Peter Lorre
Hungarian actor
Peter Lorre
Peter Lorre was a Hungarian-American actor. Lorre caused an international sensation with his portrayal of a serial killer who preys on little girls in the German film M (1931). He later became a popular featured player in Hollywood crime films and mysteries, and, though frequently typecast as a sinister foreigner, became star of the successful Mr. Moto detective series.
Biography
Peter Lorre's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Photo Albums
Popular photos of Peter Lorre
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Peter Lorre
Show More Show Less
News
News abour Peter Lorre from around the web
They don't make'm like they used to - The Express Times - LehighValleyLive.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Everyone I spoke to said the same thing: Who's Peter Lorre? It's possible that even the young man I'd just met had no idea that he, with similar big eyes, square face and peculiar voice, was a striking reincarnation of the Austrian-American actor who
Article Link:
Google News article
Roger Corman Presents 'The Women in Cages Collection' - Sex, Sadism, Group ... - Memphis Commercial Appeal (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
One of the film's conceits is that the prison guards -- including a "fat pansy" played by Vic Diaz, the so-called "Peter Lorre of the Philippines" -- are gay ("men who are only half men," according to the advertising), so as not to be tempted by the
Article Link:
Google News article
Friends, family recall Eve Craig for her loves, losses, and legacy - Valley News
Google News - over 5 years
... Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which is the final resting place of such celebrities and historical figures as Don Adams, Mel Blanc, Arthur Miller, Charlie Chaplin, Cecil B. DeMille, Fay Wray, Iron Eyes Cody, Peter Lorre and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel
Article Link:
Google News article
The Skin I Live In (15) - The Independent
Google News - over 5 years
Describe the plot of Pedro Almodóvar's 18th feature and it sounds like the kind of cheesy B-horror movie that Peter Lorre used to star in late in his career. A brilliant but deranged plastic surgeon (Antonio Banderas) specialises in skin transplants
Article Link:
Google News article
Conrad Veidt on TCM: THE HANDS OF ORLAC, CASABLANCA, NAZI AGENT - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
No good can come out of that, as Peter Lorre and Colin Clive would later learn in Mad Love (1935) as well. Wiene and Veidt had previously worked together in the epoch-making The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919), the expressionistic classic that has
Article Link:
Google News article
USPS celebrates John Huston -- and Baltimore's Dashiell Hammett - Baltimore Sun (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
It employs a terse camera style and a virtuoso cast (Mary Astor, Elisha Cook Jr., Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet) to supply a superbly wrought narrative with sardonic humor and spontaneous feeling. It's also a work with Baltimore roots
Article Link:
Google News article
Humphrey Bogart on TCM: THE CAINE MUTINY, THE MALTESE FALCON, SAHARA - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Admittedly, some of the supporting cast of the 1941 version is more effective: Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre vs. Bebe Daniels, Dudley Digges, Otto Matieson. Zoltan Korda's Sahara (1943) is a watchable World War II drama,
Article Link:
Google News article
TV picks for Aug. 17 - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
In this 1941 classic, Humphrey Bogart plays detective Sam Spade, Mary Astor is the femme fatale and Peter Lorre is the crafty criminal as a trio of ruthless people chase after a gem-encrusted statue of a falcon. On paper, "Love in the Wild" (9 pm,
Article Link:
Google News article
Lang's 'Metropolis' Restored for $840000 With 36000 Extras: Peter Rainer - Bloomberg
Google News - over 5 years
Lang, who by that time had made his classic “M” (1931) with Peter Lorre as a hounded child murderer, left Germany and eventually landed in Hollywood. Thea von Harbou, Lang's wife and the screenwriter of many of his German films, joined the Nazi Party
Article Link:
Google News article
Rereading a great American novel - Glens Falls Post-Star (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
If you have seen the movie with Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet (one of the greatest casts ever assembled), then scenes from it will often flash into your mind as you read the book, because the movie is about as faithful
