Anthony Perkins (April 4, 1932 – September 12, 1992) was an American actor and singer.
Anthony Perkins in 1975, by Allan Warren
April 4, 1932|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||September 12, 1992
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||AIDS-related pneumonia|
|Spouse(s)||Berry Berenson (1973–1992, his death)|
Janet Esselstyn Rane
He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his second film, Friendly Persuasion but is best known for playing Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and its three sequels.
His other films include The Trial, Phaedra, Fear Strikes Out, Tall Story, The Matchmaker, Pretty Poison, North Sea Hijack, Five Miles to Midnight, The Black Hole, Murder on the Orient Express, Mahogany, and Crimes of Passion.
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). He received the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor and an Academy Award nomination for his second film, Friendly Persuasion (1956). The tall (6'2", 188 cm) Perkins also portrayed the troubled former Boston Red Sox baseball player Jimmy Piersall in the 1957 biopic Fear Strikes Out.
Following this, he released three pop music albums in 1957 and 1958 on Epic and RCA Victor as "Tony Perkins". His single "Moon-Light Swim" was a 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 on Broadway. He played the role of Eugene Gant.
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 1960 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.
In 1961, Perkins received considerable critical acclaim for his performance in the film Goodbye Again, opposite Ingrid Bergman, a performance which won him the Best Actor Award at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival.
After that came a successful career in Europe, including the role of Joseph K. in Orson Welles' 1962 adaptation of Kafka's The Trial (1962). In 1964 he starred in Une ravissante idiote. Upon returning to America, he took the role of a disturbed young murderer in Pretty Poison (1968) opposite Tuesday Weld. He also played Chaplain Tappman in Catch-22 (1970). Perkins co-wrote, with composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim, the screenplay for the 1973 film The Last of Sheila, for which they received a 1974 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay.
In 1972, he appeared in Play It as It Lays and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean. Perkins was one of the many stars featured in the 1974 hit Murder on the Orient Express. He also hosted television's Saturday Night Live in 1976 and was featured in the box office-smash and space opus, Walt Disney's The Black Hole, in 1979.
His Broadway credits also included the 1967 Neil Simon comedy The Star-Spangled Girl, the Frank Loesser musical Greenwillow (1960), for which he was nominated for another Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, Peter Shaffer's 1974 play Equus (where he was a replacement in the leading role originally played by Anthony Hopkins), and Bernard Slade's 1979 play Romantic Comedy.
Perkins reprised the role of Norman Bates in three sequels to Psycho. The first, Psycho II (1983), was a box office success 23 years after the original film. He then starred in and directed Psycho III (for which he was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actor) in 1986, but refused to reprise his role as Bates in the failed television pilot Bates Motel, famously boycotting the project in a very ardent, and well-received, oppositional public campaign. He did play Bates in the following made-for-cable film Psycho IV: The Beginning in 1990, over which he had much creative control, although he was turned down for director. He directed a comedy horror film in 1988 called Lucky Stiff.
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 fighting AIDS, he appeared in eight television productions between 1990 and 1992, including Daughter of Darkness (1990) and The Naked Target (1992). 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 an extremely shy person, 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 actors Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter; artist Christopher Makos; dancer Rudolf Nureyev; composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim; and dancer-choreographer Grover Dale. Perkins has been described as one of the two great men in the life of French author 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 New York City in 1972. They married when he was age 41, on August 9, 1973 and had two sons: actor Oz Perkins (b. February 2, 1974), and musician Elvis Perkins (b. February 9, 1976).
Diagnosed with HIV during the filming of Psycho IV, Perkins 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. His wife died nine years later, in the September 11 attacks.
