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Anthony Perkins

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Also Known As: Tony Perkins Died: September 12, 1992
Born: April 4, 1932 Cause of Death: complications resulting from AIDS
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, director, singer, screenwriter, theater box office manager

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of the most intriguing leading men of the 1950s, Anthony Perkins' career path changed significantly after he was cast in a thriller from suspense master Alfred Hitchcock. Prior to that time, the handsome, boyish actor had earned critical praise for his work in "Friendly Persuasion" (1956) and "Fear Strikes Out" (1957), and was regarded as a fine candidate for romantic lead parts. However, that quickly changed after he portrayed murderous mama's boy Norman Bates in Hitchcock's hugely successful thriller, "Psycho" (1960). Perkins was so effective that for many viewers and producers, the role came to define him. A sojourn in Europe helped Perkins earn other sorts of assignments, but upon returning to Hollywood, his work in fare like "Pretty Poison" (1968) further cemented him as being suitable mostly for genre pictures. Perkins eventually embraced that destiny and gave a wonderful return performance as Norman in "Psycho II" (1983) and that unexpectedly effective film helped to revive public interest in him. Off camera, Perkins suffered great anxiety over his sexual orientation and underwent therapy to help overcome his attraction to other men. He eventually married a woman and fathered two sons, but...

One of the most intriguing leading men of the 1950s, Anthony Perkins' career path changed significantly after he was cast in a thriller from suspense master Alfred Hitchcock. Prior to that time, the handsome, boyish actor had earned critical praise for his work in "Friendly Persuasion" (1956) and "Fear Strikes Out" (1957), and was regarded as a fine candidate for romantic lead parts. However, that quickly changed after he portrayed murderous mama's boy Norman Bates in Hitchcock's hugely successful thriller, "Psycho" (1960). Perkins was so effective that for many viewers and producers, the role came to define him. A sojourn in Europe helped Perkins earn other sorts of assignments, but upon returning to Hollywood, his work in fare like "Pretty Poison" (1968) further cemented him as being suitable mostly for genre pictures. Perkins eventually embraced that destiny and gave a wonderful return performance as Norman in "Psycho II" (1983) and that unexpectedly effective film helped to revive public interest in him. Off camera, Perkins suffered great anxiety over his sexual orientation and underwent therapy to help overcome his attraction to other men. He eventually married a woman and fathered two sons, but never fully overcame his personal demons and suffered the dismay of learning he was HIV positive via a story in The National Enquirer. A masterful character actor, Perkins' ability to convey mental instability in a fashion that was simultaneously disturbing, affecting, and darkly humorous made him a unique and valuable talent.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Lucky Stiff (1989) Director
2.
  Psycho III (1986) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 In the Deep Woods (1992) Paul Miller
2.
 Naked Target, The (1992) Mechanical Man
3.
 Demon in My View, A (1991) Arthur Johnson
4.
 I'm Dangerous Tonight (1990) Professor Buchanan
5.
 Daughter of Darkness (1990) Anton Crainic
6.
 Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990) Norman Bates--As An Adult
7.
 Edge of Sanity (1989) Dr Henry Jekyll; Mr Jack Hyde
8.
 Destroyer (1988) Director Edwards
9.
 Psycho III (1986) Norman Bates
10.
 Thrill of Genius, The (1986) Himself
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in NYC
1942:
After father's death, moved to Boston
1947:
Professional stage debut with the Brattleboro Summer Theatre in Vermont; acted in "Junior Miss"
1948:
In the summer, managed box office and acted at Robin Hood Theater in Arden, Delaware
:
Worked in summer stock at the Peterborough Summer Theatre in Ontario, Canada
1953:
Film acting debut in "The Actress"
1954:
Broadway debut in "Tea and Sympathy", replacing John Kerr as the boy; Joan Fontaine co-starred
1956:
Received an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in "Friendly Persuasion"
1957:
Cast as Boston Red Sox player Jimmy Piersall in "Fear Strikes Out"
1957:
Returned to Broadway stage in "Look Homeward, Angel"
1958:
Appeared as Cornelius Hackl in "The Matchmaker"
1958:
Co-starred opposite Sophia Loren in "Desire Under the Elms"
1960:
Made musical theater debut in "Greenwillow"; earned Tony nomination
1960:
Played signature role of Norman Bates in "Psycho"
:
Starred on Broadway in Neil Simon's "The Star-Spangled Girl"
1967:
Stage directing debut, the tour of "The Star-Spangled Girl"; also starred
1968:
Co-starred with Tuesday Weld in "Pretty Poison"
1970:
Off-Broadway directing debut, "Steambath"; also played lead role
1970:
Cast in the leading role of Bobby in the landmark musical "Company"; withdrew before rehearsals and replaced by Dean Jones (who also later withdrew just after opening night on Broadway)
1972:
Reunited with Weld for "Play It as It Lays"
1973:
First film as co-writer (with Stephen Sondheim), "The Last of Sheila"
1974:
Was part of the all-star ensemble of "Murder on the Orient Express"
1974:
Staged the Off-Broadway production of "The Wager"
1975:
Appeared opposite Diana Ross in "Mahogany"
:
Portrayed Martin Dysart on Broadway in "Equus"
1979:
Had celebrated nude scene in the stage play "Romantic Comedy"
1983:
Reprised role of Norman Bates in "Psycho II"
1986:
Film directing debut, "Psycho III"; also played Norman Bates
1989:
Helmed "Lucky Stiff"
1990:
Once again starred as Norman in "Psycho IV: A New Beginning"
1992:
Final acting appearance in the TV-movie "Into the Deep Woods"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Rollins College: Winter Park , Florida -
Columbia University: New York , New York -
Miss Corden's School: New York , New York - 1936
The Brooks School: North Andover , Massachusetts - 1944
Browne and Nichols School: Cambridge , Massachusetts - 1947