Article Link:
Google News article
Bones gets to the bottom of Vinny's wee problem - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
He was stooped, with red-rimmed fish-eyes and a lined face and reminded Vinny of the actor, Peter Lorre. “Ah, young Fitzpatrick,” he rasped. “How are those sisters of yours keeping? Just give me a few seconds will you?” he said, turning the lock of the
Article Link:
Google News article
Linda Christian, original Bond girl, dead at 87 - Zap2it.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Christian played James Bond's love interest in a 1954 CBS TV adaptation of Ian Fleming's "Casino Royale," with Barry Nelson as a 007 called "Jimmy" and Peter Lorre as heavy Le Chiffre. Christian's character was named Valerie Mathis; the role was most
Article Link:
Google News article
Wilmington on Movies: Captain America: The First Avenger - Movie City News
Google News - over 5 years
... the Nazier-than-Nazi villain Johann Schmidt aka Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), Red Skull's assistant Peter Lorre-ish maniac Dr. Zola (Toby Jones) and Captain A's droll, sour, constantly exasperated commanding officer, Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee
Article Link:
Google News article
Notes on a vacation ... - Minot Daily News (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
I watched this really cool brain-bender featuring Kiefer Sutherland as a Peter Lorre-type doctor in “Dark City.” I also watched this bizarro thing called “Suspiria,” which I'm submitting as Exhibit A and “Zardoz” as Exhibit B for why people in the '70s
Article Link:
Google News article
I love the Proms – but why subsidise them? - Telegraph.co.uk (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Alas, the only person who could have captured the essence of Mr Speaker is long dead: Peter Lorre, a memorable presence in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. It's true that Lorre was rather better looking than Bercow, but there's definitely a certain
Article Link:
Google News article
Levi Aron: A Real-Life Hans Beckert - International Business Times
Google News - over 5 years
Portrayed by the legendary actor Peter Lorre in the classic German film “M,” Beckert is a sad, lonely, pathetic pedophile who genuinely feels remorse for his nightmarish deeds, but is helpless to stop. Aside from the relentlessly grim and dark backdrop
Article Link:
Google News article
"Three Men And Adena" - A.V. Club (satire) (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
You feel a curious mixture of affectionate respect and sympathy when you see distinguished old pros like Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre reduced to returning Roger Corman's phone calls, and still doing their damndest to honor their commitment to their
Article Link:
Google News article
Review: 'BloodRayne 3: The Third Reich' - FEARnet.com
Google News - over 5 years
Legendary B-movie character actor play a vile SS surgeon who sounds a lot like Peter Lorre mixed with a tank of helium! FEEL! The career-killing awesomeness of Michael Pare as an American Nazi Vampire who wants to make Hitler immortal! SMELL!
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Peter Lorre
    FIFTIES
  • 1964
    Age 59
    He died in 1964 of a stroke.
    More Details Hide Details Lorre's body was cremated and his ashes were interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood. Vincent Price read the eulogy at his funeral.
  • 1963
    Age 58
    In 1963, actor Eugene Weingand, who was unrelated to Lorre, attempted to trade on his slight resemblance to the actor by changing his name to "Peter Lorie", but his petition was rejected by the courts.
    More Details Hide Details After Lorre's death, however, he referred to himself as Lorre's son. The incident was dramatized in Peter Lorre vs. Peter Lorre, a 45-minute radio play broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Play on 10 May 2010 and again on 11 January 2013.
  • 1960
    Age 55
    In February 1960, Lorre was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6619 Hollywood Boulevard.
    More Details Hide Details Lorre's accent and large-eyed face became a favorite target of comedians and cartoonists. In particular, several Warner Bros. cartoons used a caricature of Lorre's face with an impression by Mel Blanc, including Hollywood Steps Out, Birth of a Notion, Hair-Raising Hare and Racketeer Rabbit among others.
