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Peter Lorre

Peter Lorre (born László Löwenstein), (June 26, 1904 - March 23, 1964 was a Hungarian-American actor, known largely for roles as heavies. He was born in Rózsahegy/Rosenberg, Austria-Hungary , what is now Ruzomberok, Slovakia. He began acting on stage in Vienna, Breslau, Germany and Zurich. At age 21 he moved to Berlin and caught the attention of German playwright Bertolt Brecht. Lorre became famous when Fritz Lang cast him as the child killer in M in 1931. Scenes from that film were re-used by the Nazi propaganda agencies in the anti-Semitic movie Der ewige Jude.

When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Lorre moved from Berlin to Paris and, eventually, Hollywood. Typecast as a villain, he found himself with no shortage of work. Moving from a villainous role in Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), he then played Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment[?] in 1935, and followed that up in a series of Mr. Moto movies, in which he played a Japanese detective. He had major roles in The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca.

After the 1940s, he began to gain weight, and played lesser roles, with the exception of Skeeter the clown in the 1959 movie The Big Circus[?]. Lorre's caricature was frequently used in Warner Brothers cartoons, and his persona was used as the basis of the character Flat Top in the Dick Tracy cartoons.

Peter Lorre died in 1964 and was interred in the Hollywood Forever Memorial Park Cemetery in Hollywood, California.

Lorre has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6619 Hollywood Blvd.


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