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"In the Spotlight"


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Hi...if I might reply, at first I thought Mary Beth played the maid. I know it was the wonderful Virginia Grey who was the wise-cracking salesgirl who was busting Crawford's chops while she was on the phone. So I cheated and looked it up.


Mary Beth Hughes played the notary. Now, I've gotta catch this movie again, for the 28th time... ;-)

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Despite being a cult favorite, Mary Beth will probably be remembered best for her role in the outrageously campy "I Accuse My Parents" (1944), which was later used as cannon fodder for "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (1988).

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In the Spotlight: PETER LORRE




The essential lead/character actor was born Laszlo Lowenstein on June 26, 1904 in R?zsahegy, Hungary, to Alois and Elvira L?wenstein.

When he was a child his family moved to Vienna where Lorre was educated in elementary and secondary schools.

He left home when he was 17 and joined an improvised theater. In 1922, he worked as a bank clerk.

In the late 1920s the young 5' 5" actor moved to Berlin where he worked with German playwright Bertolt Brecht, and eventually appeared in a few films.

The German-speaking actor became famous when Fritz Lang cast him as the psychopathic child killer in his 1931 film "M".


When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Lorre took refuge first in Paris and then London where he played a charming villain in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much".


Eventually, he went to Hollywood where he specialized in playing wicked or wily foreigners, beginning with "Mad Love" and followed by "Crime and Punishment".

He starred in a series of Mr. Moto movies (8 in all), in which he played a Japanese detective and spy. He did not much enjoy these films but they were lucrative for the studio and gained Lorre many new fans.


In 1940, Lorre co-starred with Clak Gable and Joan Crawford in "Strange Cargo" and took the lead in "Stranger on the Third Floor" and "The Face Behind the Mask" with Evelyn Keyes.

Lorre enjoyed considerable popularity as a featured player in Warner Bros. suspense and adventure films. He played the role of Joel Cairo in "The Maltese Falcon", as Pepi the piano player in "All Through the Night" and portrayed the character Ugarte in the film classic "Casablanca". It was Lorre's character who introduced the "letters of transit" (there was no such thing in reality) which became, in some ways, the dramatic center of the film.


In 1941, Peter Lorre became a naturalized citizen of the United States.


He also co-starred in, "The Cross of Lorraine", "The Mask of Demitrios", and played Dr. Einstein in "Arsenic and Old Lace" (filmed in 1941, released 1944). In 1946 he starred with Sydney Greenstreet and Geraldine Fitzgerald in "Three Strangers", a suspense film about three people who are joint partners on a winning lottery ticket, and in "The Verdict", "The Beast with Five Fingers", "Casbah", etc.


Eventually Lorre's acting career in Hollywood experienced a downturn, whereupon he concentrated on radio and stage work.

He appeared as a character actor in television and feature films, often spoofing his former "creepy" image as in "Quicksand" and "Beat the Devil".

In 1954, he had the distinction of becoming the first actor to play a James Bond villain when he portrayed Le Chiffre in a television adaptation of "Casino Royale". Also in 1954, Lorre starred alongside Kirk Douglas and James Mason in the hit-classic Disney's "20,000 Leagues under the Sea".

In the early 1960s he worked with Roger Corman on several low-budgeted, tongue-in-cheek, and very popular films including "Tales of Terror" and "The Raven" with Vincent Price.


Lorre's distinctive Viennese-meets Middle American accent and large-eyed face has been a favorite target of comedians and cartoonists, to the point where Lorre has become far more familiar with the public in caricature form than for his actual performances.


He was married three times: to actress Celia Lovsky in 1934; Kaaren Verne in 1945 and Annemarie Brenning in 1953 until his death. Annemarie bore his only child, a daughter, Catharine, in 1953.

His daughter, Catharine Lorre, was once almost abducted by The Hillside Stranglers. She was stopped by the Stranglers, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, imitating policemen. When they found out she was Lorre's daughter, they let her go. She didn't realize that they were killers until after they were caught.


Overweight and never fully recovered from his addiction to morphine, Lorre suffered many personal and career disappointments in his later years.

When he died in 1964 of a stroke he was 59 years old. Lorre's body was cremated and his ashes interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood. Vincent Price read the eulogy at his funeral.


Quoted: All that anyone needs to imitate me is two soft-boiled eggs and a bedroom voice.


The delightful little guy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Message was edited by: mongo


Message was edited by: mongo

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Again, a good choice, Mongo. Despite his persona, I have always been fascinated by

his acting. He is definitely a presence on the screen. I think his perfomance in

"M" was outstanding, albeit a disturbing movie. I consider him "the man you love

to hate".

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