  • 1957
    Age 52
    Lorre appeared in two episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents broadcast in 1957 and 1960, the latter a version of the Roald Dahl short story "Man from the South" starring Steve McQueen.
    More Details Hide Details He had a supporting role in the film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961). In Lorre's last years, he worked with Roger Corman on several low-budget films, including two of the director's Edgar Allan Poe cycle, Tales of Terror (1962) with Vincent Price and Basil Rathbone and The Raven (1963) with Price, Boris Karloff and Jack Nicholson. He was married three times: Celia Lovsky (1934 - 13 March 1945, divorced); Kaaren Verne (25 May 1945 - 1950, divorced) and Anne Marie Brenning (21 July 1953 - 23 March 1964 (his death)). In 1953, Brenning bore his only child, Catharine. In later life, Catharine made headlines after serial killer Kenneth Bianchi confessed to police investigators after his arrest that he and his cousin and fellow "Hillside Strangler" Angelo Buono, disguised as police officers, had stopped her in 1977 with the intent of abduction and murder, but let her go upon learning that she was the daughter of Peter Lorre. It was only after Bianchi was arrested that Catharine realized whom she had met. Catharine died in 1985 of complications arising from diabetes.
  • FORTIES
  • 1954
    Age 49
    In 1954, he was the first actor to play a James Bond villain when he portrayed Le Chiffre in a television adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel Casino Royale, opposite Barry Nelson as an American James Bond referred to as "Jimmy Bond."
    More Details Hide Details Lorre starred alongside Kirk Douglas and James Mason in 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (1954) around this time. Lorre appeared in NBC's espionage drama Five Fingers (1959), starring David Hedison, in the episode "Thin Ice", and the following year in Rawhide as Victor Laurier in "The Incident of the Slavemaster" (1960).
  • 1952
    Age 47
    Lorre returned to the United States in February 1952 where he resumed appearances as a character actor in television and feature films, often parodying his 'creepy' image.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1950
    Age 45
    In the autumn of 1950, he traveled to Germany to make the film noir Der Verlorene (The Lost One, 1951) which Lorre co-wrote, directed and starred in.
    More Details Hide Details According to Gerd Gemünden in Continental Strangers: German Exile Cinema, 1933-1951, with the exception of Josef von Báky's Der Ruf (The Last Illusion, 1949), it is the only film by an emigrant from Germany which uses a return to the country "addressing questions of guilt and responsibility; of accountability and justice." While it gained some critical approval, audiences avoided it and it did badly at the box-office.
  • 1949
    Age 44
    After World War II and the end of his Warner contract, Lorre's acting career in Hollywood experienced a downturn, whereupon he concentrated on radio and stage work. In 1949 he filed for bankruptcy.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1947
    Age 42
    Warner would be a 'friendly' witness at his appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee in May 1947.
    More Details Hide Details Lorre himself was sympathetic to the short-lived Committee for the First Amendment, set up by John Huston and others, and added his name to advertisements in the trade press in support of the Committee.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1944
    Age 39
    Writing in 1944, film critic Manny Farber described what he called Lorre's "double-take job," a characteristic dramatic flourish "where the actor's face changes rapidly from laughter, love or a security that he doesn't really feel to a face more sincerely menacing, fearful or deadpan."
    More Details Hide Details Lorre's last film for Warner was The Beast with Five Fingers (1946), a horror film in which he played a crazed astronomer who falls in love with a character played by Andrea King. Daniel Bubbeo, in The Women of Warner Brothers, thought Lorre's "wildly over-the top performance" had "elevated the movie from minor horror to first-rate camp." Lorre believed his continuing friendship with Bertolt Brecht, in exile in California since 1941, had led studio head Jack L. Warner to 'graylist' him, and his contract with Warner Bros. was terminated on May 13, 1946.
  • 1943
    Age 38
    Lorre was contracted to Warners on a picture-by-picture basis until 1943 when he signed a five year contract, renewable each year, which only lasted until 1946.
