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ORSON WELLES

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Common misspelling: Orson Wells, Orsen Welles

 

Given Name

Date of Birth

Birth Place

George Orson Welles

b. May 6, 1915

d. October 10, 1985

Kenosha, Wisconsin

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ORSON WELLES BIOGRAPHY

The following biography is from Wikipedia.org “The Free Encyclopedia.”

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Orson Welles picture

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 — October 10, 1985) was an American radio broadcaster, theatre director, film director and actor. He gained international notoriety for his October 30, 1938 radio broadcast of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, which panicked millions of listeners, but he is best known for his 1941 film classic Citizen Kane, often chosen in polls of film critics as the greatest film ever made.

 

****

 

Born May 6, 1915

Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.A

Died October 10, 1985

Los Angeles, California, U.S.A

 

****

 

Biography

 

Youth and early career (1915 to 1934)

Welles was born in 1915 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the second son of Richard Head Welles, a wealthy inventor in the bicycle lamp trade, and Beatrice Ives, a concert pianist and suffragette. He was raised a Roman Catholic. At eighteen months, Welles was declared a child prodigy by Dr. Maurice Bernstein, a Chicago physician. His mother taught him Shakespeare, as well as the piano and violin; he learned magic from vaudevillians. When Welles was six, his parents divorced and his mother moved to Chicago with him, where they attended the opera, theatre and concerts. Beatrice Welles died of jaundice on May 10, 1924 in a Chicago hospital. Richard Welles died when the boy was fifteen, the summer after Welles's graduation from the Todd School for Boys in Woodstock, Illinois. Bernstein then became his guardian.

 

Welles performed and staged his first theatrical productions while attending the Todd School and was brought under the guidance of a teacher, later Todd's headmaster, Roger Hill. While there he was also tutored by Dorothy Hartshorne, a singer and the widow of theologian and philosopher Charles Hartshorne.

 

He made his stage debut at the Gate Theatre of Dublin, Ireland in 1931 when he talked himself onto the stage and appeared in small supporting roles. By 1934 he was a radio actor in New York City, working with actors who would later join him in forming the Mercury Theatre. In 1934, he married the actress and socialite Virginia Nicholson (they would have one daughter, Christopher, who is a well-known illustrator of children's books known as Chris Welles Feder). His early film, the eight-minute silent short film The Hearts of Age, also featured Nicholson.

 

 

Renown in theater and radio (1936 to 1939)

In 1936, the Federal Theatre Project (part of Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration), began putting unemployed theatre performers and employees to work. Welles was hired by John Houseman and assigned to direct a project for Harlem's Negro Theatre Unit. Wanting to give his all-black cast a chance to play classics, he offered them Macbeth, relocated to Haiti at the court of King Henri Christophe (and with a setting of voodoo witch doctors.) Jack Carter played Macbeth. The play was rapturously received and later toured the nation. It is considered a landmark of African-American theatre. Welles was 21 and hailed as a prodigy.

 

After the success of Macbeth, Welles put on Dr. Faustus and the satire Horse Eats Hat. In 1937, he rehearsed Marc Blitzstein's pro-union 'labour opera' The Cradle Will Rock, but due to Congressional worries about Communist propaganda in the Federal Theatre, the show's premiere at the Maxine Elliott Theatre was cancelled, the theater locked and guarded by National Guardsmen. Welles and Houseman announced to ticket-holders that the show was being taken to another theater, The Venice, about twenty blocks away. Cast, crew and audience walked the distance on foot. Ironically, since the unions forbade the actors and musicians to perform from the stage, The Cradle Will Rock began with Blitzstein introducing the show and playing the piano accompaniment onstage, with the cast performing their parts from the audience. The show was a tremendous hit.

 

No longer with the Federal Theatre, Welles and Houseman formed their own company, the Mercury Theatre (which would include actors such as Agnes Moorehead, Joseph Cotten, Ray Collins, George Colouris, Frank Readick, Everett Sloane, Eustace Wyatt and Erskine Sanford, all of whom would continue to work for Welles for years.) Their first production was Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, set in fascist Italy. Cinna the Poet died at the hands not of a mob but a secret police force. According to Norman Lloyd, who played Cinna, "it stopped the show." The applause lasted more than 3 minutes. It was a great success and widely acclaimed.

 

At the same time, Welles became very active on radio, first as an actor and soon as a director and producer. He played Hamlet for CBS on The Columbia Workshop, adapting and directing the play himself. The Mutual Network gave him a seven-week series to adapt Les Miserables. He began anonymously playing Lamont Cranston, The Shadow, in late 1937 (again for Mutual,) and in the summer of 1938 CBS gave him (and the Mercury Theatre) a weekly hour-long show to broadcast radio plays based on classic literary works. The show was titled The Mercury Theatre on the Air, with original music by Bernard Herrmann (who would continue working with Welles on radio and in films for years.) Their October 30 broadcast of that year was H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. This brought Welles fame on an international level, as the program's realism created widespread panic among listeners (who believed an actual Martian invasion was underway,) a panic reported around the world. Because of the notoriety of the production, Hollywood offers soon came Welles' way, and The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which had been a 'sustaining show' (without sponsorship,) was picked up by Campbell Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse.

