Marion Crane

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Psycho character
Marion Crane.jpg
Marion Crane
Gender Female
Born: November 4, 1927
Died December 12, 1959
(32 years old)
Fairvale, California, U.S.
Relationships Lila Crane (sister, deceased)
Sam Loomis (boyfriend, later brother-in-law, deceased)
Mary Loomis (niece, deceased)
Portrayed by: Janet Leigh (Psycho)
Vera Miles (Psycho trailer)
Anne Heche (Psycho (1998))
Rihanna (Bates Motel)

Marion Crane (also called Mary Crane) is a fictional character created by Robert Bloch in his 1959 novel Psycho, and portrayed by Janet Leigh in it's 1960 film of the same name directed by Alfred Hitchcock.[1][2] She is one of Norman Bates' slained victims, known famously as "the girl in the shower".

Fictional character biography[edit]

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 Norman and his mother about letting Marion into the house.[3]

During dinner, Marion has a conversation with Norman, 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 Norman 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 Norman 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, Norman 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 Norman 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 Norman explains that, when Norman felt attracted to Marion, the "Mother" personality became jealous and killed her. In the final scene, Norman—now completely controlled by the "Mother" personality—is institutionalized for killing Marion.

Differences between the film and novel[edit]

In the novel, she is named "Mary Crane" and she dies after Norman decapitates her; in the film, "Mother" stabs her repeatedly. In the novel, she is Norman's first victim; in the film, he had murdered two young girls before her.

Appearances in the rest of the series[edit]

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 Norman 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 Norman's 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 police when she attempts to kill Norman.

In the second sequel, 1986's Psycho III, the shower scene appears again in a flashback, this time when Norman sees Maureen Coyle (played by Diana Scarwid) who reminds him of Marion. "Mother" tries to kill Maureen in exactly the same room and bathroom of the Bates Motel where Marion died, only to find that Maureen slit her wrists in a bathtub filled with water in an attempted suicide. Later, after being rescued by Norman, Maureen dies falling down the same stairs of the Bates house where Milton Arbogast died.

Marion makes no appearance in the final sequel, 1990's Psycho IV: The Beginning. She is merely referred to a few times as "the girl he killed in the shower".

Comic books[edit]

Marion appears in the 1992 three-issue comic book adaptation of the 1960 film Psycho, released by Innovation Publishing.


Janet Leigh played the character of Marion in the 1960 film Psycho, and by Vera Miles, Leigh's co-star, in a trailer for the film.

Anne Heche played Marion in the 1998 remake.

Marion will appear in the fifth and final season of the TV series Bates Motel portrayed by Rihanna for multiple episodes.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Marion Crane". Comic Vine. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  2. ^ "Hitchcock's leading ladies". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  3. ^ Haggstrom, Jason (June 16, 2010). "Marion, Norman, and the Collision of Narratives in Psycho". Reel 3. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Evry, Max (July 22, 2016). "Comic-Con: Rihanna to Play Marion Crane in Bates Motel Season 5". Coming Soon. 

External links[edit]