Orson Welles Spouse, Children, Books, Quotes, Movies, Death and Citizen Kane.

Who is Orson Welles ?

Detailed Orson Welles Biography

What is Orson Welles Age?

Who’re Orson Welles Family Members?

Who’re Orson Welles Children?

Who’s Orson Welles Wife/ Husband?

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Orson Welles Bio

Orson Welles real name George Orson Welles was an American actor, director, writer and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre and film. He is considered one of the greatest film directors of all time.

While in his twenties Welles directed a number of high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock.

In 1937 he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941, including Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Orson Welles Age/Weight

Orson was born on May 6, 1915, and died on October 10, 1985, at the age of 70 years old.

Orson Welles Family

Orson Welles was born May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, son of Richard Head Welles and Beatrice Ives Welles. He was named after his paternal great-grandfather, influential Kenosha attorney Orson S. Head, and his brother George Head. An alternative story of the source of his first and middle names was told by George Ade, who met Welles’s parents on a West Indies cruise toward the end of 1914.

Ade was traveling with a friend, Orson Wells, and the two of them sat at the same table as Mr. and Mrs. Richard Welles. Mrs. Welles was pregnant at the time, and when they said goodbye, she told them that she had enjoyed their company so much that if the child were a boy, she intended to name it for them: George Orson. Welles’s birth announcement and a picture of him as a young boy are among George Ade’s papers at Purdue University.

Despite his family’s affluence, Welles encountered hardship in childhood. His parents separated and moved to Chicago in 1919. His father, who made a fortune as the inventor of a popular bicycle lamp, became an alcoholic and stopped working. Welles’s mother, a pianist, played during lectures by Dudley Crafts Watson at the Art Institute of Chicago to support her son and herself; the oldest Welles boy, “Dickie”, was institutionalized at an early age because he had learning difficulties.

Beatrice died of hepatitis in a Chicago hospital on May 10, 1924, just after Welles’s ninth birthday. The Gordon String Quartet, which had made its first appearance at her home in 1921, played at Beatrice’s funeral.

Orson Welles

After his mother’s death, Welles ceased pursuing music. It was decided that he would spend the summer with the Watson family at a private art colony in Wyoming, New York, established by Lydia Avery Coonley Ward. There he played and became friends with the children of the Aga Khan, including the 12-year-old Prince Aly Khan.

Then, in what Welles later described as “a hectic period” in his life, he lived in a Chicago apartment with both his father and Dr. Maurice Bernstein, a Chicago physician who had been a close friend of both his parents.

Welles briefly attended public school before his alcoholic father left the business altogether and took him along on his travels to Jamaica and the Far East.

When they returned they settled in a hotel in Grand Detour, Illinois, that was owned by his father. When the hotel burned down, Welles and his father took to the road again.

“During the three years that Orson lived with his father, some observers wondered who took care of whom”, wrote biographer Frank Brady. “In some ways, he was never really a young boy, you know,” said Roger Hill, who became Welles’s teacher and lifelong friend.

Welles briefly attended public school in Madison, Wisconsin, enrolled in the fourth grade. On September 15, 1926, he entered the Todd Seminary for Boys, an expensive independent school in Woodstock, Illinois, that his older brother, Richard Ives Welles, had attended ten years before until he was expelled for misbehavior.

At Todd School, Welles came under the influence of Roger Hill, a teacher who was later Todd’s headmaster. Hill provided Welles with an ad hoc educational environment that proved invaluable to his creative experience, allowing Welles to concentrate on subjects that interested him. Welles performed and staged theatrical experiments and productions there.

“Todd provided Welles with many valuable experiences”, wrote critic Richard France. “He was able to explore and experiment in an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement. In addition to a theater, the school’s own radio station was at his disposal.” Welles’s first radio experience was on the Todd station, where he performed an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes that was written by him.

Orson Welles Spouses/Divorced

Orson Welles and Chicago-born actress and socialite Virginia Nicolson (1916–1996) were married on November 14, 1934. The couple separated in December 1939 and were divorced on February 1, 1940. After bearing with Welles’s romances in New York, Virginia had learned that Welles had fallen in love with Mexican actress Dolores del Río.

