Lorre's family was Jewish. Lorre was born in Rózsahegy (Rosenberg) in a country called Austria-Hungary. Now the place where he was born is in the country Slovakia. He began acting in theaters in Vienna, Breslau, and Zürich. In the 1920s, he moved to Berlin to work as an actor. In 1931, the movie director Fritz Lang chose Lorre to act in a movie about a serial killer who kills children called M. Lorre got married three times: Celia Lovsky (1934 - 13 March 1945, divorced); Kaaren Verne (25 May 1945 - 1950, divorced) and Annemarie Brenning (21 July 1953 - 23 March 1964, his death). He had his only child with Brenning, a daughter named Catharine (1953-1985).
When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Lorre had to leave Germany. Lorre went to England to be safe from the Nazis. Lorre got work as an actor in a movie by Alfred Hitchcock called The Man Who Knew Too Much. Lorre only knew a little English. At first, it was hard for him to act in English movies.
In the 1940s, Lorre moved to Hollywood, California (USA). Hollywood is a town where many movies are made. Lorre acted in many movies, playing foreign characters. Lorre played the role of Joel Cairo in the movie The Maltese Falcon (1941) and played the role of "Ugarte" in the movie Casablanca (1942). Lorre played the character of Dr. Einstein in the movie Arsenic and Old Lace (1944).