    More Details Hide Details The year after Maltese Falcon, he portrayed the character Ugarte in Casablanca (1942). While Ugarte is a small part, it is he who provides Rick with the "Letters of Transit", a key plot device. Lorre made nine movies with Sydney Greenstreet counting The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca, a team which came to be called "Little Pete-Big Syd", although they did not always have much screen time in joint scenes. Most of these motion pictures were variations on Casablanca, including Background to Danger (1943, with George Raft); Passage to Marseille (1944), reuniting them with Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains; The Mask of Dimitrios (1944); The Conspirators (1944, with Hedy Lamarr and Paul Henreid); Hollywood Canteen (1944); Three Strangers (1946), a suspense film about three people who are joint partners on a winning lottery ticket also Geraldine Fitzgerald, with third-billed Lorre cast against type by director Jean Negulesco as the romantic lead; and Greenstreet and Lorre's final film together, suspense thriller The Verdict (1946), director Don Siegel's first movie, with Greenstreet and Lorre finally billed first and second, respectively. Lorre returned to comedy with the role of Dr. Einstein in Frank Capra's version of Arsenic and Old Lace (released in 1944), and starring Cary Grant and Raymond Massey.
  • 1941
    Age 36
    In 1941, Peter Lorre became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
    More Details Hide Details Director John Huston effectively ended a period of decline for the actor and saved him from more B-pictures by casting him in The Maltese Falcon released during the year. Although Warner Bros. were lukewarm about Lorre at first, Huston was keen for him to play Joel Cairo. Huston observed that Lorre "had that clear combination of braininess and real innocence, and sophistication... He's always doing two things at the same time, thinking one thing and saying something else." Lorre himself reminisced fondly in 1962 about the "stock company" he now found himself working with: Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet and Claude Rains. In his view, the four of them had the rare ability to "switch an audience from laughter to seriousness."
  • 1940
    Age 35
    After a brief period as a freelance, he signed for two pictures at RKO in May 1940.
    More Details Hide Details In the first of these, Lorre appeared as the anonymous lead in the B-picture Stranger on the Third Floor (1940), reputedly the first film noir. The second RKO film was You'll Find Out (also 1940), a musical comedy mystery in which he co-starred with horror actors Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, as well as band leader Kay Kyser.
  • 1937
    Age 32
    He had tested successfully in 1937 for the role of Quasimodo in an aborted MGM version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1937, according to a Fox publicist one of two roles Lorre much wanted to play (the other was Napoleon).
    More Details Hide Details By now, frustrated by broken promises from Fox, Lorre had managed to end his contract.
  • 1935
    Age 30
    The Hollywood Reporter commented on his role in this film on June 27, 1935: "Lorre triumphs superbly in a characterization that is sheer horror....
    More Details Hide Details There is perhaps no one who can be so repulsive and so utterly wicked. No one who can smile so disarmingly and still sneer. His face is his fortune." As had been planned, Lorre followed Mad Love with the lead role in Crime and Punishment (also 1935) directed by Josef von Sternberg. "Although Peter Lorre is occasionally able to give the film a frightening pathological significance," wrote Andre Sennwald in The New York Times on the film's release, "this is scarcely Dostoievsky's sic drama of a tortured brain drifting into madness with a terrible secret." Columbia offered him a 5 year contract at $1,000 a week, but he declined. Returning from England, after the second Hitchcock picture he was offered and accepted a 3 year contract with 20th Century Fox. Starring in a series of Mr. Moto movies, Lorre played John P. Marquand's character, a Japanese detective and spy. Initially positive about the films, he soon grew frustrated with them. "The role is childish," he once asserted, and eventually tended to angrily dismiss the films entirely. He twisted his shoulder during a stunt in Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939), the penultimate entry of the series. In 1939, he attended a lunch at the request of some visiting Japanese officials; Lorre wore a badge which said "Boycott Japanese goods."
