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He was being groomed to replace the late James Dean. Then, in 1960, his portrayal of the murderous Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho destroyed Anthony Perkins' burgeoning career as a romantic leading man. His performance became a landmark in motion picture history—creating an image that eerily paralleled an offscreen life equally as secretive, conflicted, and fractured.
The son of a legendary stage actor, Perkins showed great promise as a Broadway star. But his constant struggle with his homosexuality resulted in a desperate search for acceptance that led from New York to Hollywood to Europe. His later attempts to create a new image for himself as a conventional family man were tragically cut short by his death from AIDS in 1992. Including interviews with more than 300 of Perkins' friends, co-stars, relatives, and lovers, filled with revealing anecdotes about Orson Welles, Audrey Hepburn, Rock Hudson, and many others, this intimate biography separates fact from fiction as it explores the complex life of this enigmatic, tortured man. Meticulously researched, written with rare candor and compassion, Split Image is both a harrowing look at life in the Hollywood closet and a poignant human drama that will change your vision of Anthony Perkins forever.
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Though Anthony Perkins played roles as diverse as a lawman of the old West in The Tin Star and Eugene Grant in the play Look Homeward Angel, he is best remembered for his performance as the maniacal son of a monstrous mother in Psycho. In Split Image, Charles Winecoff explains how Psycho pigeon-holed Perkins into similar roles and stagnated his professional life. His private life was equally vexatious--his father died when he was 5 and his mother controlled his finances until she died. He was married for 19 years but remained an active homosexual, engaging in a lifestyle that ultimately led to his death from AIDS in 1992.About the Author:
Charles Winecoff is a graduate of UCLA film school. He currently lives in New York City.
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