#AnthonyPerkins was born on April 4, 1932 in New York City to Janet Esselstyn and Osgood Perkins. His father was a successful actor both on screen and Broadway, appearing in films such as the original #Grit, #Scarface and #AStarIsBorn.
The young Perkins' upbringing was anything but conventional. Discussing in a 1983 edition PEOPLE Weekly magazine, he explained that he developed feelings of jealousy towards his father and felt suffocated by his mother.
I became abnormally close to my mother...and when my father came home, I was jealous. It was the oedipal thing in pronounced form. I loved him, but I also wanted him to be dead so I could have her all to myself.
After his father did pass away from a heart attack on September 21, 1937, Perkins blamed himself and spent his nights crying at home. Praying that his father would one day return, and by watching his fathers' films, it kept alive the hope that one day he would walk through the door. The effect of his fathers passing also effected his relationship with his mother, as he recalls that ”she was constantly touching and caressing me,” something that suffocated him and bordered upon sexuality.
As Perkins grew older, he realized that his father's profession acted as a way to help make recompense for the guilt and wrongdoing that he felt when he was younger;
All my life, I’d heard glory stories about my father. What a wonderful actor he was, how everybody loved him, how he went everywhere and did everything he wanted. I longed for that glory, that adoration, that freedom.
In 1953, Perkins made his film debut in the comedy-drama The Actress, starring alongside Spencer Tracy and Jean Simmons. He had heard about the auditions whilst studying history at Rollins College in Florida, and managed to hitch-hike his way to Hollywood. But it wasn't until his second feature film, Friendly Persuasion in 1956, that he really came to the public's attention. Bagging an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and winning a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer, Perkins didn't have to wait much longer for his most famous role.
His performance as #NormanBates in #Psycho bagged him some impressive accolades; the character was selected by Empire Magazine as one of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters, and his line "A boy's best friend is his mother" ranks as number 56 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest movie quotes. Premier Magazine ranked the character as number four in their list of 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time, whereas The American Film Institute's placed Norman Bates at number two on their list of the top 100 film heroes and villains, sandwiched between #HannibalLecter and #DarthVader.
Despite the huge success of Psycho, Perkins found himself being type-cast and he struggled to land roles different to that of the tormented Norman Bates. The actor even admitted that his personality even developed traits similar to Bates, and he refused to attend any interviews, let alone discuss, any resemblance between himself and the character.
But all was not as it seemed in Perkins' personal life either, as he battled to keep the fact that he was homosexual secret from the outside world. In fact, for almost the first forty years of his life, Perkins only had same-sex relationships with the likes of actors Rock Hudson and Tab Hunter. In order to 'cure' himself of his homosexuality, Perkins attended psychoanalysis sessions in the 1950's where he was treated by Dr. Mildren Newman in New York, something which lasted well into the 1970s.
Both Jane Fonda and Sophia Loren showed interest in the actor during the filming of Tall Story in 1960 and Five Miles to Midnight in 1962, respectively. When he moved to Europe to film the rom-com Goodbye Again in 1961, he was told by friends that his co-star Ingrid Bergman was attracted to him, something which resulted in Perkins insisting that the pair were never left alone with each other during rehearsals. #AndyWarhol claimed in his diaries that Perkins even went to the lengths of "hiring hustlers to come through his window and pretend to be robbers".
But in 1972, while filming The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, Perkins encountered his first heterosexual experience at the age of 39 when he fell for co-star Victoria Principal. Having discovered heterosexual romance for the first time, the pair engaged in a 'week of passion and revelation', and Perkins stopped attending his psychoanalysis sessions and started dating girls.
His life completely changed when he met photographer Berry Berenson after bumping into each other at a party at Manhattan where she profiled him for Interview magazine. For Perkins, Berenson was someone who had already sparked his curiosity after he had seen her on the cover of Vogue Magazine in 1970. At this time, however, Hollywood circles knew that Perkins was a homosexual, and therefore it came as a surprise when the couple announced they were expecting their first child together, and subsequently went on to marry in 1973.
On February 2, 1974, the couple welcomed their first son Oz (Osgood) Perkins, star of #StarTrek, #DeadandBreakfast and #LegallyBlonde, and almost two years later, they welcomed their second son, folk-rock recording artist, Elvis (not THE Elvis!).
In 1984, Perkins played Reverend Shayne in the Ken Russell film Crimes of Passion. In order for Perkins to get into character to play the insane street preacher, he became an ordained minister of the Universal Church of America, and was even called to oversee the marriage of Russell to his second wife, Vivian Jolly.
During this period, Perkins eagerly accepted the opportunity to reprise his role as Norman Bates, twenty three years after the original. Psycho II didn't go down too well with critics, although it did create a pretty decent domestic gross of $32,000,000. Perkins decided to take over the helms of actor/director in the second sequel, 1986's Psycho III, a film that was more tongue-in-cheek than full-on gore-fest. In 1990, he starred in the TV movie Psycho IV: The Beginning, an acting role that would sadly be one of his last.
At the start of the 1990's, Perkins suffered from a muscular condition which caused paralysis on the side of his face. Deciding to go to the doctors, Perkins had a blood sample taken to see if they could find out what was wrong, a test that would change his life forever. On 27 March 1990, The National Enquirer published an article detailing the actor's battle with AIDS, sharing the front cover with the main headline of how the mistress of Donald Trump was having an affair with Tom Cruise. Quite tragically for Perkins, this was the first time that he had heard the news about his diagnosis, as the American tabloid had illegally obtained a specimen of Perkins' blood and had it tested for the HIV virus themselves, something which came back positive.
Just over two years after his diagnosis, Perkins died on 12 September 1992 following severe complications due to AIDS, the same day that #DallasBuyersClub founder Ron Woodroof also died of the same disease. His death certificate details how the virus had caused pneumonia that had affected both of his lungs. He was 60 years old.
Before his death, Perkins addressed his condition;
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. (SOURCE: NYTimes).
On the eve of the ninth anniversary of his death, Perkins' wife boarded the American Airlines flight 11 out of Boston that was hijacked by terrorists before crashing into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, killing her and 57 others.
With the psychological problems that he suffered as a child and his insecurities with his parents, Perkins spent a lifetime trying to escape. And it seemed that he did. The actor worked with founder (and his spiritual adviser), Marianne Williamson, at the Project Angel Food during the last few years of his life. The organisation helped to provide food to people suffering with AIDS who were unable to leave their home due to their illness.
The peace that Perkins had found can be summed up by fashion photographer and close friend Paul Jasmin, beautifully;
Every Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter and New Year’s, we’d all go to Tony and Berry’s. There was such love and such warmth, always. The Perkins home was where you came for family love. They’re probably the happiest family I’ve known out here. (SOURCE: People).