There was a time when Actor Anthony (“Psycho”) Perkins went around barefoot. Unfortunately, it didn’t last.
Here’s part of the story of his renunciation, from July of 1958. The story is written by Bob Thomas, then the AP Motion Picture Writer.
The toughest thing in Hollywood is being a seminonconformist, says young Anthony Perkins.
As a result, he no longer goes barefoot or hitchhikes to movie studios.
Ah, me! Is there no way to stop this thundering rush on the part of Americans toward conformity? Apparently not, if Tony’s experience is any example.
Tony came to town as a kind of off-beat guy. He spoke his mind and did as he pleased. But the town’s conventions began closing in on him, and he had to alter his habits.
“The hardest thing is to try to go halfway in nonconformity in Hollywood,” he opined. “Either you have to be a total nonconformist or you might as well conform all the way.
“Only a few can get away with nonconforming. You take a fellow like Marlon Brando. After a while, people get used to his being independent. When he does something that doesn’t fit the pattern, people say, ‘Well, that’s Brando for you.’
“Most of the others merely take the easy way out and conform.”
If he’s so set against it, why doesn’t he fight the system?
“I don’t have the guts,” he confessed. “You’ve got to have complete independece to be a nonconformist. But I worry about the consequences.”
Tony illustrated with his early experience. He’s a guy who likes to go without shoes. No affectation—he just likes being barefoot. “But I got so tired of people asking me about it and saying I was eccentric, I gave it up,” he said.
Unfortunately, that pressure affects a lot of potential barefooters.
There are a couple of other news references to Tony going barefoot. In a 1964 Hedda Hopper column, he was asked about it.
Tony Perkins is so taken with our changing city he might settle down for a spell. He spent half his first night back in town sitting on the balcony of the Chateau Marmont eating ice cream and looking at the view. I asked him if he remembered when he used to traipse around town barefoot. “Yes, and I’m not ashamed of it.”
But it definitely left him. When he was married to Berry Berenson in 1973, the description was
The bride was barefoot and the bridegroom wore 15-year-old white bucks.
If it were still part of him, that would have been a time to go barefoot.
But it is still nice to know that there was a time in his life in which he was able to throw off those concerns.