Janet Leigh in "Psycho"
When it comes to shocking star deaths, master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock deserves credit for being the first in the field. Imagine the reaction of moviegoers who caught this future classic in its initial 1960 release, blissfully ignorant of the ride Hitch had in store for them. They likely figured that as soon as neglected office drone Marion Crane (Janet Leigh, whose bright-eyed star turns in the likes of “Angels in the Outfield” and “Scaramouche” would naturally lead viewers to believe she was playing the heroine) embezzled from her boss, the greatest threat ahead would be the long arm of the law. If only! Instead, Marion checked into the Bates Motel, conversed with suspiciously creepy desk clerk Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), climbed into her room’s shower, and secured a place in scary-movie history.