July 24, 2015
The Lost One:
A Life of
“Peter was a little character
and he knew exactly what he was doing
when he was in a
So said stuntman Harvey Parry of the classic film actor Peter Lorre. Others
who shared the screen with Lorre remarked on his effortless ability to perform
in front of the camera, to create and develop a character before their eyes.
They also told stories of his practical jokes on-set and the way he dismissed
his acting as “making faces”.
It belied the seriousness with which he approached his craft.
This attitude carried over to his view of actor autobiographies. A
“racket”, he called it – one of his favorite words,
along with “kreep”, “vomitable”, and
“daddio”. Lorre explained that his aversion to talking about
himself stemmed from modesty, something his father had instilled in him.
Not only was it indecent, but it required a certain lack of inhibition.
In the pages of this website, fans will find Peter Lorre’s story told
in family and candid photos, poster artwork from his various movies, the
answers to Frequently Asked Questions, links to DVDs and CDs of his film,
television, and radio performances, and the tribute paid him by a punk rock
group called the World/Inferno Friendship Society.
And there is also the biography – The Lost
One: A Life of Peter Lorre, by Stephen D. Youngkin.
In The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre,
Youngkin goes beyond the actor’s on-screen image:
- For the first time, directors Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder,
John Huston, Frank Capra, Rouben Mamoulian and many more filmmakers
open up about Lorre, the man and the actor.
- For the first time, Lorre’s pivotal relationship with German
dramatist Bertolt Brecht and the actor’s influence on his
“new style” of acting are uncovered.
- For the first time, Lorre’s émigré experience is
placed in the context of the exodus of artists from Nazi Germany.
- For the first time, the story of Lorre’s morphine addiction
– based on medical records, including a personal history of his
dependency dictated to federal narcotics authorities – is told.
Exhaustively researched and objectively told, The
Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre looks behind-the-scenes at a
multi-dimensional life triumphant and yet tragically tangled with failed
Winner of the Rondo Award – “Best
Book of 2005”
Finalist for the Theatre Librarian Association
Award – 2005
Nominated for CineFest’s International Willy Haas
Award – 2007
Now in its third printing!
And now available on
Amazon Kindle US –
Amazon Kindle UK –
Barnes & Noble Nook
Now in paperback!
“A first-class job of introspective writing.”
— Billy Wilder
“It is an outstanding work: well-researched, insightfully
written, a significant contribution to film biography and film
history.” — Patrick McGilligan,
author of Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast (1997) and
Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light
“This is the most comprehensive, accurate biography on
Lorre in his European and American context – nothing like
it.” — James K. Lyon, author of
Bertolt Brecht in America (1980).
“Wow! What a stunning achievement! The
Lost One is, well, beyond definitive regarding the
life and career of beloved actor Lorre (who died in 1964).”
— David McDonnell, editor, Starlog
Magazine; Nov. 2005.
“Perhaps the best word to describe Stephen D. Youngkin’s
Peter Lorre bio, The Lost One, is
‘exhaustive.’ It’s deep and detailed . . . the
capstone to years of research into the actor’s life, films,
family and psyche.” — Marty Baumann,
Astounding B Monster; Nov. 2005.
The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (2005)
by Stephen Youngkin is available in bookstores everywhere, as well as these
University Press of Kentucky
Barnes & Noble – Nook and Hard-bound
Visitors since May 23, 2005
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