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Peter Lorre

Peter Lorre



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Also Known As: Ladislav Loewenstein Died: March 23, 1964
Born: June 26, 1904 Cause of Death: stroke
Birth Place: Hungary Profession: Cast ... actor bank clerk


A product of Berlin's post World War I experimental theatre scene, Peter Lorre honed his craft in plays by Shakespeare, Goethe and Shaw, but achieved international fame as a child killer in Fritz Lang's incendiary "M" (1931). After making his English language debut for Alfred Hitchcock in "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934), Lorre was lured to Hollywood with the promise of a studio contract. Warehoused for a year by Columbia Pictures, Lorre was loaned out to play more maniacs in "Mad Love" (1935) and "Stranger on the Third Floor" (1940). Against the better judgment of the Warner Brothers front office, first time filmmaker John Huston took a chance on Lorre by casting him as the villainous Joel Cairo to Humphrey Bogart's steely shamus Sam Spade in "The Maltese Falcon" (1941). Lorre and Bogart became frequent co-stars in such World War II era fare as "Across the Pacific" (1941), "Casablanca" (1942) and "Passage to Marseilles" (1944). Despite playing the occasional heroic role, Lorre remained typecast as misfits and miscreants. Plagued by ill health and drug addiction, Lorre capped his career with a run of tongue-in-cheek horror films, including "The Raven" (1963) and "Comedy of Terrors" (1963) with horror kings Boris Karloff and Vincent Price. Dead at 59, Lorre's legacy survived him, due to his roles in iconic Bogart films and the devotion of horror film fans who echoed the late actor's designation as The Lord High Minister of All That is Sinister.

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