Anthony Perkins (April 4, 1932 – September 12, 1992) was an American actor and singer. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his second film, Friendly Persuasion, but is best known for playing Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) and its three sequels.
Perkins in youth had a boyish, earnest quality, reminiscent of the young James Stewart, which Alfred Hitchcock exploited and subverted when the actor starred as Norman Bates in the 1960 film Psycho. The film was a critical and commercial success, and gained Perkins international fame for his performance as the homicidal owner of the Bates Motel. Perkins’ performance gained him the Best Actor Award from the International Board of Motion Picture Reviewers. The role and its multiple sequels affected the remainder of his career.
At first, the motel proprietor in Alfred Hitchcock’s horror classic seemed boringly normal: a shy, stammering, over-polite, preppy boy-next-door type into stuffed birds. Only in the film’s final act do you realize how insane his Oedipus complex has driven him. Most evil moment: Killing the film’s female lead with a kitchen knife while dressed as his dead mother.