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|Born:||November 4, 1927|
|Died||December 12, 1959
(32 years old)
|Relationships||Lila Crane (sister, deceased)
Sam Loomis (boyfriend, later brother-in-law, deceased)
Mary Loomis (niece, deceased)
|Portrayed by:||Janet Leigh
Anne Heche (Psycho: 1998 remake)
Rihanna (Bates Motel)
Fictional character biography
Unhappy in her relationship with her boyfriend, a divorcé named Sam Loomis (John Gavin), Marion rejects his idea to take the afternoon off and rushes back to her storefront real estate office. Her boss of ten years, Mr. Lowery (Vaughn Taylor), arrives shortly afterward with Tom Cassidy (Frank Albertson), a wealthy customer who gives her $40,000 to put in the bank for him. However, instead of going to the bank, Marion impulsively goes on the run with the money. She turns off the main road without realizing it, and arrives at the Bates Motel and checks in with the proprietor, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), who shyly invites her to have dinner with him. After wrapping the remaining money inside a newspaper, Marion overhears a heated argument between Bates and his mother about letting Marion into the house.
During dinner, Marion has a conversation with Bates, who says that he is trapped by his obligation to his mentally ill mother. She realizes that she, too, is stuck in a "private trap", and can only escape it by taking responsibility for stealing the money. She gently suggests to Bates that he put his mother in a mental hospital, which he heatedly refuses to do. She bids him goodnight, and returns to her room. There, she undresses while Bates watches through a peephole hidden in the wall of his office. Resolving to make amends to her employer, Marion makes a few calculations based on how much the escapade has cost her. She then takes a shower. Suddenly, a mysterious figure enters the bathroom—shadowy through the shower curtain—and stabs Marion to death. Believing his mother has committed the murder, Bates puts the naked body & shower curtain; and, unknowingly, the money in the trunk of Marion's car and sinks it in a nearby swamp.
The climax of the novel and film reveals that Bates murdered Marion while under the control of an alternate personality—one taking the form of his mother, whom he had murdered ten years before. The psychiatrist who examines Bates explains that, when Bates felt attracted to Marion, the "Mother" personality became jealous and killed her. In the final scene, Bates—now completely controlled by the "Mother" personality—is institutionalized for killing Marion.
Differences between the film and novel
In the novel, she is named "Mary Crane" and she dies after Bates cuts off her head; in the film, "Mother" stabs her repeatedly. In the novel, she is Bates' first victim; in the film, he had murdered two young girls before her.
Appearances in the rest of the series
Psycho's first sequel, 1983's Psycho II, starts off with a flashback to the shower scene. Vera Miles returns as Marion's sister, Lila Crane, now Lila Loomis, who is on a crusade to keep Bates locked up. The film introduces Mary Loomis (Meg Tilly), Lila's daughter with Sam and Marion's niece. Both are killed in the film; Lila is stabbed while in Bates' fruit cellar by a woman who looks like him in his "Mother" guise (later revealed to be Emma Spool, played by Claudia Bryar), and Mary is shot by a policeman when she attempts to stab Bates.
- "Marion Crane". Comic Vine. comicvine.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
- "Hitchcock's leading ladies". Houston Chronicle. chron.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
- Haggstrom, Jason (June 16, 2010). "Marion, Norman, and the Collision of Narratives in Psycho". Reel 3. reel3.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
- Evry, Max (July 22, 2016). "Comic-Con: Rihanna to Play Marion Crane in Bates Motel Season 5". Coming Soon.