psycho, Pretty Poison (1968) with Tuesday Weld. It was not a box office success, but has become a notable cult favorite.
Perkins co-wrote, with composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, the screenplay for the film The Last of Sheila (1973), for which they received a 1974 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay.
Perkins was one of the many stars featured in Murder on the Orient Express (1974). He co-starred with Beau Bridges in Lovin' Molly (also 1974). He enjoyed success on Broadway in Peter Shaffer's 1974 play Equus (where he was a replacement in the leading role originally played by Anthony Hopkins). Off-Broadway he directed The Wager (1974).
He co-starred with Geraldine Chaplin in Remember My Name (1978) and had some good roles on TV, playing Mary Tyler Moore's husband in First, You Cry (1978) and as Javert in Les Misérables (1978). He was featured in Walt Disney's The Black Hole, in 1979. He had another Broadway success with Bernard Slade's 1979 play Romantic Comedy, which ran for 396 performances.
Perkins reprised the role of Norman Bates in Psycho's three sequels. The first, Psycho II (1983), was a box-office success twenty-three years after the original film.
He went to Australia to appear in For the Term of His Natural Life (1983).
Perkins starred in some additional horror films, Edge of Sanity (1989), Daughter of Darkness (1990), and I'm Dangerous Tonight (1990). He played Norman Bates again in the made-for-cable film Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990), over which he had much creative control, although he was turned down for director.
Perkins has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an honor he received for his influential and exceptional contributions to the motion–picture industry. It is located at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
In 1991, Perkins was honored with the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.
Although he was suffering from AIDS, he appeared in six television productions between 1990 and 1992, including Daughter of Darkness (1990) and hosting a 12-episode horror anthology series titled Chillers (1990). He made his final appearance in In the Deep Woods (1992) with Rosanna Arquette. He had agreed to provide the voice for the role of the dentist, Dr. Wolfe, in The Simpsons episode "Last Exit to Springfield" but died before the part could be recorded. In the end, the character was voiced by Simpsons regular Hank Azaria.
Perkins was extremely shy, especially in the company of women. According to the posthumous biography Split Image by Charles Winecoff, he had exclusively same-sex relationships until his late 30s, including with actor Tab Hunter, artist Christopher Makos, dancer Rudolf Nureyev, composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and dancer-choreographer Grover Dale. Perkins has also been described as one of the two great men in the life of French songwriter Patrick Loiseau.
Perkins reportedly had his first heterosexual experience at age 39 with actress Victoria Principal on location filming The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean in 1971. He met photographer Berinthia "Berry" Berenson, the younger sister of actress and model Marisa Berenson, at a party in Manhattan in 1972. They married when he was 41 and she was 25, on August 9, 1973 and had two sons: actor Oz Perkins (b. February 2, 1974) and musician Elvis Perkins (b. February 9, 1976). Perkins and Berenson remained married until his death. In 2001, on the day before the ninth anniversary of his death, Perkins' wife died at age 53 in the September 11 attacks aboard American Airlines Flight 11. She was returning to her California home following a holiday on Cape Cod.
Perkins was diagnosed with HIV during the filming of Psycho IV: The Beginning, and died at his Los Angeles home on September 12, 1992, from AIDS-related pneumonia at age 60. His urn, inscribed "Don't Fence Me In", is in an altar by a bench on the terrace of his former home in the Hollywood Hills.
