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?".
Was a favorite characterization for the famed Warner Bros. cartoonists, as he tangled several times with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. He was also portrayed as a fish in a Dr. Seuss Warner Bros. cartoon, Horton Hatches the Egg (1942).
Was the very first James Bond villain; he played Le Chiffre in a 1954 version of Casino Royale on the television series Climax! (1954).
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.
Had one daughter: Catherine Lorre (born 22 June 1953). She passed away on May 7, 1985 in California.
Separated from wife, Annemarie Brenning, in October 1962; a divorce hearing had been scheduled for the day Lorre passed away, March 23, 1964.
Following his death, he was interred at Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery (now called Hollywood Forever Cemetery) in Hollywood, California, in the Cathedral Mausoleum.
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).
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 did not realize that they were killers until after they were arrested.
In the early 1990s, his famous accent was parodied yet again on the animated series Mega Man (1994) as the robot henchman Cutman (possibly a wordplay on Sydney Greenstreet's Gutman in The Maltese Falcon (1941)).
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 United States. He responded by giving them a list of everyone he knew.
As a young man in Vienna, he was a student of the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler.
John Kricfalusi, creator of the animated series The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991), has said that Lorre inspired the character Ren.
He established his own production company, Lorre Incorporated. The company was mismanaged and Lorre filed for backruptcy.
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".
Lorre suggested to Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures that they make a film version of Crime and Punishment (1935) with him in the role of Raskolnikov. Cohn agreed to the project if Lorre would agree to be loaned out to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for Mad Love (1935).
When he arrived in Great Britain, his first meeting with a British director was with Alfred Hitchcock. By smiling and laughing as Hitchcock talked, the director was unaware that Lorre had a limited command of the English language. Hitchcock cast him in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). Lorre learned much of his part phonetically.
It was reported that Joseph Goebbels himself warned Lorre to flee Germany.
Host/performer of NBC Radio's "Mystery in the Air" (1947).
Is the subject of a stage show and album by the World/Inferno Friendship Society called Peter Lorre's 20th Century: Addicted to Bad Ideas. The music is meant to outline Lorre's life, and the show is narrated with monologues and dialog between band members.
Remained friends with all his wives. His third wife's ashes are combined with his, despite their being separated at the time of his death.
He convinced Humphrey Bogart to marry Lauren Bacall, despite the age difference. He did so by saying, "Five good years are better than none!".
Lorre's speech and mannerisms provided the inspiration for the villainous character Rocky Rococo in the Firesign Theater's radio play "The Adventures of Nick Danger, Third Eye" (1968).
Seems to be the object of tribute in many animated works, such as N. Gin in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex (2001), the Ceiling Lamp in The Brave Little Toaster (1987), Ren Hoek in The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991), the Maggot in Corpse Bride (2005) and a mad scientist and gangster in several Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoons.
His performance as Hans Beckert in M (1931) was ranked #94 on Premiere magazine's list of 100 Greatest Film Performances of All Time (April 2006 issue).
His performance as Hans Beckert in M (1931) was ranked #79 on Premiere magazine's list of 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time (April 2004 issue).
Lorre was the inspiration for the ghost mascot of the General Mills cereal, Boo Berry.
Is the subject of a 1986 song by the British indie pop group The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy.
Is mentioned in the lyrics of Al Stewart's 1976 song "Year of the Cat" ("In a morning from a Bogart movie / In a country where they turn back time / You go strolling through the crowds like Peter Lorre / Contemplating a crime").
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.
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.
Lorre sold Hitchcock the screen rights to Secret Agent (1936) in addition to co-starring in the film. The actor liked to collect valuable story properties, which were estimated to value $350,000 by 1944.
While residing as an expatriate in Paris, Lorre resided in the same shabby rooming house as future Hollywood luminaries Paul Lukas, Oskar Homolka and Franz Waxman.
In 1936, Universal proposed starring Lorre in a remake of Lon Chaney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923), but the project never progressed beyond the discussion stage with the actor.
In the early 1950s, Lorre became seriously ill with a malady that affected his glands, causing a metabolic change. After recuperating, the actor gained almost 100 pounds, which aggravated a chronic high blood pressure condition that permanently altered his appearance and necessitated constant treatment.
Lorre had been signed to reprise his role of Strangdour, from Muscle Beach Party (1964), in the next beach film of the series: Bikini Beach (1964). However, he passed away before production began on that film.
He appeared with John Carradine in eight films: Nancy Steele Is Missing! (1937), Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937), I'll Give a Million (1938), Mr. Moto's Last Warning (1939), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Hell Ship Mutiny (1957), The Story of Mankind (1957) and The Patsy (1964).
He appeared with Vincent Price in five films: The Story of Mankind (1957), The Big Circus (1959), Tales of Terror (1962), The Comedy of Terrors (1963) and The Raven (1963).
He appeared with Cedric Hardwicke in five films: Invisible Agent (1942), The Cross of Lorraine (1943), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), The Story of Mankind (1957) and Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962).
He appeared in two Best Picture Academy Award winners: Casablanca (1942) and Around the World in 80 Days (1956), and a Best Picture nominee: The Maltese Falcon (1941).
Lorre was unhappy when 20th Century Fox assigned him to the first Moto film, but as he had recently been discharged from a rehab for his morphine addiction, he accepted the role with reluctance.
According to Peter Lorre in an interview, he and his early friends invented and popularized the slang word "creep" meaning "a creepy, annoying person", though when they invented it, it was spelled "kreap", and did not have the same negative connotation.
Immediately after M (1931), Lorre received 310 film offers which all contained a similar role. However, he refused most of them in order to try not to get personified as a psychopath. But these efforts were more or less ineffective to his death.
The movie M (1931) had a formative influence on most of his almost 80 future parts. Ten years later, in 1940, Lorre's speech for the defense in M (1931) was manipulated by the Nazis in their campaign against the Jews.
A copy of Lorre's life mask--made at Don Post Studios in the 1960s--is part of the storyline in Hollywood Mouth (2008). Lorre's residence on Hollywood Boulevard is also shown in the film.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6619 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
On August 24, 2018, he was honored with a day of his film work during the TCM Summer Under The Stars.
He appeared with Humphrey Bogart in five films: The Maltese Falcon (1941), All Through the Night (1942), Casablanca (1942), Passage to Marseille (1944) and Beat the Devil (1953).
He appeared with Sydney Greenstreet in nine films: The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), Background to Danger (1943), Passage to Marseille (1944), The Mask of Dimitrios (1944), The Conspirators (1944), Hollywood Canteen (1944), Three Strangers (1946) and The Verdict (1946).
Spoke English, French, German and Hungarian.
Peter Lorre appeared in two science fiction submarine movies, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961).
He was the visual inspiration for the original illustrations of Gomez Addams in The Addams Family, when they were published for The New Yorker in 1938. Lorre was 34 years old at the time.
He has appeared in two films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Casablanca (1942).