Infatuated with her since adolescence, Welles met del Río at Darryl Zanuck’s ranch soon after he moved to Hollywood in 1939. Their relationship was kept secret until 1941 when del Río filed for divorce from her second husband. They openly appeared together in New York while Welles was directing the Mercury stage production Native Son.

They acted together in the movie Journey into Fear. Their relationship came to an end due, among other things, to Welles’s infidelities. Del Río returned to Mexico in 1943, shortly before Welles married Rita Hayworth.

Welles married Rita Hayworth on September 7, They were divorced on November 10, 1947. During his last interview, recorded for The Merv Griffin Show on the evening before his death, Welles called Hayworth “one of the dearest and sweetest women that ever lived and we were a long time together—I was lucky enough to have been with her longer than any of the other men in her life.”

In 1955, Welles married actress Paola Mori, an Italian aristocrat who starred as Raina Arkadin in his 1955 film, Mr. Arkadin. The couple began a passionate affair, and they were married at her parents’ insistence. They wedded in London on May 8, 1955, and never divorced.

Croatian-born artist and actress Oja Kodar became Welles’s longtime companion both personally and professionally from 1966 onward, and they lived together for some of the last 20 years of his life.

Orson Welles Children

Welles had three daughters from his marriages: Christopher Welles Feder (born March 27, 1938, with Virginia Nicolson), Rebecca Welles Manning (December 17, 1944 – October 17, 2004, with Rita Hayworth); and Beatrice Welles (born November 13, 1955, with Paola Mori).

Welles is thought to have had a son, British director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (born May 5, 1940), with Irish actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, then the wife of Sir Edward Lindsay-Hogg, 4th baronet.

Orson Welles Career

After his father’s death, Welles traveled to Europe using a small portion of his inheritance. Welles said that while on a walking and painting trip through Ireland, he strode into the Gate Theatre in Dublin and claimed he was a Broadway star. The manager of the Gate, Hilton Edwards, later said he had not believed him but was impressed by his brashness and an impassioned audition he gave.

Welles made his stage debut at the Gate Theatre on October 13, 1931, appearing in Ashley Dukes’s adaptation of Jew Suss as Duke Karl Alexander of Württemberg. He performed small supporting roles in subsequent Gate productions, and he produced and designed productions of his own in Dublin. In March 1932 Welles performed in W. Somerset Maugham’s The Circle at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and traveled to London to find additional work in the theatre. Unable to obtain a work permit, he returned to the U.S.

Welles found his fame ephemeral and turned to a writing project at Todd School that would become immensely successful, first entitled Everybody’s Shakespeare and subsequently, The Mercury Shakespeare. Welles traveled to North Africa while working on thousands of illustrations for the Everybody’s Shakespeare series of educational books, a series that remained in print for decades.

In 1933, Roger and Hortense Hill invited Welles to a party in Chicago, where Welles met Thornton Wilder. Wilder arranged for Welles to meet Alexander Woollcott in New York, in order that he be introduced to Katharine Cornell, who was assembling a repertory theatre company.

Cornell’s husband, director Guthrie McClintic, immediately put Welles under contract and cast him in three plays. Romeo and Juliet, The Barretts of Wimpole Street and Candida toured in repertory for 36 weeks beginning in November 1933, with the first of more than 200 performances taking place in Buffalo, New York.

In 1934, Welles got his first job on radio—on The American School of the Air—through actor-director Paul Stewart, who introduced him to director Knowles Entrikin. That summer Welles staged a drama festival with the Todd School at the Opera House in Woodstock, Illinois, inviting Micheál Mac Liammóir and Hilton Edwards from Dublin’s Gate Theatre to appear along with New York stage luminaries in productions including Trilby, Hamlet, The Drunkard, and Tsar Paul.

At the old firehouse in Woodstock, he also shot his first film, an eight-minute short titled The Hearts of Age.

On November 14, 1934, Welles married Chicago socialite and actress Virginia Nicolson in a civil ceremony in New York. To appease the Nicholsons, who were furious at the couple’s elopement, a formal ceremony took place on December 23, 1934, at the New Jersey mansion of the bride’s godmother. Welles wore a cutaway borrowed from his friend George Macready.

Playbill for Archibald MacLeish’s Panic (March 14–15, 1935), Welles’s first starring role on the U.S. stage. A revised production of Katharine Cornell’s Romeo and Juliet opened December 20, 1934, at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York.

