Spilled Tea

Actor Keith McDermott spills on two of Hollywood’s biggest gay icons

Anthony Perkins in ‘Psycho’

Veteran actor and artist Keith McDermott, known for roles in Without a Trace and in various stage productions, has spilled gossip on two gay icons, Tab Hunter and Anthony Perkins.

In an interview with Michael Musto, McDermott recounts his early days as a struggling actor in New York theater and a number of the strong personalities that touched him along the way. That includes Hunter, whom McDemott dated for a time.

“I met Tab through Larry Kert [of West Side Story],” McDermott explains. “Then, when I was in Equus, Tab called me out of the blue and said he was coming to New York, and somehow he ended up staying at my house. Thinking back, he obviously had some professional thing to do in New York and was thinking of it as an economic way to stay there. He was nice. He was sexy. He was 50; I was 24.”

Related: Tab Hunter pens moving essay about his secret relationship with Anthony Perkins

McDermott goes on to say that he always had a soft spot for “daddy” types and that he and Hunter remained friends ever after. The same wasn’t true for McDermott and Anthony Perkins, whom the actor describes as “a game player” and self-loathing. McDermott says, “He’d say things to me like, ‘Have you noticed, watching my performance, what I’m doing differently?’ I’d watch over a period of time, then say, ‘I can’t see anything.’ Unlike [Richard] Burton, Tony did the same thing every night. He said, ‘I’m no longer raising my eyebrows anywhere in the play.’ I’d say, ‘Amazing.’ He once said, ‘I’ll get a word for you that can be critical, good or bad, about your performance, and you do the same for me.’ His word for me was poise. He wanted me to do a word for him, and I said unbelievable.

McDermott also describes Perkins as frequently checking out men in the audience, and claims he married a woman so he could have a more “settled” life.  In the same interview, he also dishes on actors like Larry Kert, Maureen Stapleton and Richard Burton, as well as details the reasons for his retirement from acting.