 

 

Welles in Hollywood (1939 to 1948)

After the War of the Worlds broadcast, RKO Pictures president George Schaefer offered what is considered to have been the greatest contract ever offered: a two-picture deal with total artistic control, including script, cast, final cut, and crew. With this offer in hand, Welles (and the entire Mercury Theatre) moved to Hollywood. Soon The Campbell Playhouse shows originated from Los Angeles, rather than New York City.

 

At first, Welles toyed with various ideas for his first project for RKO, settling briefly on an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. He planned to film the action with a subjective camera from the protagonist's point of view. But when a budget was drawn up, RKO's enthusiasm began to cool. RKO also declined to approve Welles' project The Smiler with the Knife, according to Welles because RKO had no faith in Lucille Ball as a leading lady.

 

In a sign of things to come, Welles left The Campbell Playhouse in 1940, due to continuing creative differences with the sponsor. The show continued without him, produced by John Houseman.

 

Realizing that he had to come up with something or else lose his film contract, Welles finally found a suitable project in an idea co-conceived with screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz (who was writing radio plays for The Campbell Playhouse.) Initially called American, it would eventually become Welles' first feature film, Citizen Kane (1941).

 

Mankiewicz' idea was based mainly on the life of William Randolph Hearst, whom Mankiewicz knew socially, being great friends with Hearst's mistress, Marion Davies. The character was also loosely based on Robert McCormick and Joseph Pulitzer. Welles' idea was to show the same character, even the same scenes, from several points of view, to illustrate how differently the character would appear to the different people in his life. At Welles' urging, Mankiewicz wrote the screenplay, assisted by John Houseman, who wrote the opening narration in a pastiche of The March of Time newsreels. Welles then took the Mankiewicz draft, drastically condensed and rearranged it, and added at least three scenes of his own. While there is no question that the character of Charles Foster Kane is based on Hearst, there are also allusions to Welles himself, most noticeably in the treatment of Kane's childhood.

 

Once the script was completed, Welles proceeded to hire the best technicians he could, including Gregg Toland, considered one of the best cinematographers of the time. The apocryphal story is that Toland simply walked into Welles' office and announced he wanted to work on the picture. For the cast, Welles primarily used actors from his Mercury Theatre. Welles knew films were a collaboration and invited suggestions from everyone.

 

There was little concern or controversy at the time that Welles completed production on the film. However, in an act that can only be considered self-sabotage, Mankiewicz gave a copy of the final shooting script to his friend Charles Lederer, the husband of Welles' ex-wife Virginia Nicholson and nephew of Hearst's mistress Marion Davies. In this way, Hearst found out about the existence of the movie and sent his gossip columnist, Louella Parsons, to a screening of the picture. Parsons, realizing immediately that the film was based on Hearst's life, reported back to him. Thus began the controversy over Citizen Kane.

 

Hearst's media empire boycotted the film and exerted an enormous amount of pressure on the Hollywood film community, even threatening to expose all the studio bosses as being Jewish. At one point, the heads of all the studios jointly offered RKO the cost of the film in exchange for the negative and all existing prints, for the express purpose of burning it. RKO declined, and eventually the film was released. However, Hearst had successfully threatened every theatre chain, by stating that if they showed Citizen Kane he would not allow any advertising for any of their films in any of his papers, so aside from the theaters RKO owned, there weren't many movie houses that actually played it. The film was critically well-received. It garnered nine Academy Award nominations, though it only won for Best Original Screenplay, shared by Mankiewicz and Welles. But the picture fared poorly at the box-office, and lost RKO most of its $800,000 investment.

 

Welles was offered a new radio series by CBS. Called The Orson Welles Show and sponsored by Lady Esther Cosmetics, it was a half-hour variety show of short stories, comedy skits, poetry and musical numbers. Joining the original Mercury Theatre cast was Jiminy Cricket, "on loan from Walt Disney." According to the Ward Wheelock Agency, the variety format was unpopular with the listeners, and Welles was soon forced into full half-hour stories instead.

 

Welles' second film for RKO was The Magnificent Ambersons, adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Booth Tarkington, and on which RKO executives hoped to make back the money lost by Citizen Kane's relative commercial failure. Ambersons had already been adapted for The Campbell Playhouse, and Welles wrote the screen adaption himself, purportedly while on King Vidor's yacht. Toland was not available, so Stanley Cortez was named cinematographer. Cortez was very slow in realizing Welles' intentions, and the film lagged behind schedule and over budget.

 

Simultaneously (and at RKO's request), Welles worked on an adaption of Eric Ambler's spy thriller, Journey Into Fear, which he co-wrote with Joseph Cotten. In addition to acting in the film, Welles was also a producer. Direction was credited solely to Norman Foster, but Welles later stated that they were in such a rush that the director of each scene was whoever was closest to the camera.

