Orson Welles

Orson Welles


May 6, 1915

Born as:

George Orson Welles


October 19, 1985

I started at the top and worked down


Orson was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin (USA). He made his stage debut in Ireland in 1931, but back in the USA his career went off when he started to direct the Federal Theatre Project.

In 1937 he was a founder of the Mercury Theatre, which produced innovative stage and radio drama. Their 1938 broadcast was an adaptation of the of H. G. Wells 's The War of the Worlds, done in the style of a news broadcast, panicked the listening public and brought Welles national attention.

Orson toyed with various ideas for his first project for RKO but picked Citizen Kane (1941), which is considered by many to be the greatest film ever made. The film was not commercially successful, however, and the follow up (re-edited by the studio) The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) wasn't either.

From 1948 Welles spent most of the next two decades in Europe. His films were self-financed with acting fees or funded by sympathetic producers. He made a notable appearance in front of the camera. In Graham Greene 's The Third Man (1949).

Welles made a brief return to Hollywood in 1958 to make Touch of Evil.

Academy awards:

1971 Honorary Award
1943 Nominated Best Picture for: The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
1942 Won Oscar Best Writing for: Citizen Kane (1941)
1942 Nominated Best Actor for: Citizen Kane (1941)
1942 Nominated Best Director for: Citizen Kane (1941)
1942 Nominated Best Picture for: Citizen Kane (1941)

Selected Movies:

  • Citizen Kane (1941)
  • Touch of evil (1958)
  • The third Man (1949)
  • The magnificent Ambersons (1942)
  • The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (1952)
  • The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Bibliography » Books:

Bibliography » Web:

- Orson started filming a classic movie
BBC News - Lost Orson Welles film found in Italy
Blu-ray.com - The stranger on Blu-ray
Chicago Tribune - Orson Welles and Don Quixote
Digital fix - Touch of evil in blu-ray
Guardian - Unseen Welles film may hit theaters
Home Cinema - Me and Orson Welles
Orlando Sentinel - Orson`s last trick
Reuters - Orson's Christmas