LORRE, PETER

Entry Source: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin


(June 26, 1904–March 23, 1964; birth name: László Löwenstein): Distinctive-voiced Hungarian character actor who portrayed the first James Bond villain, Le Chiffre, in the CBS live television adaptation of Casino Royale in 1954. Lorre’s nemesis is an Americanized James Bond portrayed by Barry Nelson.

Born in Rózsahegy, Austria-Hungary (now Ružomberok, Slovakia), Lorre made his credited motion picture debut as Hans Beckert in director Fritz Lang’s celebrated crime drama M (1931). Three years later, he made his English-language debut as Abbott in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). Lorre’s desperate, unctuous presence was often played against the sinister, imposing Sydney Greenstreet in films such as The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Casablanca (1942).

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