July 14, 1926 – May 31, 1999
Tony was just a hunk. Born in New York, he lost his rather successful father James Ripley Osgood, when he was 5. No father, too much mother, we know where this is heading. He could never play down his role of a lifetime from 1960; Norman Bates, in Hitchcock‘s PSYCHO.
And why would he? Brilliant, but probably dull as anything to have to hear over and over again, from any moron who decides to interrupt your dinner.
In 1971, Tony claimed that he had a homosexual encounter, but described “that kind of sex” as “unsatisfying.” He contracted the AIDS virus in 1989, but claimed he didn’t know how. MMhmm. He was living in his house on Seattle Drive, way the hell up in the hills of Los Angeles.
His address was number 2840.
I tried to see the house, but could barely make it out through the shrubs. Here’s a peek.
For no good reason, here’s a close up of the gate.
Upon the announcement of his plight, he issued the following statement; “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 the people I have met in this great adventure in the world of AIDS (there’s a world I wouldn’t like to visit), than I ever did in the cut-throat, competitive world in which I spent my life.” Well put, but then he would say that.
Tony eventually contracted pneumonia, and succumbed to the virus in his home on Saturday, September 12, 1992. His wife Berry Berenson, and his sons Osgood and Elvis were with him. He was 60 years old.
I have no information about a memorial service, but I do know that the family requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to Project Angel Food, and AIDS help organization, in LA.
Tony was cremated, and his ashes were given to his family.
Thank God there will never be a “Psycho V.”
Trivia: He went to Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, with Mr. Rogers.
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 13, 2001: ANTHONY PERKINS’ EX-WIFE DIES IN TRADE CENTER CRASH
The former wife of film star Anthony Perkins was a passenger on one of the planes which crashed into the World Trade Center. Actress and photographer Berry Berenson appeared in a number of movies, including the 1982 version of Cat People. Berenson married Perkins in 1973. He died of AIDS on September 12, 1992.
Berenson, 53, took Flight 11 to return to her Hollywood Hills home after a holiday on Cape Cod.
Berenson also appeared in the 1978 film Remember My Name, which starred her husband, as well as the 1980 TV mini-series Scruples.
Her spokeswoman, Susan Patricola, said Berenson had also shot covers for Life magazine, and had recently completed a book about fashion designer Halston.
Patricola told the Los Angeles Times: “She was one of the loveliest, greatest people on the Earth, full of life.”
Some person wrote me and told me that she was Perkins’ widow. I don’t really care who she was, so there you are.
7 thoughts on “Anthony Perkins”
He claimed that an affair with Victoria Principal cured him of his homosexuality. MM hmmmm. Sure, Tony.
Anthony Perkins was neither bi nor straight. He was gay so ultimately the last doubter has to deal with it. He married Berenson for a variety of complex reasons at the time, and over time has come to love his wife and his marriage to her. The children and his new family have completely covered all his family needs that had been lacking since childhood. He was a perfect family man full of love for his children. Tony was a family man but that has nothing to do with being gay. Anyone who knows his story and childhood will understand why he was looking for security in his own family. His marriage to Berenson at the time was for purely professional reasons, and this irresponsible therapist for the mentally ill and his former partner Dan Glove also played a major role. In any case, the plan did not work out well from a professional point of view. Aside from Broadway, the talented Perkins catapulted his reputation in the film industry after his marriage and no longer got the film roles he was worthy of. His role as “Norman Bates” in “Psycho” certainly put him on the map, but his dubious “conversion” to straightness has done an incredible amount of damage to his image. His homosexuality in the film industry was always an unspoken word, but he was loved, respected and accepted as steadfastly as he was. He would be 90 years old now. I would have wished him more time with his wife and two sons. Who had far no better family fate than him. Rest in peace.
Scott, the death date at the header for Tony Perkins is incorrect if you want to correct it! Love your site, your insight and your humor!
The quote you gave at the beginning of the article was good. However, my favorite line is “a boy’s best friend is his mother”.
I like “Everyone goes a little mad sometimes”.
In the 1980’s was in a Beverly Hills drug store (Rite-Aid?) and ran into Anthony Perkins. He was dressed normally, with the exception of a very shiny (& skinny) gold lame necktie. I knew nothing of Mr. Perkins, at that time, other than his professional reputation as an actor. The intense stare he gave me, coupled with the tie, and I immediately thought “He’s gay”. Even then I didn’t think anything was “wrong” with that; just creepy that he would subject a complete stranger to such a laser stare who showed “zero interest” in either his celebrity status or the unwanted attention given to a complete stranger, me – Ah Hollywood…….
Tab Hunter revealed that he and Anthony Perkins met in 1956, at the pool at the Chateau Marmont, and had a secret relationship for 3 years. They’d have staged dates with starlets, but would reunite at the end of the evening.
Tony made a career of playing psychopaths. In between Psycho II and III, he chewed scenery as Reverend Peter Shayne in Crimes Of Passion as a skidrow deviant preacher who spies on hookers, saves up his semen in jars, and holds fantasies of killing with his razor sharp dildo.