Peter Lorre (26 June 1904 – 23 March 1964) was an Austrian-American actor frequently typecast as a sinister foreigner.
He caused an international sensation in 1931 with his portrayal of a serial killer who preys on little girls in the German film M. Later he became a popular featured player in Hollywood crime films and mysteries, notably alongside Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet, and as the star of the successful Mr. Moto detective series.
Lorre was born as László Löwenstein into a Jewish family in Rózsahegy (Hungarian), Rosenberg (German), Kingdom of Hungary, part of Austria-Hungary, now Ružomberok, Slovakia. His parents were Alois and Elvira. When he was a child his family moved to Vienna where Lorre attended school. He began acting on stage in Vienna at the age of 17, where he worked with Richard Teschner, then moved to Breslau, and Zürich. In the late 1920s, the young 5 ft 5 in (165 cm) actor moved to Berlin where he worked with German playwright Bertolt Brecht, most notably in his Mann ist Mann. He also appeared as Dr. Nakamura in the musical Happy End by Brecht and composer Kurt Weill, alongside Brecht's wife Helene Weigel and co-stars Carola Neher, Oskar Homolka and Kurt Gerron.