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The Guardian (14/Sep/1992) - Psycho actor dies of Aids

(c) The Guardian (14/Sep/1992)

Psycho actor dies of Aids

Anthony Perkins, the actor whose career was always dominated by his part in the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock thriller Psycho, has died of Aids at his home in Hollywood. He was 60.

He had been released from hospital in August looking gaunt and pale, his 6ft 1in frame shrunken to 8 1/2 stones. He died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday surrounded by his wife of 19 years, their two sons and close friends.

Perkins kept his illness fairly quiet, but did write a statement in the last few days. He said: "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 in this great adventure in the world of Aids than I ever did in the cut-throat, competitive world in which I spent my life."

The dark-haired, lanky star acknowledged homosexual experiences but was not happy. He underwent therapy and at 39 had his first close relationship with a woman. He married at 41 and remained content in that state.

He made 41 films, including three sequels to Psycho. The perverted character of Norman Bates haunted him all his life. He acquired a toll-free telephone number for the film's fans to hear him speaking in the role. "Norman appears even on demand now," he sighed.