Anthony Perkins, whose performance in "Psycho" gave the silver screen one of its most memorable moments, died of AIDS complications, keeping his illness secret until the end.
Perkins died Saturday at his Hollywood home with his wife and two sons by his bedside, said his publicist, Leslee Dart. He was 60."This is so terrible that people who are sick have to keep it to themselves. And the suffering that goes on in isolation, that's as tragic as anything else," actress Shirley MacLaine said Sunday.
The actor joins other celebrities who have died of AIDS and kept the disease a secret. Some, like Perkins and actor Brad Davis, requested their illness be announced after their death.
Dart said she didn't know how Perkins contracted AIDS.
In a statement read by Dart, Perkins urged compassion and understanding about AIDS and hinted at his frustration with the entertainment world.
"There are many who believe that 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," he wrote.
"I have learned more about love, selflessness and human understanding from the people I have met in this great adventure in the world of AIDS than I ever did in the cutthroat, competitive world in which I spent my life."
Janet Leigh, who starred with Perkins in Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1960 thriller "Psycho," said she last saw Perkins May 31 at a Motion Picture and Television Fund ceremony.
"I did not know anything about any illness," she said. "As far as I was concerned, his attitude was funny and he was still `Tony.' "
The character played by Leigh was stabbed by Perkins' character, Norman Bates, the owner of a roadside motel. The scene, shot in a shower with quick flashes from many angles, is among the most famous in film.
Perkins, son of actor Osgood Perkins, gained fame playing awkward, often neurotic young men. Later, his name became synonymous with horror films.
He broke into movies in 1953, appearing in "The Actress" with Spencer Tracy, Teresa Wright and Jean Simmons..
In 1973, Perkins married photographer Berinthia Berenson, the sister of actress Marisa Berenson. Besides his wife, Perkins is survived by sons Osgood, 18, and Elvis, 16.