The Broadway production brought the 19-year-old Welles to the notice of John Houseman, a theatrical producer who was casting the lead role in the debut production of Archibald MacLeish’s verse play, Panic.

On March 22, 1935, Welles made his debut on the CBS Radio series The March of Time, performing a scene from Panic for a news report on the stage production.

By 1935 Welles was supplementing his earnings in the theater as a radio actor in Manhattan, working with many actors who would later form the core of his Mercury Theatre on programs including America’s Hour, Cavalcade of America, Columbia Workshop and The March of Time.

“Within a year of his debut Welles could claim membership in that elite band of radio actors who commanded salaries second only to the highest paid movie stars,” wrote critic Richard France

Orson Welles Books

1. This is Orson Welles
2. Les Bravades
3. Orson Welles: Interviews

4. Orson Welles on Shakespeare
5. The big brass ring
6. Mr. Arkadin: Aka Confidential Report: The Secret Sordid Life of an International Tycoon

7. The Masterworks of Orson Welles
8. The Cradle Will Rock: An Original Screenplay
9. Io, Orson Welles

10. Orson Welles
11. Este e Orson Welles
12. Monsieur Arkadin

13. The Orson Welles Library
14. Citizen Cane Book
15. Macbeth Othello

16. The Merchant of Venice: Macbeth
17. Radio’s Greatest Detectives: Sherlock Holmes
18. Citizen Kane

19. Magic Lens: The Transformation of the Visual Arts in the Narrative World of Carlos Fuentes
20. Rip Van Winkle Renascent
21. The Merchant of Venice: Revised Edition

22. Treasure Island
23. Les Misérables: Radio Drama of the Classic Victor Hugo Masterpiece
24. The Adventures of Harry Lime

25. W W W W. Wars of worlds of Wells and Welles
26. The Life Of Jesus: Jesus Of Nazareth
27. Lives of Harry Lime:

28. Seven Plays by William Shakespeare: With Transgender Characters, Plus Hamlet
29. Orson Welles: The Ultimate Collection
30. Almanac – Dramatic Readings

Orson Welles Quotes

1. Create your own visual style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.
2. We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.

3. If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.
4. A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.
5. Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.

6. The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.
7. I passionately hate the idea of being with it, I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time.
8. My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.

9. Nobody gets justice. People only get good luck or bad luck.
10. [When asked which film directors he most admired:] I like the old masters, by which I mean John Ford, John Ford, and John Ford.

Orson Welles Movies

1. Citizen Kane
2. Touch of Evil
3. The Trial

4. The Stranger
5. The Other Side of the Wind
6. The Third Man

7. F for Fake
8. Chimes at Midnight
9. The Magnificent Ambersons

10. The Lady from Shanghai
11. Othello
12. Macbeth

13. Mr. Arkadin
14. The Transformers
15. Jane Eyre
16. They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead

17. Don Quixote
18. The Immortal Story
19. Too Much Johnson

20. Journey Into Fear
21. Filming Othello
22. It’s All True

23. Black Magic
24. A Man for All Seasons
25. The Deep

26. Filming the Trial
27. The Long Hot Summer
28. Moby Dick

29. Compulsion
30. The Hearts of Age
31. Moby Dick- Rehearsed

32. Tomorrow is Forever
33. The Dreamers
34. Casino Royale
35. Orson Welles’ Magic Show

36. The Merchant of Vernice
37. Treasure Island
38. Prince of Foxes

39. Someone to Love
40. The Black Rose
41. Man in the Shadow

42. The Kremlin Letter
43. Trent’s Last Case
44. The V.I.P.s

45. RKO 281
46. Get to know Your Rabbit
47. Catch-22

48. King of Kings
49. David and Goliath
50. The Battle Over Citizen Kane

Orson Welles Death

On the evening of October 9, 1985, Welles recorded his final interview on the syndicated TV program The Merv Griffin Show, appearing with biographer Barbara Leaming. “Both Welles and Leaming talked of Welles’s life, and the segment was a nostalgic interlude,” wrote biographer Frank Brady.

Welles returned to his house in Hollywood and worked into the early hours typing stage directions for the project he and Gary Graver were planning to shoot at UCLA the following day.

