Orson Welles

Orson Welles

Age
70 (passed away Oct. 10th, 1985)
Birthday
May. 6th, 1915
Born in
Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA
Height
6' 1 1/2"

Orson Welles' Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Magnum, P.I. TV Show
Magnum, P.I.
National Geographic Specials TV Show
National Geographic Specials
Ford Star Jubilee TV Show
Ford Star Jubilee
The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine (UK) TV Show
The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine (UK)
 

Main Movie Roles

2008 - Prodigal Sons
2002 - Lost in La Mancha
1992 - Don Quijote de Orson Welles
1991 - Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse
1986 - Transformers: The Movie
1982 - Butterfly
1981 - The Man Who Saw Tomorrow
1981 - History of the World: Part I
1979 - The Muppet Movie
1972 - Treasure Island
1972 - Necromancy
1970 - Start the Revolution Without Me
1970 - Catch-22
1970 - The Kremlin Letter
1969 - 12 + 1
1968 - House of Cards
1966 - A Man for All Seasons
1963 - The V.I.P.s
1961 - King of Kings
1959 - Compulsion
1958 - The Vikings
1958 - Touch of Evil
1958 - The Long, Hot Summer
1956 - Moby Dick
1955 - Three Cases of Murder
1955 - Mr. Arkadin
1955 - Napoléon
1952 - The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice
1950 - The Black Rose
1949 - The Third Man
1949 - Prince of Foxes
1948 - Macbeth
1947 - The Lady from Shanghai
1946 - The Stranger
1946 - Tomorrow is Forever
1946 - Duel in the Sun
1944 - Follow the Boys
1943 - Journey Into Fear
1942 - The Magnificent Ambersons
1941 - Citizen Kane
1934 - The Hearts of Age

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
King Lear
1
Himself
1
Himself
1
[Complete List]



BIOGRAPHY:

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr. Maurice Bernstein. In 1931 he graduated from the Todd School in Woodstock, Illinois; he turned down college offers for a sketching tour of Ireland. He tried unsuccessfully to enter the London and Broadway stages, traveling some more in Morocco and Spain (where he fought in the bullring). Recommendations by Thornton Wilder and Alexander Woollcott got him into Katherine Cornell's road company, with which he made his New York debut as Tybalt in 1934. The same year he married, directed his first short, and appeared on radio for the first time. He began working with John Houseman (I) and formed the Mercury Theatre with him in 1937. In 1938 they produced "The Mercury Theatre on the Air", famous for its broadcast version of "The War of the Worlds" (intended as a Halloween prank). His first film to be seen by the public was Citizen Kane (1941), a commercial failure losing RKO $150,000, but regarded by many as the best film ever made. Many of his next films were commercial failures and he exiled himself to Europe in 1948. In 1956 he directed Touch of Evil (1958); it failed in the U.S. but won a prize at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. In 1975, in spite of all his box-office failures, he received the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1984 the Directors Guild of America awarded him its highest honor, the D.W. Griffith Award. His reputation as a film maker has climbed steadily ever since.


TRIVIA:
  • His father was an alcoholic.
  • 'John Ford (I)' (qv), whom Welles admired as the greatest American director and who, in turn, admired Welles as a director and actor, wanted to cast him as Mayor Frank Skeffington in his movie adaption of 'Edwin O'Connor (I)' (qv)'s novel _The Last Hurrah (1958)_ (qv). Welles was unable to accept the role due to scheduling conflicts, and 'Spencer Tracy' (qv) was cast instead.
  • Wanted to make films of two literary masterpices, 'Herman Melville' (qv)'s "Moby Dick" and 'Joseph Heller' (qv)'s "Catch-22", but had to be satisfied in having supporting roles in the films made of the two books by 'John Huston (I)' (qv) and 'Mike Nichols (I)' (qv).
  • Provided voice for some songs of heavy metal band Manowar: Dark Avenger and Defender
  • He became obese in his 40s, weighing over 350 pounds towards the end of his life.
  • Before deciding on adapting the life of 'William Randolph Hearst' (qv) in _Citizen Kane (1941)_ (qv), he intended his first film to be an adaptation of 'Joseph Conrad (I)' (qv)'s "Heart of Darkness". Coincidentally, he was 'Francis Ford Coppola' (qv)'s first choice for the role of Col. Kurtz in _Apocalypse Now (1979)_ (qv), itself an adaptation of "Heart of Darkness".
  • He was the studio's first choice to play the voiceover role of "OMM" in _THX 1138 (1971)_ (qv). However, director 'George Lucas (I)' (qv) insisted on casting the relatively unknown stage actor 'James Wheaton' (qv) instead.
  • Was the subject of author Mary Pacios' book about the "Black Dahlia" murder in Los Angeles in 1947 (called the most gruesome in the city's history). Pacios claimed Welles was the unknown murderer who slaughtered struggling actress 'Elizabeth Short (I)' (qv); however, the book was considered pure nonsense and debunked by many historians.


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