  • TWENTIES
  • 1934
    Age 29
    Lorre and his first wife actress Celia Lovsky boarded a Cunard liner in Southampton on 18 July 1934 to sail for New York a day after shooting had been completed on The Man Who Knew Too Much, having gained visitor's visas to the United States.
    More Details Hide Details Lorre settled in Hollywood and was soon under contract to Columbia Pictures, which had difficulty finding parts suitable for him. After some months employed effectively for research, Lorre decided that Crime and Punishment, (1866), the Russian novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky would be a suitable project with himself in the central role. Columbia's head Harry Cohn agreed to make the film so long as he could loan Lorre to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, possibly as a means of recouping the cost of Lorre not appearing in any of his films. For MGM's Mad Love (1935), set in Paris and directed by Karl Freund. Lorre's head was shaved bald in order for him to perform as Dr Gogol, a demented surgeon. In the film, Gogol replaces the wrecked hands of a concert pianist with those of an executed knife throwing murderer. An actress who works at the nearby Grand Guignol theater, who happens to be the pianist's wife, is the subject of Gogol's unwelcome infatuation.
  • 1933
    Age 28
    When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Lorre took refuge first in Paris and then London, where he was noticed by Ivor Montagu, associate producer for The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), who reminded the film's director Alfred Hitchcock about Lorre's performance in M. They first considered him to play the assassin in the film, but wanted to use him in a larger role despite his limited command of English at the time, which Lorre overcame by learning much of his part phonetically.
    More Details Hide Details Michael Newton wrote in an article for The Guardian in September 2014 of his scenes with Leslie Banks in the film: "Lorre cannot help but steal each scene; he's a physically present actor, often, you feel, surrounded as he is by the pallid English, the only one in the room with a body." After his first two American films, Lorre returned to England to feature in Hitchcock's Secret Agent (1936).
  • 1932
    Age 27
    In 1932, Lorre appeared alongside Hans Albers in the science fiction film F.P.1 antwortet nicht about an artificial island in the mid-Atlantic.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1914
    Age 9
    He was serving on the Eastern Front during the winter of 1914–1915 before being put in charge of a prison camp due to heart trouble.
    More Details Hide Details Lorre began acting on stage in Vienna aged 17, where he worked with Viennese Art Nouveau artist and puppeteer Richard Teschner. He then moved to the German town of Breslau, and later to Zürich. In the late 1920s, the short actor moved to Berlin, where he worked with German playwright Bertolt Brecht, including a role in Brecht's Mann ist Mann and as Dr. Nakamura in the musical Happy End. The actor became much better known after director Fritz Lang cast him as child killer Hans Beckert in M (1931), a film reputedly derived from the Peter Kürten case. Lang said that he had Lorre in mind while working on the script and did not give him a screen test because he was already convinced that Lorre was perfect for the part. He believed that the actor gave his best performance in M and that it was among the most distinguished in film history. Sharon Packer observed that Lorre played the "loner, and schizotypal murderer" with "raspy voice, bulging eyes, and emotive acting (a holdover from the silent screen) which always make him memorable."
  • 1904
    Born
    Lorre was born László Löwenstein on 26 June 1904, the first child of Jewish couple Alajos Löwenstein and Elvira Freischberger in the Austro-Hungarian town of Rózsahegy in Liptó County (now known as Ružomberok, in present-day Slovakia).
    More Details Hide Details His parents had recently moved there following his father's appointment as chief bookkeeper at a local textile mill. Alajos Löwenstein also served as a lieutenant in the Austrian army reserve, which meant that he was often away on military maneuvers. László's mother died when he was only four years old, leaving Alajos with three very young sons, the youngest only a couple of months old. He soon married his wife's best friend Melanie Klein, with whom he had two more children. However, Lorre and his stepmother never got along, and this colored his childhood memories. At the outbreak of the Second Balkan War in 1913, Alajos moved the family to Vienna, anticipating that this would lead to a larger conflict and that he would be called up.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)