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Our Iconic Queer Ancestors: Anthony Perkins

Our Iconic Queer Ancestors: Anthony Perkins
Anthony Perkins (1932-1992) — the last of the Paramount matinee idols, an actor’s actor, and best known for the career-defining role of Norman Bates. Catapulted to fame yet haunted by this role, the gentle, nervous young Perkins would go on to spend his career negotiating Hollywood’s drive to typecast him.
At the same time, he struggled to navigate the reality of open-secret homosexuality in mid-century Hollywood; linked romantically and creatively to Tab Hunter, Grover Dale, and Stephen Sondheim, his homosexuality was treated as a problem by the studio, and sadly, himself.
In this installment of Our Iconic Queer Ancestors, we’ll explore how Perkins’ life story and body of work offers a bittersweet window into the pathologization of queerness and mental illness, and reveals the real horrors of homophobia, and celebrate his enduring and iconic performances of queerness on the silver screen.

4/3: Psycho (1960)
4/10: The Trial (1962)
4/17: Play It As It Lays (1972
4/24: Final film TBD

This class will be taught by Max Swanson, a filmmaker/performer, writer, educator, and organizer based in Portland, OR. They currently also teach at NW Doc and PSU, and work as a freelance story consultant. They are also a co-producer of the local drag and art collaborative Max & Mars Present.
Films will be screened at the Movie Madness Miniplex, followed by an instructor-led discussion. Classes will begin on Wednesday evening, April 3rd, and be held each Wednesday through the 24th, at 6:30pm.
Class size will be limited to 18.
Email us at if you have any questions.

In general, the Hollywood Theatre does not provide content advisories about the subject matter shown in our theatre. Films exhibited don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Hollywood Theatre. Information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media and