Welles died sometime on the morning of October 10, following a heart attack. He was found by his chauffeur at around 10 a.m.; the first of Welles’s friends to arrive was Paul Stewart.

Welles was cremated by prior agreement with the executor of his estate, Greg Garrison, whose advice about making lucrative TV appearances in the 1970s made it possible for Welles to pay off a portion of the taxes he owed the IRS. A brief private funeral was attended by Paola Mori and Welles’s three daughters—the first time they had ever been together.

Only a few close friends were invited: Garrison, Graver, Roger Hill, and Prince Alessandro Tasca di Cuto. Chris Welles Feder later described the funeral as an awful experience.

A public memorial tribute took place on November 2, 1985, at the Directors Guild of America Theater in Los Angeles. Host Peter Bogdanovich introduced speakers including Charles Champlin, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Greg Garrison, Charlton Heston, Roger Hill, Henry Jaglom, Arthur Knight, Oja Kodar, Barbara Leaming, Janet Leigh, Norman Lloyd, Dan O’Herlihy, Patrick Terrail, and Robert Wise.

“I know what his feelings were regarding his death”, Joseph Cotten later wrote. “He did not want a funeral; he wanted to be buried quietly in a little place in Spain. He wanted no memorial services …” Cotten declined to attend the memorial program; instead, he sent a short message, ending with the last two lines of a Shakespeare sonnet that Welles had sent him on his most recent birthday:

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.

In 1987 the ashes of Welles and Mori (killed in a 1986 car crash) were taken to Ronda, Spain, and buried in an old well covered by flowers on the rural estate of a longtime friend, bullfighter Antonio Ordóñez.

Orson Welles Citizen Kane

RKO rejected Welles’s first two movie proposals but agreed on the third offer – Citizen Kane. Welles co-wrote, produced and directed the film, and performed the lead role. Welles conceived the project with screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, who was writing radio plays for The Campbell Playhouse. Mankiewicz based the original outline of the film script on the life of William Randolph Hearst, whom he knew socially and came to hate after being exiled from Hearst’s circle.

After agreeing on the storyline and character, Welles supplied Mankiewicz with 300 pages of notes and put him under contract to write the first draft screenplay under the supervision of John Houseman. Welles wrote his own draft, then drastically condensed and rearranged both versions and added scenes of his own.

The industry accused Welles of underplaying Mankiewicz’s contribution to the script, but Welles countered the attacks by saying, “In the end, naturally, I was the one making the picture, after all—who had to make the decisions. I used what I wanted of Mank’s and, rightly or wrongly, kept what I liked of my own.”

Welles’s project attracted some of Hollywood’s best technicians, including cinematographer Gregg Toland. For the cast, Welles primarily used actors from his Mercury Theatre. Filming Citizen Kane took ten weeks.

Hearst’s newspapers barred all reference to Citizen Kane and exerted enormous pressure on the Hollywood film community to force RKO to shelve the film. RKO chief George Schaefer received a cash offer from MGM’s Louis B. Mayer and other major studio executives if he would destroy the negative and existing prints of the film.

While waiting for Citizen Kane to be released, Welles produced and directed the original Broadway production of Native Son, a drama written by Paul Green and Richard Wright based on Wright’s novel. Starring Canada Lee, the show ran March 24 – June 28, 1941, at the St. James Theatre. The Mercury Production was the last time Welles and Houseman worked together.

Citizen Kane was given a limited release and the film received overwhelming critical praise. It was voted the best picture of 1941 by the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle. The film garnered nine Academy Award nominations but won only for Best Original Screenplay, shared by Mankiewicz and Welles.

Variety reported that block voting by screen extras deprived Citizen Kane of Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor (Welles), and similar prejudices were likely to have been responsible for the film receiving no technical awards.

The delay in the film’s release and uneven distribution contributed to mediocre results at the box office. After it ran its course theatrically, Citizen Kane was retired to the vault in 1942. In postwar France, however, the film’s reputation grew after it was seen for the first time in 1946. In the United States, it began to be re-evaluated after it began to appear on television in 1956.

That year it was also re-released theatrically,[57]:119 and film critic Andrew Sarris described it as “the great American film” and “the work that influenced the cinema more profoundly than any American film since Birth of a Nation.”Citizen Kane is now hailed as one of the greatest films ever made.


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