Berry Berenson

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Berry Berenson
Berry Berenson.jpg
Berenson in 1971
Berinthia Berenson

(1948-04-14)April 14, 1948
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedSeptember 11, 2001(2001-09-11) (aged 53)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Cause of deathTerrorist attack
OccupationActress, model, photographer
Years active1960s–2001
(m. 1973; died 1992)
ChildrenOz Perkins
Elvis Perkins
RelativesElsa Schiaparelli (grandmother)
Marisa Berenson (sister)

Berinthia "Berry" Berenson-Perkins (née Berenson; April 14, 1948 – September 11, 2001) was an American photographer, actress, and model. Berenson, who was married to actor Anthony Perkins from 1973 until his death in 1992, died in the September 11 attacks as a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11.

Early life[edit]

Berry Berenson was born in Murray Hill, Manhattan, New York City. Her mother was born Maria-Luisa Yvonne Radha de Wendt de Kerlor, better known as Gogo Schiaparelli, a socialite of Italian, Swiss, French, and Egyptian ancestry.[1] Her father, Robert Lawrence Berenson, was an American career diplomat turned shipping executive; he was of Lithuanian-Jewish descent, and his family's original surname was "Valvrojenski".[2][3][4]

Berenson's maternal grandmother was the Italian-born fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli,[5] and her maternal grandfather was Wilhelm de Wendt de Kerlor, a Theosophist and psychic medium.[1][6][7] Her elder sister, Marisa Berenson, became a well-known model and actress. She also was a great-grandniece of Giovanni Schiaparelli, an Italian astronomer who believed he had discovered the supposed canals of Mars, and a second cousin, once removed, of art expert Bernard Berenson (1865–1959) and his sister Senda Berenson (1868–1954), an athlete and educator who was one of the first two women elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.[8]


Following a brief modeling career in the late 1960s, Berenson became a freelance photographer. By 1973, her photographs had been published in Life, Glamour, Vogue and Newsweek.[9]

Berenson studied acting at New York's The American Place Theatre with Wynn Handman along with Richard Gere, Philip Anglim, Penelope Milford, Robert Ozn, Ingrid Boulting and her sister Marisa.

Berenson also appeared in several motion pictures. She starred opposite Anthony Perkins in the 1978 Alan Rudolph film Remember My Name, and appeared with Jeff Bridges in the 1979 film Winter Kills and Malcolm McDowell in Cat People (1982).

Personal life and death[edit]

Berenson's name is located on Panel N-76 of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum's North Pool.

On August 9, 1973, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Berenson, three months pregnant, married her future Remember My Name co-star Anthony Perkins. The couple raised two sons: actor-director Oz Perkins (born 1974) and folk/rock singer-songwriter Elvis Perkins (born 1976).[10] They remained married until Perkins's death from AIDS-related complications on September 12, 1992.[11][12][13]

Berenson died at age 53 in 2001 in the September 11 attacks aboard American Airlines Flight 11. She was returning to her Los Angeles home, following a holiday on Cape Cod.[14]

At the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Berenson is memorialized at the North Pool, on Panel N-76.[15]


  1. ^ a b Elsa Schiaparelli. Shocking Life. New York. Dutton, 1954
  2. ^ Bernard Berenson. Sketch for a Self-Portrait. New York. Pantheon. 1949
  3. ^ "Robert L. Berenson, Ex-Envoy and Head of Shipping Line, Dies". The New York Times. February 3, 1965, page 35
  4. ^ "Marisa $chiaparelli Is Married in Gown Designed. by Her Mother, the Cougurlere". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Linda Greenhouse, "Schiaparelli Dies in Paris; Brought Color to Fashion", The New York Times, November 15, 1973
  6. ^ Thurman, Judith (October 27, 2003). "Mother of Invention". The New Yorker.
  7. ^ "Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica entry". February 27, 2006. Archived from the original on May 24, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
  8. ^ "Encyclopædia Britannica Online entry". February 16, 1954. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
  9. ^ Judy Klemesrud, "And Now, Make Room for the Berenson Sisters", The New York Times, April 19, 1973, page 54
  10. ^ Maynard, Joyce (January 12, 1977). "Tony Perkins and Family: A Study in Informal Togetherness". The New York Times. Westchester Weekly Section. p. 58
  11. ^ Goodman, Mark (September 28, 1992). "One Final Mystery: Surrounded by Family, Friends and a Wall of Silence, Tony Perkins Succumbs to AIDS" Archived March 23, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. People. Vol. 38 No. 13.
  12. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (September 16, 1992). "Anthony Perkins's Wife Tells of 2 Years of Secrecy". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Ferrell, David (September 13, 1992). "Anthony Perkins, 60, Dies; Star of 'Psycho' Had AIDS". Los Angeles Times.
  14. ^ Hopkinson, Amanda (September 14, 2001). "Berry Berenson". The Guardian.
  15. ^ "Berry Berenson Perkins" Archived July 27, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Memorial Guide: National 9/11 Memorial. Retrieved October 28, 2011.

External links[edit]

Media related to Berry Berenson at Wikimedia Commons