Anthony Perkins - Rotten Tomatoes

Anthony Perkins



An 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.

Born to actor Osgood Perkins in April 1932 (who would die when Tony was but five years old), the young Perkins decided to follow in his father's footsteps when, at age 15, he became a member of the Actor's Equity. Soon taking the stage in summer stock, the fledgling and humble thespian embraced even the more unglamorous aspects of stage work and worked tirelessly to develop into an actor who could find celluloid success. Subsequent performances in such Rollins College productions as The Importance of Being Ernest helped him to develop the necessary skills, and following a relocation to Hollywood, Perkins was cast alongside Spencer Tracy in the film adaptation of Ruth Gordon's dramatic play The Actress. Reluctant to dive headfirst into what he considered the questionable ethics of Tinsletown, Perkins packed his bags for Columbia University. Landing roles in such Golden Age of Television staples as Studio One and G.E. Theater found the actor continuing to gain positive notice and exposure, with the success carrying over to Broadway, where Perkins would gain the respect of some of New York's harshest critics for his performance as a college student suspected of homosexuality in Robert Anderson's Tea and Sympathy. Nearly becoming a teen idol after crooning "A Little Love Goes a Long, Long Way" in the Goodyear TV Playhouse production Joey, Perkins was signed to Epic Records and later RCA Victor shortly before earning an Oscar nomination for his breakthrough roles in both William Wyler's Friendly Persuasion (1956) and Robert Mulligan's Fear Strikes Out (1957). With his portrayal as a timid pacifist and a disturbed baseball player respectively, Perkins' sensitive performances riveted audiences and resulted in numerous film offers.

Appearing in The Matchmaker (1958) and On the Beach (1959) in the following years, Perkins' screen image as a soft-spoken everyman would be forever shattered with the release of Alfred Hitchcock's controversial masterpiece Psycho. Purposefully cast against type as twitchy, psychotic mama's boy Norman Bates, it would be that characterization which would haunt Perkins' career for the rest of his days. In an attempt to shake the association, Perkins would move to Europe after becoming a minor cultural icon following his role in Goodbye Again (1961) (for which he was named Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival). Appearing in such efforts as Orson Welles' The Trial (1963) and Is Paris Buring? (1966) throughout much of the duration of the 1960s, Perkins made somewhat of a return to American screens with such later efforts as Pretty Poison (1968), Catch-22 (1970), and Mahogany (1975). Working more frequently in television moving into the 1980s (1978's Les Miserables and The Sins of Dorian Gray [1983]), Perkins also continued to thrill theatergoers with roles in such films as The Black Hole (1979) and Ffolkes (1980) before returning to the character of Norman Bates in the inevitable sequel Psycho II. Directed this time by Hitchcock protégé Richard Franklin, the film proved a success and ranked among the top ten releases of 1983. From this point forward there would be little deviation from the twitchy theatricals that Perkins had perfected, and though entertaining in such efforts as Crimes of Passion (1984) and Edge of Sanity (1989), contemporary audiences would sadly witness little of the talented actor's pre-Psycho dramatic range. Associated almost exclusively with horror films by the onset of the 1990s, Perkins would return to the role of Bates for one last outing in the made-for-cable Psycho IV: The Beginni

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
88% Tab Hunter Confidential
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet Tcm Presents Psycho
  • Actor
2015
95% Sing Your Song
  • Anthony Perkins
2012
No Score Yet The Psycho Legacy
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet In the Deep Woods
  • Paul Miller
1992
No Score Yet Der Mann Nebenan (A Demon in My View) (The Man Next Door)
  • Arthur Johnson
1992
No Score Yet Psycho IV: The Beginning
  • Norman Bates
1991
No Score Yet I'm Dangerous Tonight
  • Prof. Buchanan
1990
No Score Yet Daughter of Darkness
  • Actor
1990
No Score Yet Edge of Sanity
  • Dr. Henry Jekyll
1989
No Score Yet Lucky Stiff
  • Director
1988
No Score Yet Destroyer
  • Robert Edwards
1988
No Score Yet Destroyer (Shadow of Death) (The Edison Effect)
  • Actor
1988
58% Psycho III
  • Norman Bates
  • Director
1986
33% Crimes of Passion
  • Rev. Peter Shayne
1984
No Score Yet The Glory Boys
  • Director
  • Jimmy
1984
57% Terror in the Aisles
  • Actor
1984
No Score Yet For the Term of His Natural Life
  • Actor
1983
59% Psycho II
  • Norman Bates
1983
No Score Yet The Sins of Dorian Gray
  • Actor
1982
33% North Sea Hijack (ffolkes) (Assault Force)
  • Lou Kramer
1980
No Score Yet Double Negative
  • Lawrence Miles
1980
No Score Yet Deadly Companion
  • Actor
1980
43% The Black Hole
  • Dr. Alex Durant
1979
No Score Yet The Horror Show
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet Twice a Woman
  • Alfred
1979
No Score Yet Les Miserables
  • Insp. Javert
1978
75% Remember My Name
  • Neil Curry
1978
No Score Yet First You Cry
  • Arthur Herzog
1978
86% Winter Kills
  • John Ceruti
1977
23% Mahogany
  • Sean
1975
95% Murder on the Orient Express
  • McQueen
1974
No Score Yet Lovin' Molly
  • Gid
1974
92% The Last of Sheila
  • Screenwriter
1973
71% The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
  • Rev. LaSalle
1972
No Score Yet Play It as It Lays
  • B.Z.
1972
No Score Yet Ten Days' Wonder
  • Charles
1972
No Score Yet Someone Behind the Door
  • Laurence Jeffries
1971
No Score Yet How Awful About Allan
  • Allan
1970
85% Catch-22
  • Chaplain Capt. A.T. Tappman
1970
No Score Yet WUSA
  • Rainey
1970
100% Pretty Poison
  • Dennis Pitt
1968
No Score Yet The Champagne Murders (Le Scandal)
  • Christopher Balling
1967
80% Is Paris Burning? (Paris brûle-t-il?)
  • Sgt. Warren
1966
No Score Yet The Fool Killer
  • Milo Bogardus
1965
No Score Yet Agent 38-24-36 (Une ravissante idiote)
  • Nicholas Maukouline Harry Compton
1964
89% Le Procès (The Trial)
  • Josef K.
1962
17% Le Couteau dans la plaie (Five Miles to Midnight)
  • Robert Macklin
1962
No Score Yet Phaedra
  • Alexis
1962
No Score Yet Goodbye Again
  • Philip Van Der Besh
1961
96% Psycho
  • Norman Bates
1960
No Score Yet Tall Story
  • Ray Blent
1960
75% On the Beach
  • Lt. Peter Holmes
1959
No Score Yet Green Mansions
  • Abel
1959
No Score Yet The Matchmaker
  • Cornelius Hackl
1958
No Score Yet Desire Under the Elms
  • Eben Cabot
1958
No Score Yet The Lonely Man
  • Riley Wade
1957
82% Fear Strikes Out
  • Jim Piersall
1957
80% The Tin Star
  • Sheriff Ben Owens
1957
88% Friendly Persuasion
  • Josh Birdwell
1956
No Score Yet The Actress
  • Fred Whitmarsh
1953

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Guest

Quotes from Anthony Perkins' Characters