Monday, March 29, 2021

Tony at the Chateau

Did anybody hear me go nutz when I discovered this 1960’s image of actor Tony Perkins posing on the balcony of Room 64 (the Penthouse) of the Chateau Marmont? Trust me…I did. The distinctive concrete balcony wall looks the same today, even if the checkered flooring does not.

Apparently Perkins, forever known as Norman Bates in Hitchcock’s classic thriller, “Psycho,” was a frequent resident of the Chateau on Sunset Boulevard. Past owner Raymond Sarlot mentioned the quirky actor him in his book:

Tony Perkins got in the habit of stopping at the desk, removing his shoes, then adjourning to the telephone booth, where he would sit on the floor in his socks.

Fifties actor (and teen idol) Tab Hunter met Perkins at the Chateau, as he recalled in his autobiography:

I was driving back to my apartment, over Laurel Canyon, having just finished my daily chores at the barn. It was one of those sunny winter days that makes everyone want to live in California. Instead of heading home, I decided to stop by the Chateau Marmont for a swim. This famous re-creation of a castle in France’s Loire Valley loomed over a legendary stretch of Sunset Boulevard, directly across from the Garden of Allah apartments, a longtime homestead for many Hollywood stars, and only a stone’s throw from Schwab’s drugstore. The hotel cultivated a bohemian atmosphere and was a home away from home for many New York actors, whom you could spot by their pasty complexions. Despite its prominence, the cloistered Chateau provided plenty of privacy for its tenants, who could laze around the pool without being pestered by starstuck fans. A young movie actor could stop in for a quick dip, even if he wasn’t registered. As I toweled off, someone approached and formally introduced me to a new actor in town, Anthony Perkins. He was living at the Chateau while he made “Friendly Persuasion,” an Allied Artists picture with Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire.

From the same photo shoot, Perkins posed against the brick wall located behind the hotel on Marmont Lane:


Author Shawn Levy’s book about the Chateau (definitely not recommended reading; get the Sarlot book instead) would make me think these two shots were from 1964, as he specifically mentions the Penthouse:

In 1964 in the wake of his massive success in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” Perkins came back to Hollywood [from New York] and once again moved into the Chateau, spending the first night by himself sitting on the balcony of his penthouse suite “eating ice cream and looking at the view.”

See more Chateau Marmont photos at my main website.


Fifthrider said...

These are great stories about Tab Hunter and Tony Perkins. I can't get over how young he looks there.

Daveland said...

I wonder if “Mother” was inside the Penthouse?

Fifthrider said...

Lol, always watching.