One of the most intriguing leading men of the 1950s, Anthony Perkins' career path changed significantly after he was cast in a thriller from suspense master Alfred Hitchcock. Prior to that time, the handsome, boyish actor had earned critical praise for his work in "Friendly Persuasion" (1956) and "Fear Strikes Out" (1957), and was regarded as a fine candidate for romantic lead parts. However, that quickly changed after he portrayed murderous mama's boy Norman Bates in Hitchcock's hugely successful thriller, "Psycho" (1960). Perkins was so effective that for many viewers and producers, the role came to define him. A sojourn in Europe helped Perkins earn other sorts of assignments, but upon returning to Hollywood, his work in fare like "Pretty Poison" (1968) further cemented him as being suitable mostly for genre pictures. Perkins eventually embraced that destiny and gave a wonderful return performance as Norman in "Psycho II" (1983) and that unexpectedly effective film helped to revive public interest in him. Off camera, Perkins suffered great anxiety over his sexual orientation and underwent therapy to help overcome his attraction to other men. He eventually married a woman and fathered two sons, but never fully overcame his personal demons and suffered the dismay of learning he was HIV positive via a story in The National Enquirer. A masterful character actor, Perkins' ability to convey mental instability in a fashion that was simultaneously disturbing, affecting, and darkly humorous made him a unique and valuable talent.