31 Facts About Peter Lorre


Peter Lorre was a Hungarian and American actor, first in Europe and later in the United States.


Peter Lorre began his stage career in Vienna, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, before moving to Germany where he worked first on the stage, then in film in Berlin in the late 1920s and early 1930s.


Peter Lorre was the first actor to play a James Bond villain as Le Chiffre in a TV version of Casino Royale.


Peter Lorre was born Laszlo Lowenstein on June 26,1904, the first child of Alajos Lowenstein and his wife Elvira Freischberger, in the Hungarian town of Rozsahegy in Lipto County.


Peter Lorre soon married his wife's best friend Melanie Klein, with whom he had two more children.


Peter Lorre began acting on stage in Vienna aged 17, where he worked with Viennese Art Nouveau artist and puppeteer Richard Teschner.


Peter Lorre then moved to Breslau and later to Zurich.


Peter Lorre settled in Hollywood and was under contract to Columbia Pictures, which had difficulty finding parts suitable for him.


For MGM's Mad Love, set in Paris and directed by Karl Freund, Peter Lorre's head was shaved for the role of Dr Gogol, a demented surgeon.


Peter Lorre followed Mad Love with the lead role in Crime and Punishment directed by Josef von Sternberg.


Peter Lorre declined the role because he thought his menacing parts were now behind him, although he was ill at this time.


Peter Lorre had tested successfully in 1937 for the role of Quasimodo in an aborted MGM version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, according to a Fox publicist one of two roles Lorre most wanted to play.


The second RKO film, in 1940, was You'll Find Out, a musical comedy mystery vehicle for bandleader Kay Kyser in which Peter Lorre spoofed his sinister image alongside horror stars Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff.


In 1941, Peter Lorre became a naturalized citizen of the United States.


Peter 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.


Peter Lorre returned to comedy with the role of Dr Einstein in Frank Capra's version of Arsenic and Old Lace starring Cary Grant and Raymond Massey.


Peter 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.


In February 1952, Peter Lorre returned to the United States, where he resumed appearances as a character actor in television and feature films, often parodying his "creepy" image.


Peter Lorre was the first actor to play a James Bond villain when he portrayed Le Chiffre in a 1954 television adaptation of Ian Fleming's novel Casino Royale, opposite Barry Nelson as an American James Bond referred to as "Jimmy Bond".


Peter Lorre starred alongside Kirk Douglas and James Mason in 20,000 Leagues under the Sea around this time.


Peter Lorre appeared in six episodes of Playhouse 90 as well as 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, Peter Lorre and McQueen's wife Neile Adams.


Peter Lorre had a supporting role in the film Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.


Peter Lorre again worked with Price, Karloff and Rathbone in the Jacques Tourneur-directed The Comedy of Terrors.


Peter Lorre was married three times: Celia Lovsky ; Kaaren Verne and Anne Marie Brenning.


Peter Lorre had suffered from chronic gallbladder troubles, for which doctors had prescribed morphine.


Peter Lorre became trapped between the constant pain and addiction to morphine to ease the problem.


Peter Lorre died in Los Angeles on March 23,1964, from a stroke.


Peter Lorre's body was cremated and his ashes were interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood.


Peter Lorre was inducted into the Grand Order of Water Rats, the world's oldest theatrical fraternity, in 1942.


Peter Lorre was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6619 Hollywood Boulevard in February 1960.


Peter Lorre obtained a few small acting roles as a result, including a brief uncredited appearance as a cab driver in Alfred Hitchcock's Torn Curtain starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews.