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Anthony Perkins

From Academic Kids

Anthony Perkins (April 4, 1932 - September 12, 1992) was an American actor best known for his role as the maniacal murderer, Norman Bates, in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. He was the son of American stage and film actor Osgood Perkins (James Ripley Osgood Perkins, 1891-1937) and his wife, Janet.

Perkins's first movie was The Actress (1953); he received an Academy Award nomination for his role in his second film, Friendly Persuasion (1956).

After other acclaimed performances both in film and on Broadway, he starred in the 1960 film Psycho, which led to his being typecast as the crazy killer (Lovin' Molly notwithstanding). His performances in psycho and its sequels (Psycho II, Psycho III and Psycho IV: The Beginning) were effective because of the ambiguity he brought to the role, being both a vulnerable victim and cold killer at different times. This added to the suspense as it was never known by the viewer until the last part of the film whether Perkins's character was responsible for the murders.

It is noteworthy to mention his memorable performance in Orson Welles' cinematic adaptation of Franz Kafka's dark masterpiece The Trial.

He went on to star in (and even direct) the sequels and prequel to Psycho and also played a few memorable characters, such as the chaplain in Catch-22 (1970), but most of his later work was made-for-TV movies or films made outside the USA.

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Personal life

Perkins was bisexual, having had affairs with a number of men, including 1950s and 60s film star Tab Hunter, writer-model-actor Alan Helms, dancer Rudolf Nureyev, and dancer-choreographer Grover Dale, with whom Perkins had a six-year relationship prior to his marriage to Berry Berenson. Dale married actress Anita Morris only 10 days before the Perkins-Berenson nuptials (Dale and Morris's son is television actor James Badge Dale).

Perkins died in 1992 of complications from AIDS.

His son, Osgood Perkins, credited as Oz Perkins, is also an actor.

One day before the ninth anniversary of his death, his widow, Berry Berenson, died on American Airlines Flight 11, the flight that was hijacked and crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks.

Quote

I have learned more about love, selflessness and human understanding from the 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.

Filmography

External links

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