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Millie Perkins

Millie Perkins

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: May 12, 1938 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Passaic, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, model

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

She won one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood history--Anne Frank, the Jewish teen who still affirms the human spirit while hiding from the Nazis--in George Stevens' "The Diary of Anne Frank" (1959). Yet the almost fragile, seemingly eternal dark-haired ingenue Millie Perkins failed to ignite with the audience to become a big movie star, partly because she projected an ordinary quality. There was so sense of urgency or recognition of the inherent dangers. After finding steady work in the 1960s, she seemed to disappear in the 70s, only to renew her career as a strong supporting player in the 80s and 90s. Born in Passaic, New Jersey, the daughter of a sea captain, Perkins was a junior model and cover girl before winning the Anne Frank role. Her second film was "Wild in the Country" (1961) opposite Elvis Presley; it was de rigueur for every ingenue at the time to play opposite Elvis. (In a twist of fate, Perkins would later portray Gladys Presley, Elvis' mother, in the short-lived 1990 ABC TV series, "Elvis"). She continued her leading lady career in such efforts as "Ensign Pulver" (1964) and even was alongside Jack Nicholson during the Roger Corman period in "Ride in the Whirlwind" (1965), which...

She won one of the most coveted roles in Hollywood history--Anne Frank, the Jewish teen who still affirms the human spirit while hiding from the Nazis--in George Stevens' "The Diary of Anne Frank" (1959). Yet the almost fragile, seemingly eternal dark-haired ingenue Millie Perkins failed to ignite with the audience to become a big movie star, partly because she projected an ordinary quality. There was so sense of urgency or recognition of the inherent dangers. After finding steady work in the 1960s, she seemed to disappear in the 70s, only to renew her career as a strong supporting player in the 80s and 90s.

Born in Passaic, New Jersey, the daughter of a sea captain, Perkins was a junior model and cover girl before winning the Anne Frank role. Her second film was "Wild in the Country" (1961) opposite Elvis Presley; it was de rigueur for every ingenue at the time to play opposite Elvis. (In a twist of fate, Perkins would later portray Gladys Presley, Elvis' mother, in the short-lived 1990 ABC TV series, "Elvis"). She continued her leading lady career in such efforts as "Ensign Pulver" (1964) and even was alongside Jack Nicholson during the Roger Corman period in "Ride in the Whirlwind" (1965), which Nicholson also wrote and co-produced. But by "Wild in the Streets" (1968), it was apparent Perkins' screen career was faltering. After her marriage to writer-director Robert Thom, Perkins seemingly retired, appearing only sporadically in film and on TV. It was not she was cast as Jon Voight's ex-wife in "Table For Five" (1983), that Perkins re-emerged. She had retained her delicate, porcelain features--her face had hardly--but her body was sturdier, and she now projected far more personal power and strength. Now relegated to supporting parts, she played Sean Penn's mother in "At Close Range" (1986), Charlie Sheen's mom in "Wall Street" (1987) and the parent of murder victims in "The Chamber" (1996).

On the small screen, Perkins first appeared on TV in 1960 on a Bob Hope special, and made her episodic debut on an episode of "Wagon Train" the following year. When she resumed her career in the 80s, she worked with some regularity in character roles. Perkins played a rape victim in "A Gun in the House" (CBS, 1981) and went on to a number of portrayals as wives, married to drunk driver Don Murray in "License of Kill" (1984, CBS) and Ed Asner's ailing Norman Cousins in "Anatomy of an Illness" (1984, CBS). Even in her first regular series role, she was typecast, playing the estranged spouse of William Devane on the CBS primetime soap "Knots Landing" during the 1983-84 season. Moving into maternal roles, she was cast as the penultimate mother, the Virgin Mary, in the NBC miniseries "A.D." (1985) and was the parent of the young Patty Duke in 1990 biopic "Call Me Anna" (ABC). Six years later, she appeared alongside Duke as an Amish woman in "Harvest of Fire" (1996, CBS).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Lost City, The (2005)
3.
 Chamber, The (1996) Ruth Kramer
4.
 Summer of Ben Tyler, The (1996) Doris Carpenter
5.
 H.P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon (1996) Lena ("The Cold")
6.
 Harvest of Fire (1996) Ruth
7.
 Bodily Harm (1995) Dr Spencer
8.
 Murder of Innocence (1993) Edna Webber
9.
 Pistol: The Birth of a Legend, The (1991) Helen Maravich
10.
 Sharkskin (1991)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Fair Lawn, New Jersey
:
Was model and cover girl
1959:
Made feature film debut in title role of "The Diary of Anne Frank"
1960:
Made first TV appearance on Bob Hope variety special
1961:
Appeared in first TV episodic, "Wagon Train" (NBC)
1961:
Starred opposite Elvis Presley in "Wild in the Country"
1968:
Last feature appearance for six years in "WIld in the Streets"
1974:
Returned to features in Monte Hellman's "Cockfight"
1976:
Last feature for seven years, "The Witch Who Came in From the Sea"
1981:
Made TV-movie debut, "A Gun in the House" (CBS)
1983:
Returned to features as Jon Voight's ex-wife in "Table of Five"
1983:
Appeared as regular on one season of "Knots Landing" as Jane Sumner
1985:
Played the Virgin Mary in the NBC miniseries "A.D."
1986:
Cast as mother to Sean Penn in "At Close Range"
1990:
Co-starred in the short-lived ABC series "Elvis" as Presley's mother Gladys
1990:
Played mother of Patty Duke in the TV-movie biopic "Call Me Anna" (CBS)
1996:
Featured in the CBS TV-movie "Harvest of Shame", co-starring Patty Duke
1996:
Appeared as the mother of murder victims in "The Chamber"
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Notes

Perkins on appearing as Elvis Presley's leading lady in "Wild in the Country": "I was very shy then. I was a newcomer. Elvis was so polite and gracious to me. Elvis understood people." --quoted in PR material for the ABC TV series "Elvis"

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Dean Stockwell. Actor. Married 1960; divorced 1962.
husband:
Dean Stockwell. Actor.
husband:
Robert Thom. Screenwriter; director. Wrote "Wild in the Streets" (1968).
husband:
Robert Thom. Survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

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