The Strange Life of Peter Lorre

Loren Kantor
Picture Palace
Published in
4 min readMar 16, 2024

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Woodcut of Peter Lorre from the 1931 German film M. (artwork by author)

Peter Lorre was an Austrian-American actor known for playing sinister foreigners. Born Laszlo Lowenstein in 1904 to Jewish parents in present-day Slovakia, Lorre’s mother died of food poisoning when he was only four. As a teenager, Lorre was a student of Sigmund Freud in Vienna.

Lorre began acting at age 17 and moved to Berlin where he worked with playwright Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill. He came to…

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Loren Kantor
Picture Palace

Loren is a writer and woodcut artist based in Los Angeles. He teaches printmaking and creative writing to kids and adults.