March 23, 1964
Peter Lorre, 59, Hungarian-born actor whose deceptively mild manner and low-pitched voice made him one of motion pictures’ favorite villains, died in Hollywod March 23 of a stroke. Lorre has recently completed role in Jerry Lewis’ “The Patsy” and was due to start AIP’s “Bikini Beach” on April 12.
When Fritz Lang selected him for the pathological killer in his German-made “M,” Lorre created one of the screen’s classic criminals and started his lengthy motion picture career. While in England to make “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” Lorre learned English and in 1934, went to Hollywood.
Important credits during his film years include “Casablanca,” “The Maltese Falcon,” “Beast with Five Fingers” and “20,000 Leagues under the Sea.”
His estranged wife Annemarie was due in court on day of his death to obtain a default divorce decree. He is survived by a daughter.
— Based on Variety’s March 25, 1964 obit