Anthony Perkins

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Anthony Perkins

Birthdate: (60)
Birthplace: New York, New York County, New York, United States
Death: September 12, 1992 (60)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States (of AIDS)
Immediate Family:

Son of Osgood Perkins and Janet Esselstyn Perkins
Husband of Berry Berenson
Father of Oz Perkins and Elvis Perkins

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Anthony Perkins

A shy, slender actor whose name became virtually synonymous with legendary screen Psycho Norman Bates despite numerous solid performances in films outside the Hitchcock originated series, Anthony Perkins' sensitive and versatile early performances remain unfortunately obscured by his portrayal of the gender-bending sociopath that made filmgoers reluctant to shower alone for decades to come.

He was born on April 4, 1932 in New York City, the son of Janet Esselstyn (née Rane) and stage and film actor James Ripley Osgood Perkins. He attended The Brooks School, Buckingham Browne & Nichols, Columbia University and Rollins College, having moved to Boston, Massachusetts, after his father's death in 1942.


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). Following this, he released three pop albums in 1957 and 1958 on Epic and RCA as "Tony Perkins". His single "Moon-Light Swim" was a hit in the United States, peaking at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1957. He showcased his musical talents in the film Matchmaker (1958).

He also acted on the stage. In 1958, he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance in Look Homeward, Angel on Broadway.

Perkins starred as Norman Bates in the 1960 film Psycho. The role and its many sequels affected the remainder of his career.

Following the success of Psycho, Perkins had a successful career in Europe. He portrayed Joseph K. in Orson Welles' 1962 adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Trial. Upon returning to America, he took the role of a disturbed young murderer in Pretty Poison (1968). He also played Chaplain Tappman in Catch-22 (1970). Perkins also 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. He returned to the role of Norman Bates for the sequels, Psycho II, Psycho III (which he directed) and Psycho IV: The Beginning.

Among his Broadway credits are the Frank Loesser musical Greenwillow (1960) and Bernard Slade's 1979 play Romantic Comedy opposite Mia Farrow. Perkins' life was documented in the 1996 biography Anthony Perkins: Split Image written by Charles Winecoff.[5]

Personal life

In August 1973, at age 41, Perkins married Berry Berenson, with whom he had two sons: actor Osgood "Oz" Perkins (b. 1974), and musician Elvis Perkins (b. 1978).

He was bisexual. He claimed to have had exclusively same-sex relationships until his late 30s, when he met actress Victoria Principal, at which point he underwent therapy. His affairs with men included actors Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter, dancer Rudolf Nureyev, composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim and dancer-choreographer Grover Dale. Perkins had a six-year relationship with Dale prior to marrying Berenson.

Perkins died at age 60, on September 12, 1992, from complications of AIDS.

Berry Berenson died on American Airlines Flight 11, during the September 11, 2001 attacks.

"There are many who believe this disease is God's vengeance. But I believe it was sent to teach people how to love and understand and have compassion for each other. I have learned more about love, selflessness and human understanding from people I have met in this great adventure in the world of AIDS, than I ever did in the cutthroat, competitive world in which I spent my life." --Anthony Perkins

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Anthony Perkins's Timeline

April 4, 1932
New York, New York County, New York, United States
February 2, 1974
Age 41
New York, New York, United States
February 9, 1976
Age 43
September 12, 1992
Age 60
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States