|1953||The Actress||Fred Whitmarsh|
|1956||Friendly Persuasion||Josh Birdwell||Nomination – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1957||Fear Strikes Out||Jim Piersall|
|1957||The Lonely Man||Riley Wade|
|1957||The Tin Star||Sheriff Ben Owens|
|1958||This Angry Age||Joseph Dufresne||Alternate title: The Sea Wall|
|1958||Desire Under the Elms||Eben Cabot|
|1958||The Matchmaker||Cornelius Hackl|
|1959||On the Beach||Lt. Peter Holmes – Royal Australian Navy|
|1960||Tall Story||Ray Blent|
|1960||Psycho||Norman Bates||Best Actor International board of motion picture reviewers|
|1961||Goodbye Again||Philip Van der Besh||Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award|
|1962||Five Miles to Midnight||Robert Macklin||French title: Le couteau dans la plaie|
|1962||The Trial||Josef K|
|1963||Le glaive et la balance||Johnny Parsons||English title: The Sword and the Balance|
|1964||Une ravissante idiote||Harry Compton / Nicholas Maukouline||English title: The Ravishing Idiot|
|1965||The Fool Killer||Milo Bogardus|
|1966||Is Paris Burning?||Sgt. Warren||Original French title: Paris brûle-t-il ?|
|1966||Evening Primrose||Charles Snell||TV movie|
|1967||The Champagne Murders||Christopher||Original French title: Le Scandale|
|1968||Pretty Poison||Dennis Pitt|
|1970||Catch-22||Chaplain Capt. A. T. Tappman|
|1970||How Awful About Allan||Allan||TV movie|
|1971||Someone Behind the Door||Laurence Jeffries||Original French title: Quelqu'un derrière la porte|
|1971||Ten Days' Wonder||Charles Van Horn||Original French title: La Décade prodigieuse|
|1972||Play It as It Lays||B.Z. Mendenhall|
|1972||The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean||Reverend LaSalle|
|1974||Murder on the Orient Express||Hector McQueen|
|1978||Remember My Name||Neil Curry|
|1978||First, You Cry||Arthur Heroz||TV movie|
|1978||Les Misérables||Javert||TV movie|
|1979||North Sea Hijack||Lou Kramer||Alternate titles: Ffolkes and Assault Force|
|1979||Winter Kills||John Cerruti|
|1979||Twice a Woman||Alfred Boeken|
|1979||The Black Hole||Dr. Alex Durant|
|1980||Deadly Companion||Lawrence Miles||Alternate title: Double Negative|
|1983||For the Term of His Natural Life||Rev James North||TV miniseries|
|1983||The Sins of Dorian Gray||Henry Lord||TV movie|
|1983||Psycho II||Norman Bates|
|1984||The Glory Boys||Jimmy||TV miniseries|
|1984||Crimes of Passion||Rev. Peter Shayne|
|1986||Psycho III||Norman Bates||Also director
Nomination – Saturn Award for Best Actor
|1987||Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story||Talleyrand||TV miniseries|
|1988||Destroyer||Robert Edwards||Alternate title: Shadow of Death|
|1989||Edge of Sanity||Dr. Henry Jekyll / Jack 'The Ripper' Hyde|
|1990||Daughter of Darkness||Anton / Prince Constantine||TV movie|
|1990||Mistress of Suspense||Himself (Host)||TV series (12 episodes)|
|1990||I'm Dangerous Tonight||Prof. Buchanan||TV movie|
|1990||The Ghost Writer||Anthony Strack||TV pilot episode|
|1990||Psycho IV: The Beginning||Norman Bates||TV movie|
|1991||A Demon in My View||Arthur Johnson||Original title: Der Mann nebenan|
|1992||The Naked Target||El Mecano||Original Spanish title: Los gusanos no llevan bufanda|
|1992||In the Deep Woods||Paul Miller, P.I.||TV movie (final film role)|
- "Architecture of 196 Beacon Street, Back Bay, Boston". BOSarchitecture. Archived from the original on May 8, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
- "OSGOOD PERKINS, STAGE STAR, DIES; Stricken After Premiere of 'Susan and God,' in Which He Was Leading Man". The New York Times. September 22, 1937. Retrieved April 1, 2008.(Subscription required.)
- "Anthony Perkins Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on February 14, 2007. Retrieved June 18, 2007.
- "Tony Perkins". AllMusic. Retrieved January 9, 2008.
- Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 279. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
- Jean, Al (2004). The Simpsons season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Last Exit to Springfield" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Darrach, Brad (June 13, 1983). "Return of Psycho". Vol. 19, No. 23. People. Retrieved January 3, 2009.
- Winecoff, Charles (1996). Split Image: The Life of Anthony Perkins. New York: Dutton. ISBN 0-525-94064-2.
- "La MST de Dave: son compagnon raconte…" (in French). Closer. May 2, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2016.
- March 6, 1989. "Great Factoids". Vol. 19, No. 23. People. 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.
- Goodman, Mark (September 28, 1992). "One Final Mystery". Vol. 38, No. 13. People. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
- 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 Internet Movie Database
- 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