Peter Lorre

Peter Lorre

Spike Jones had a hit record with his wacky cover version of "My Old Flame" with voice actor Paul Frees doing a Lorre impression for the vocal. When Lorre appeared on Jones' radio show he had to learn the "Paul Frees" way of being Peter Lorre, as Peter himself was not quite the madman that Paul had made him out to be. Also imitated by Mel Blanc in a handful of Warner Bros. cartoons, and the vocal inspiration for the character Flat Top in "The Dick Tracy Show" (1961).

Alfred Hitchcock was reputed to have said that one of Lorre's nicknames was "The Walking Overcoat." This moniker was given to Lorre because he used to rehearse in a floor-length overcoat, no matter what the season of the year was.

John Kricfalusi, creator of the cartoon "The Ren & Stimpy Show" (1991), has said that Lorre inspired the character of Ren.

About 1977, his daughter Catharine Lorre was almost abducted in Los Angeles by the serial killers known as the Hillside Stranglers. She was stopped by Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, who were impersonating policemen. When they realized she was Lorre's daughter, they let her go because the actor was famous for playing a serial killer in Fritz Lang's M (1931). Catharine Lorre didn't realize that they were killers until after they were arrested.

According to Vincent Price, when he and Peter Lorre went to view Bela Lugosi's body during Bela's funeral, Lorre, upon seeing Lugosi dressed in his famous Dracula cape, quipped, "Do you think we should drive a stake through his heart just in case?"

As a young man in Vienna, he was a student of the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.

Daughter: Catharine Lorre, born 1953. She passed away on May 7, 1985.

During the House Un-American Activities Committee's investigation of Communist infiltration of Hollywood during the 1940s and 1950s, Lorre was interviewed by investigators and asked to name anyone suspicious he had met since coming to the US. He responded by giving them a list of everyone he knew.

He convinced Humphrey Bogart to marry Lauren Bacall, despite the age difference. He did so by saying, "Five good years are better than none!"

He established his own production company, Lorre Incorporated. The company was mismanaged and Lorre filed for backruptcy.

He was sought for a role in The Black Sleep (1956), but when the cost-conscious producers deemed his salary request too high he was replaced by Akim Tamiroff.

His distinctive voice gave Lorre a successful career in radio. He guest-starred on all of the comedy/variety series from the mid-1930s into the 1950s, as well as thrillers such as "Inner Sanctum Mysteries" and "Suspense", and had three radio series of his own: "Mystery in the Air", "Nightmare", and for the Armed Forces Radio Services, "Mystery Playhouse".

His image from M (1931) was unwittingly used on the German poster for the anti-semitic propaganda film, The Eternal Jew (1940), as an example of a typical Jew.

His performance as Hans Beckert in M (1931) is ranked #79 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time (April, 2004 issue).

His performance as Hans Beckert in M (1931) was ranked at #94 on Premiere Magazine's list of 100 Greatest Film Performances of All Time (April, 2006 issue).

Hobby: Sketching

Host/performer of NBC Radio's "Mystery in the Air" (1947).

In the early 1990s, his famous accent was parodied yet again in the cartoon show "Mega Man" (1994) as the robot henchman Cutman (possibly a wordplay on Sydney Greenstreet's Gutman in The Maltese Falcon (1941)).

Interred at Hollywood Memorial Cemetery (now called Hollywood Forever), Hollywood, California, USA, in the Cathedral Mausoleum.

Is portrayed by Herbie Braha in Bogie (1980) (TV).