British actor (1879-1954). Born in Sandwich, Kent, his early ambitions were minor -- he moved to Ceylon at age 18 to work as a tea planter, but a drought forced him out of business. Returning to England, he managed a brewery and took acting lessons to occupy his time. He made his stage debut in a 1902 production of "Sherlock Holmes" and appeared in a large number of other plays, ranging from musical comedy to Shakespearean drama, in Britain and the United States.

Though Greenstreet made the move to Hollywood movies very late in life -- he was 62 years old and weighed nearly 300 pounds -- his film debut as the charming and talkative villain Kaspar Gutman in John Huston's "The Maltese Falcon" earned him an Oscar nomination and lots of positive attention. In the eight years he worked in Hollywood, he made 24 films, including "Casablanca," "Across the Pacific," "The Mask of Dimitrios," "The Verdict," "Christmas in Connecticut," "The Hucksters," "The Woman in White," and "Flamingo Road." He made a couple of other movies with Humphrey Bogart and appeared in eight with Peter Lorre.

Greenstreet's obesity contributed to numerous health problems, including diabetes. He retired from acting in 1949 and died four years later, at age 75, in Hollywood.

He has the honor of speaking one of the coolest lines in cinema: "I'll tell you right out -- I'm a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk." (from "The Maltese Falcon")

Research from the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

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