Marli Renfro (born 1938 in Los Angeles, California) is an American former showgirl, model, Playboy cover girl and actress.

She was the body double for Janet Leigh in the shower scene of the 1960 film Psycho.[1]

Early career

Renfro, described as a free spirit with a lifelong commitment to nudism,[2] appeared in many men's magazines including Ace, Adam, Beau, Dude, Escapade, Follies, Gala and Modern Man.[3] She also appeared on the cover of the September 1960 edition of Playboy.[4]

Renfro spent some time working as a showgirl in Las Vegas, and also worked as a Playboy Bunny.[5]

Film career

Unperturbed at working nude, Renfro was hired as the body double for the actress Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho. She was paid $500.[6] The shower scene in Psycho is considered one of the most famous scenes in cinema history.[7] It features more than 50 camera cuts in three minutes and took six days to film. Although nudity is implied in the rapid cuts, none is seen. Hitchcock and Leigh initially maintained that only Leigh appeared in the shower.[6] Only later did Hitchcock acknowledge that when Leigh's face is seen it is her, otherwise it is Renfro.[8]

Renfro subsequently appeared in Francis Ford Coppola's 1962 film Tonight for Sure.[9]

Confusion regarding death

During the filming of Psycho, Janet Leigh also had a stand-in to check lighting.[5] Her name was Myra Davis, also known as Myra Jones.[10] In 1988 Davis was raped and murdered by her neighbour and handyman Kenneth Dean Hunt.[11] Possibly due to fascination with the shower scene, sections of the media confused Davis's role and published that she had been Leigh's body double.[12] The BBC went further and not only asserted that Davis was Leigh's body double, but also that Davis was the voice of Norman Bates' mother,[13] although this character had been voiced by Virginia Gregg and Jeanette Nolan.[1] In his 2002 book Body Double, author Don Lasseter compounded the confusion and wrote that Davis and Renfro were the same person, meaning that Renfro was dead.[14]

Author Robert Graysmith, who had a lifelong fascination with Renfro, noted a comment by Davis's granddaughter that Davis would never have done nude work.[5] He set out to find Renfro and discovered that she was living in California. He subsequently wrote a book, The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock's Shower, about Renfro's role in Psycho and the confusion over Davis's death.[15]

Personal life

Renfro married and is known as Marli Renfro Peterson.[16] She has lived in the Mojave Desert since 1970.[17]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Psycho - cast". Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  2. Kandel, Susan (23 March 2010). "'The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock's Shower,' by Robert Graysmith". Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  3. Marli Renfro. Retrieved on 24 April 2010.
  4. Playboy Cover September 1960. (5 January 2010). Retrieved on 24 April 2010.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Hodgkinson, Will (29 March 2010). "Secrets of the Psycho shower". Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Graysmith, Robert (27 March 2010). "Spotlight: Marli Renfro". Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  7. Robb, Stephen (1 April 2010). "How Psycho changed cinema". Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  8. Leibowitz, Barry (1 February 2010). "Book 'Em: The Girl in Alfred Hitchcock's Shower". Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  9. Deming, Mark. Tonight For Sure. Retrieved on 24 April 2010.
  10. Myra Jones. Retrieved on 24 April 2010.
  11. Decker, Twila (15 May 2001). "The Man Who Almost Got Away". Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  12. "National News Briefs; Jurors Fail to Agree On Penalty in 2 Murders". 25 March 2001. Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  13. "Jail for 'Psycho' killer". 16 March 2001. Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  14. Johnson, Brian D. (11 February 2010). "The Psycho Effect". Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  15. Bradshaw, Peter (3 April 2010). "The Moment of Psycho: How Alfred Hitchcock Taught America to Love Murder by David Thomson". Retrieved 24 April 2010. 
  16. 8 frames of "Psycho". (8 May 2008). Retrieved on 24 April 2010.
  17. Ortuna Neil, Denise (February 2010). "Coachella Valley Confidential". The Sun Runner: pp. 25. Retrieved 24 April 2010. 

Further reading

External links

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Marli Renfro, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Johnpacklambert Search for "Marli Renfro" on Google
View Wikipedia's deletion log of "Marli Renfro"

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