Site Updated:
July 24, 2015

The Lost One:
A Life of
Peter Lorre



Chapter 3

Peter Lorre’s
(A Sample)

Critics Are
Saying . . .

The Author

What’s New!


Peter Lorre
News Blog

Peter Lorre:
The Man,
The Actor



Poster Art





“Peter was a little character
and he knew exactly what he was doing
when he was in a scene.”

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”.

'The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre' by Stephen D. Youngkin

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 possibilities.

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 (2003).

“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, The 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 on-line merchants.

Amazon U.S. – Soft-bound
Amazon U.S. – Hard-Cover

Amazon Canada – Hard-Cover
Amazon Canada – Soft-bound

Amazon U.K. – Soft-bound
Amazon U.K. – Hard-Cover

University Press of Kentucky
Barnes & Noble – Nook and Hard-bound

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