Friday, April 12, 2013
My guest Author Stephen Doug Youngkin of the book The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, by Stephen D. Youngkin.
Stephen was born in 1950. Pursued doctoral degree at University of Utah, specializing in 19th century federal government-Indian relations. Worked for Center for the Study of Man at the Smithsonian Institution, also as historical consultant to Sioux Tribe in land claim
litigation suit involving Sioux Indians and Treaty of 1868. Developed an interest in cinema history. Later worked at Utah State Historical Society in Salt Lake City.
Drawing on more than 300 interviews, Youngkin (coauthor, The Films of Peter Lorre) offers the first major biography of a genuine but eccentric talent. Peter Lorre electrified the international film world in 1931 with his portrayal of a pathetic child killer in Fritz Lang’s M. Born Laszlo Loewenstein in Hungary, Lorre fled Nazi anti-Semitism to join a growing colony of expatriates in Hollywood. Unlike many other foreign actors, Lorre enthusiastically embraced American culture but soon found himself stereotyped, and after key appearances in films likeCasablanca, he ended his career a caricature of himself in low-budget horror films. Youngkin recounts Lorre’s early years, the distinctive screen persona that eventually became something of a curse, his carelessness with money, and his addiction to morphine. Friends also remember his offbeat sense of humor and capacity for friendship, which extended to ex-wives, Humphrey Bogart, and famed German playwright Bertolt Brecht. This well-researched book illuminates both Lorre’s strengths and his flaws, tantalizes the reader with lost possibilities in his career, and covers little-known chapters in his life. Recommended for large public and academic film history and biography collections. — Reviewed by Stephen Rees, Levittown Library, PA; August, 2005 Stephen worked for five years writing the The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, by Stephen D. Youngkin.