In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock changed the course of film history with his horror picture, Psycho. Psycho launched Anthony Perkins to stardom, the young actor who played the killer in the film, Norman Bates.
Perkins was a shy actor, known for his tall, slender build and boyish good looks. He took on many acting roles on film and on the stage, including reprising his role as Norman Bates in Psycho II and Psycho III. (source)
Marriage and AIDS
Perkins married fashion photographer Berry Berenson in 1973. She was fifteen years younger than him. They had two sons. Despite his marriage to Berry, Perkins was a closet homosexual. In 1990, Perkins announced publicly that he had contracted the AIDS virus, most likely in an act of infidelity.
Though he was a homosexual, Perkins stated that he was truly attracted to and in love with Berenson. He even tried to cure himself of his sexual orientation. Berenson stood by him during his fight with the disease, and held his hand as he passed away.
“We had a very satisfying life together. It was a wonderful love affair,” Berenson said of her husband. “If anything else was happening, I certainly didn’t know about it, and I don’t think he intended to hurt me in any way.”
Anthony Perkins died on September 12th, 1992 from complications of the disease. Years later, Berenson was killed on a plane hijacked by terrorists on September 11th, 2001. (source)
AIDS Affects Everyone You Love
The diagnosis of this fatal disease affects everyone you care about, as it did Berenson. It brought her closer to her husband. Perkins didn’t complain about his disease. He said he learned more about caring for others and human understanding than anything else (source). This is probably why Berenson stood by his side.
If you know someone who is affected by this disease, don’t stop caring for them. If someone is unsure if they carry the disease, help them find a prevention center in their area for testing. Don’t let the stigma of AIDS keep you from caring for the person who is suffering.