|1953||The Big Story||Ralph Darrow||Episode: "Robert Billeter of the Pendleton Times of Franklin, West Virginia"|
|1954||Kraft Television Theatre||Guest Star||Episode: "The Missing Years"|
|1954||Armstrong Circle Theatre||Philippe||Episode: "The Fugitive"|
|1954||The Man Behind the Badge||Pedro||Episode: "The East Baton Rouge Story"|
|1954||The Man Behind the Badge||Pedro||Episode: "The Case of the Narcotics Racket"|
|1955||General Electric Theater||West Wind||Episode: "Mr. Blue Ocean"|
|1955||Windows||Benji||Episode: "The World Out There"|
|1956||Kraft Television Theatre||Willie O'Reilly||Episode: "Home Is the Hero"|
|1956||Studio One||Clyde Smith||Episode: "The Silent Gun"|
|1956||Front Row Center||Dexter Green||Episode: "Winter Dreams"|
|1956||Goodyear Television Playhouse||Joey||Episode: "Joey"|
|1966||ABC Stage 67||Charles Snell||Episode: "Evening Primrose"|
|1968||Play of the Month||Tommy Turner||Episode: "The Male Animal"|
|1976||Saturday Night Live||Host / Norman Bates / Various||Episode: "Anthony Perkins/Betty Carter"|
|1979||The Horror Show||Host||Television documentary|
|1983||For the Term of His Natural Life||Reverend James North||Television miniseries (2 episodes)|
|1984||The Glory Boys||Jimmy||Television miniseries (3 episodes)|
|1987||Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story||Talleyrand||Television miniseries (3 episodes)|
|1990||Chillers||Host||Television series (12 episodes)|
|1990||The Ghost Writer||Anthony Strack||Television pilot episode|
|1954–55||Tea and Sympathy||Tom Lee||Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City||Broadway (replacement for John Kerr)|
|1957–59||Look Homeward, Angel||Eugene Gant||Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City||Broadway|
|1960||Greenwillow||Gideon Briggs||Alvin Theatre, New York City||Broadway|
|1962||Harold||Harold Selbar||Cort Theatre, New York City||Broadway|
|1966–67||The Star-Spangled Girl||Andy Hobart||Plymouth Theatre, New York City||Broadway|
|1970||Steambath||Tandy||Truck and Warehouse Theater, New York City||Off-Broadway (also director)|
|1974||The Wager||N/A||Eastside Playhouse, New York City||Off-Broadway (director)|
|1975–76||Equus||Martin Dysart||Plymouth Theatre, New York City||Broadway (replacement for Anthony Hopkins)|
|1979–80||Romantic Comedy||Jason Carmichael||Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York City||Broadway|
|1957||Orchestra Under the Direction of Martin Paich||Epic Records|
|1958||On A Rainy Afternoon||RCA Victor|
|1958||From My Heart...||RCA Victor|
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- Jean, Al (2004). The Simpsons season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Last Exit to Springfield" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
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- Winecoff, Charles (1996). Split Image: The Life of Anthony Perkins. New York City: Dutton. ISBN 0-525-94064-2.
- "La MST de Dave: son compagnon raconte…". Closer (in French). May 2, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
- "Great Factoids". People. March 6, 1989. Archived from the original on September 20, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Kennedy, Dana (September 20, 1996). "Split Image: The Life of Anthony Perkins". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 5, 2017.
- Hopkinson, Amanda (September 14, 2001). "Berry Berenson". The Guardian. Retrieved August 28, 2009.
- Hopkinson, Amanda (September 14, 2001). "Berry Berenson". The Guardian. London, England: Guardian Media Group.
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- Weinraub, Bernard (September 16, 1992). "Anthony Perkins's Wife Tells of 2 Years of Secrecy". The New York Times. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- Ferrell, David (September 13, 1992). "Anthony Perkins, 60, Dies; Star of 'Psycho' Had AIDS". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- "Anthony Perkins". TV Guide. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 36782-36783). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- Bergan, Ronald: Anthony Perkins: A Haunted Life. London: Little, Brown and Company, 1995; ISBN 0-316-90697-2.
- Hilton, Johan: Monster i garderoben: En bok om Anthony Perkins och tiden som skapade Norm Bates. Stockholm: Natur & Kultur, 2015; ISBN 978-91-271-3430-0. (in Swedish)
- Capua, Michelangelo "Anthony Perkins. Prigioniero della Paura." Torino, Lindau, 2003; ISBN 978-8867082759
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anthony Perkins.|
- Anthony Perkins on IMDb
- Anthony Perkins at the Internet Broadway Database
- Anthony Perkins at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Anthony Perkins at the TCM Movie Database
- Anthony Perkins at AllMovie
- Psycho star Anthony Perkins on playing Norman Bates
- Anthony Perkins interviewed by Mike Wallace on The Mike Wallace Interview March 22, 1958