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

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

Peter Lorre:
The Man,
The Actor


Photo Album

Poster Art



Radio Programs


Except where noted, all photos are from the collection of Stephen Youngkin.
For a larger image, click on the thumbnail. A new window will open.

Don Ameche, Peter Lorre, and Sonja Henie, 1937

A casually-dressed Peter Lorre joins Don Ameche and Sonja Henie, then making Happy Landing (1938), for lunch at the Fox cafeteria. Though not in costume as the Japanese detective, Peter was finishing work on Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937).

Dressed as Mr. Moto in a 'Santa' suit, Peter Lorre wishes family and friends a Merry Christmas, 1937.

Merry Christmas from Peter Lorre! After completing work on Thank You, Mr. Moto (20th Century-Fox, 1937), Peter took time out to pose for this photo to include with his 1937 Christmas cards.

James Tinling and the cast, 1938

On the set of Mr. Moto’s Gamble (1938), James Tinling (center) directs a scene in the dressing room of murdered boxer Frankie Stanton (Russ Clark). Left to right: George E. Stone, Cliff Clark, Keye Luke, Harold Huber, Peter Lorre, Edwin Stanley, and Clark (lying on table). Originally Charlie Chan at the Ringside, the script was rewritten as the fourth entry in the Moto series (and released third) when Chan star Warner Oland suddenly quit the production. Keye Luke remained as Chan’s son, “Lee Chan.”

Peter Lorre, 1937

To advertise Peter Lorre’s guest appearance on the radio program Hollywood Hotel, on March 5, 1937, a composite photo was created blending the CBS microphone with a publicity photo of Lorre in make-up as “Professor Sturm” for the film Nancy Steele is Missing!, then in release. On the radio program, Lorre was joined in a sketch of the film by his movie co-stars Victor McLaglen and June Lang. Lewis Lawes, warden of Sing Sing Prison who had appeared in several radio programs, cut in from New York.

Norman Foster and Peter Lorre, 1938

In an early scene from Mr. Moto Takes a Chance, Norman Foster directs Peter Lorre and an unbilled actor at an archaeological dig in the 20th Century-Fox version of Tong Moi, Cambodia. A New York Times article (Aug. 22, 1937) reported Moto’s “personal jungle” was located just outside the soundstage where Tyrone Power and Alice Faye were at work on the million-dollar epic In Old Chicago (1937). A brass band from the film’s “political rally” sequence frequently interrupted the Moto-makers with a rendition of “The Blue Danube.”

Peter Lorre, Robert Kent, Rochelle Hudson and J. Edward Bromberg, 1938

The second entry in the Mr. Moto series, Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938) was filmed as Look Out, Mr. Moto and released fourth. As the intrepid Japanese detective, Peter Lorre strikes a dramatic pose, while romantic leads Robert Kent and Rochelle Hudson and villain J. Edward Bromberg look on.

Peter Lorre, 1939

Norman Foster sits on the “cherry picker” with his cinematographer Virgil Miller and directs Peter Lorre on the spiral staircase of the “Sultana Theatre of Variety” set in a scene from Mr. Moto”s Last Warning (20th Century-Fox, 1939).

Peter Lorre, mid-1930s

Another from a series of studio portraits of Peter Lorre in the 1930s.

Robert Lowery, Neely Edwards, Peter Lorre, Paul Harvey, and Douglass Dumbrille, 1939

Supporting cast members (left to right) Robert Lowery, Neely Edwards, Paul Harvey, and Douglass Dumbrille confront Peter Lorre in a publicity still for Danger Island (20th Century-Fox, 1939), the final movie shot in the Mr. Moto series, but released seventh.

Warren Hymer, Peter Lorre, and two players, 1939

Warren Hymer and Peter Lorre appear to have just finished shooting the “warehouse escape” sequence in Danger Island. Originally filmed as Mr. Moto in Puerto Rico, it is the only entry in the Moto series that does not include the Japanese detective”s name in the title.

Peter Lorre and Duncan Renaldo, 1930s

Peter Lorre helps a Fox makeup man put the finishing touches on actor Duncan Renaldo for another of his late-1930s action-adventure film roles. In the 1950s, Renaldo would become known as “The Cisco Kid” on the small screen.

Ernst Lubitsch hosts a party of the German �migr� community, late 1930s.

A gathering of the German émigré community at the Hollywood home of film director Ernst Lubitsch (center, white suit), late 1930s. Peter Lorre sits at a table in the far right-hand corner.

Katharine Hepburn, Jascha Heifetz, and Peter Lorre, 1939

On August 10, 1939, Hollywood and Broadway stars conferred at Lawrence Tibbett’s New York home on their dispute with a dissident block of entertainers headed by Sophie Tucker. Here, Katharine Hepburn, violinist Jascha Heifetz and Peter Lorre discuss the “showdown” between opposing theatrical unions.

Peter Lorre and a lady friend, 1939

In New York City for radio appearances on Rudy Vallee’s The Royal Gelatin Hour and George Jessel’s program, Peter visited the 1939 World's Fair, held that year in Queens. Snapped while having lunch in a restaurant in “France,” he was easily identified, but according to the photo caption, “Mr. Lorre refused flatly to give the name of his fair companion.” August 19, 1939.

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The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre (2005) by Stephen Youngkin – now in its third printing and winner of the Rondo Award for "Best Book of 2005" – is available in bookstores everywhere, as well as these on-line merchants.

The Films of Peter Lorre (1982), also by Youngkin, is out of print, but copies may be purchased through Amazon and Barnes & Noble below. Interested in Lorre's radio and television performances? Check out Radio Showcase and Movies Unlimited. Netflix has Lorre movies for rent.

U.S. Amazon – 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