Notes

"Being a star is just plain awful." --Anthony Perkins quoted in Photoplay, September 1957.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Dorothy Jeakins. Costume designer. Befriended Perkins in 1950s.
companion:
Mali Nurmi. Actor, TV host. "dated" briefly.
companion:
Tab Hunter. Actor. Involved in the 1950s.
companion:
Timmy Evans. Actor. Involved in 1958.
companion:
Arthur Teno Pollick. Together in 1959.
companion:
Grover Dale. Dancer, actor, choreographer. Had long relationship in the 1960s before marrying actress Anita Morris.
companion:
Victoria Principal. Actor. Dated in the early 1970s.
wife:
Berry Berenson. Photographer, actor, model. Married on August 9, 1973; granddaughter of fashion designer Schiaparelli; mother of Perkins' two sons; killed when terrorist crashed the plane on which she was a passenger into the World Trade Center in NYC on September 11, 2001.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Osgood Perkins. Actor. Born on May 16, 1892; died in 1937 of heart failure.
mother:
Janet Esseltyn Perkins. Born c. 1895; died August 24, 1979; held various jobs including theater business manager; after husband's death lived with playwright Micheala O'Hara.
sister-in-law:
Marisa Berenson. Actor, model.
son:
Osgood Robert Perkins. Actor. Born on February 2, 1974; married.
son:
Elvis Perkins. Musician. Born on February 9, 1976.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Osgood and Anthony Perkins" McFarland
"Split Image: The Life of Anthony Perkins" Dutton

Contributions

anximatty ( 2007-04-02 )

Source: IMDb

1984: Co-starred with Kathleen Turner in "Crimes of Passion" as Rev. Peter Shayne a street preacher who works the red light district trying to save souls.

India2u ( 2007-05-14 )

Source: your website for Melina Mercouri and any other source of cinema trivia

1962: Co-starred with Melina Mercouri in Jules Dassin's "Phaedra".

Charles Winecoff ( 2007-05-27 )

Source: I wrote the biography of Tony Perkins.

One of Perkins's companions is listed as Timmy Evans. That is incorrect - it should be Timmy Everett. Also Mali Nurmi should be Maila Nurmi. By the way, the title of my book listed here is the old out-of-print version. The current, still in print version is titled "Anthony Perkins: Split Image" and it came out in 2006.

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