Fango has learned the sad news that screenwriter Joseph Stefano, who scripted Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, died this past Friday, August 25 in hospital after suffering a fall the previous Monday. He was 84 years old. In adapting Robert Bloch’s novel into the classic and influential film story of murderous mama’s boy Norman Bates, Stefano helped create an enduring screen icon; his PSYCHO script won an Edgar Award in 1961 and was named one of the 101 Greatest Screenplays by the members of the Writers Guild of America last year.
Stefano also penned the Mick Garris-directed 1990 TV movie PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING, which examined Norman’s early years, and worked with director Gus Van Sant on the latter’s ill-fated 1998 remake of Hitch’s milestone. The screenwriter’s other genre credits include episodes of both the ’60s and ’90s incarnations of THE OUTER LIMITS, the 1987 monster opus THE KINDRED, 1969’s EYE OF THE CAT, the 1988 direct-to-video feature BLACKOUT and the made-for-TV horror movies HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS (1972, featuring a young Sally Field) and SNOWBEAST (1977).