On This Gay Day: ‘Psycho’ actor Anthony Perkins died

Anthony Perkins died in 1992 

Anthony Perkins was an actor, director, singer and an Academy Award nominee, but one role overshadowed his entire career – he played Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

Perkin’s was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his second on-screen role, in 1956 he appeared in the film Friendly Persuasion in which he played the son of leading man Garry Cooper.

He appeared in Fear Strikes Out (1957) playing baseball player Jimmy Piersall, showed of his range in the comedy The Matchmaker (1958) appearing alongside Shirley Booth and Shirley MacLaine and joined the star studded cast On The Beach which included Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Fred Astaire.

His role as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s acclaimed thriller Psycho, it is recognised as one of the director’s greatest works, and it’s shower scene and soundtrack have become engrained in the cultural zeitgeist. Perkins reprised his role for several sequels.

HIs later films including the Disney sci-fi caper The Black Hole and Sidney Lumet’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder om the Orient Express which featured Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, Jaqueline Bissett, Michael York and Wendy Hiller.

Perkins died at his home on 12th September 1992 from AIDS-related pneumonia, he was 60 years old. He was diagnosed with HIV during the filming of Psycho IV: The Beginning in 1990.

After is death it was revealed that he had exclusively had same-gender relationships up until he was in his forties. Actor Tab Hunter, artist Christopher Makos, dancer Rudolph Nureyev, and composer Stephen Sondheim were listed as his past lovers.

In 1972 he met photographer Berinthia Berenson, they married the following year and went on to have two sons. They remained married until Perkins death. Berenson was killed nine years later, she was a passenger on the American Airlines flight that was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the World Trade Centre on September 11th.

Entertainer Maurice Chevalier was born in 1888

Entertainer Maurice Chevalier was born on this day in 1888. Born in Paris, he made his name in musical comedies from an early age.

He first gained acclaim as a singer and mimic in l’Alcazar in Marseille in 1909, kicking off a career in musical halls and cabaret.

Chevalier served in the French army in the first World War, he was wounded by shrapnel in the few few weeks of combat and became a prisoner of war, held in a German prison for almost two years. Here he leared to speak English from the other prisoners.

After the war ended, he discovered jazz and ragtime and performed in London, and later toured the USA. In America he met the composers Irving Berlin and Ira Gershwin and began appearing in Hollywood movies.

In 1930 he was nominated for an Academy Award for best Actor for his roles in The Love Parade, and The Big Pond. His success in musical films also saw him top the pop charts of the day. One of his best-known roles was 1934 film version of the operetta The Merry Widow. Disillusioned with Hollywood he returned to France in the mid-1930s.

During the second World War Chevalier remained in France and reluctantly agreed to perform in prisoner of war camps, in exchange for French prisoners being released. After the war he was accused of being a collaborator, and some called for his execution. Even though he was acquitted by a French Court, it cast a shadow over his career.

In the mid 1950s he returned to America with a national tour, soon after he also returned the making films, and his later work are some of his most memorable roles. His first Hollywood film in more than 20 years was Billy Wilder’s Love in the Afternoon which starred Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn.

He then made Gigi and Fanny with Leslie Caron, Can-Can with Frank Sinatra, and Panic Button with Jayne Mansfield. Chevalier’s final contribution to the film industry was performing the 1970 Disney film The Aristocats. 

Throughout his life Chevalier battled depression and he attempted suicide in March 1971. His attempt was not successful but he suffered liver and kidney damage from his drug overdose. Later in the year as his condition declined doctors tried to perform surgery to prolong his life. Chevalier suffered a heart attack during the procedure and passed away on New Year’s Day 1972.

The entertainer was married to two women French actress Yvonne Vallée was his spouse from 1927 until 1932. He was wed to Nita Raya from 1937 until 1945. Both marriages ended in divorce.  There has been conjecture that Chevalier was bisexual with some biographies suggesting he has a same-sex encounters during the first World War and later in life a long-term relationship with his valet, Felix Paquet.

OIP Staff

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