The Life and Times of Sydney Greenstreet (audiobook)
At the age of 61, Sydney Greenstreet made one of the most memorable debuts in classic cinema as the mysterious Kaspar Gutman in The Maltese Falcon (1941). His performance earned him a Best Supporting Actor Nomination. Born in England, Greenstreet had enjoyed a forty-year stage career which encompassed everything from Shakespeare to musical comedy and some of the most acclaimed plays of the 1930s. His film career lasted a mere eight years but included the timeless Casablanca (1942) and saw him teamed to great effect with the inimitable Peter Lorre. This is the first book dedicated to Greenstreet and includes over a hundred photographs, many of which are previously unseen.
"I derived much more enjoyment out of
The Life and Times of Sydney Greenstreet
by Derek Sculthorpe (BearManor
softcover $25). Until now, the British-born
character actor has never been the subject of
a full-length biography. Greenstreet (1879-
1954) is best known for his film debut in the
classic The Maltese Falcon (1941), as well as
Casablanca (1942) and the pictures he made
teamed with Peter Lorre. My favorite Greenstreet
performances are in Conflict (1945)
and Christmas in Connecticut (1945).
Considering Greenstreet’s popularity
with film fans, I am surprised how little
has been written about him. I knew close
to nothing about him but often wondered
about his background, his relationship with
his family and what kind of person he was.
And I never realized how versatile he was.
This book opened my eyes to his extensive
range. Greenstreet’s film bow came at the
age of 61; before that, he had a substantial
career on stage starting in 1902.
"Sculthorpe has written several books
and his research is always impeccable—and
he’s at his best here. In addition to the interviews,
articles and reviews that he’s uncovered,
he had the help of the Greenstreet
family. They also gave him access to a wide
array of photographs, amazing stuff from
the theater, personal snaps and candids.
Sculthorpe seems very engaged with
Greenstreet, his life and career, and I would
say this is his best biography yet."
- Classic Images