Sydney Greenstreet was born in 1879, a son of a leather merchant and one of 8 children. At age 18, he moved to Sri Lanka to fullfil his dreams of being a tea planter. When he went bankrupt, he went back to England. There he started work on a stage. It was while doing a tour for a show he went to US where he would spend the rest of his life. He was a versatile actor on the stage being able to do comedy, drama, musical. While doing a tour in Los Angeles, Greenstreet met John Huston who wanted him to be in his movie, The Maltese Falcon, in 1941. Greenstreet would make films until his retirement from the screen due to ill health in 1949.