 

During the production of Ambersons and Journey into Fear, Welles was asked by John Rockefeller and Jock Whitney to make a documentary film about South America on behalf of the government's Good Neighbour Policy (a wartime propaganda effort designed to prevent Latin America from allying with the Axis Powers.) Expected to film the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Welles was in a horrendous rush to finish the editing on Ambersons and his acting scenes in Journey into Fear. He ended his CBS radio show, put together a rough cut of Ambersons with Robert Wise (who had edited Citizen Kane,) and left the United States. He completed his final cut via phone call, telegram, and shortwave radio, and that version was previewed in Pomona to a disastrous audience reaction (in particular to the main character played by Tim Holt.) Since Welles' original contract granting him complete control was no longer in effect, the studio took control of the film, formed a committee which included George Schaefer, Joseph Cotten, Robert Wise, and Welles' business manager Jack Moss, and proceeded to remove fifty minutes of Welles' footage, re-shooting sequences which had a bad audience reaction, rearranging the scene order, and tacking on a happy ending. Schaefer was then replaced by new RKO president Charles Koerner, who released the shortened film on the bottom of a double-bill with the Lupe Velez comedy Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost. Ambersons was an expensive flop for RKO, though Agnes Moorehead did receive a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her performance.

 

Welles' South American documentary, titled It's All True, was budgeted at one million dollars, with half of the budget to be paid by the US Government upon completion of the film. However, RKO was appalled by the rushes they saw of interracial revellers at Carnival (not commercial fare for 1942.) Welles was recreating the journey of the jangadeiros, four poor fisherman who had made a 1500 mile journey on their open raft to petition Brazillian president Vargas about their working conditions. The four had become national folk heroes, and Welles first read of their journey in Time Magazine. After their leader, Jacare, died during a filming mishap, Koerner closed the film and fired Welles and his entire company. Welles begged to be able to finish the film and was given a limited amount of black-and-white stock and a silent camera. He completed the sequence, but RKO refused to let him complete the film. Some of the surviving footage was released in 1993.

 

Though a European version of Journey into Fear had already been released, Welles was able to do some post-production for the US version, which involved some re-editing, recording Joseph Cotten's narration and filming a new ending. This version was released in 1943.

 

Unable to find work as a film director after the twin disasters of The Magnificent Ambersons and It's All True, Welles did find work directing in 1942 on radio. CBS offered him two weekly series, Hello Americans, which was based on the research he'd done in Brazil, and Ceiling Unlimited, sponsored by Lockheed/Vega and which was a wartime salute to advances in aviation. Both featured several members of his original Mercury Theatre. Within a few months Hello Americans was cancelled and Welles was replaced as host of Ceiling Unlimited by Joseph Cotten. Welles guest-starred on a great variety of shows, notably guest-hosting Jack Benny's show for a month in 1943.

 

Around this time, Welles married Rita Hayworth. They had a child, Rebecca Welles, and divorced in 1948. Welles also found work as an actor in other directors' films. He starred in the 1943 film adaption of Jane Eyre, trading an 'associate producer' credit for top billing over Joan Fontaine. He also had a cameo in the 1944 wartime salute Follow the Boys, in which he performed his Mercury Wonder Show magic act and sawed Marlene Dietrich in half; Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn refused to release Hayworth for the project.

 

In 1944 Welles was offered a new radio show to direct, though it was broadcast only in California, not nationally. Orson Welles' Almanac was another half-hour variety show, with Mobil Oil as sponsor. But after the success of The Jack Benny Show, the focus was primarily on comedy. The trade papers were not eager to accept Welles as a comedian, and Welles often complained on-air about the poor quality of the scripts. When Welles started his Mercury Wonder Show a few months later, travelling to Armed Forces camps and performing magic tricks and doing comedy, the radio show was broadcast live from the camps and the material took a decidedly wartime flavour. Of his original Mercury actors, only Agnes Moorehead was left. The series was cancelled by year's end due to poor ratings.

 

In 1945 Welles starred in the tear-jerker Tomorrow Is Forever with Claudette Colbert. While his suitability as a film director remained in question, Welles' popularity as an actor continued. Pabst Blue Ribbon gave Welles their radio series This Is My Best to direct, but after one month he was fired for creative differences. He started writing a political column for the New York Post, again called Orson Welles Almanac. While requested by the paper to write about Hollywood, Welles wanted to explore political issues, and the column became a confused blending of both. If Welles had clear political views, he was not yet skilled at conveying them. The column failed in syndication and was soon dropped by the Post.

 

In 1946, International Pictures released Welles' film The Stranger, starring Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and Welles. Sam Spiegel produced the film, which follows the hunt for a Nazi war criminal living under an alias in America. While only Anthony Veiller was credited with the screenplay, it had been rewritten by Welles and John Huston. Seeking to avoid the expense and controversy of Welles' earlier films, Spiegel kept tight control of the project, and the result was comparatively unimaginative work from Welles. Welles resolved not to have a career as a cog in a Hollywood studio and resumed looking for the creative control which had brought him to Hollywood originally.

 

In the summer of 1946 Welles directed a musical stage version of Around the World in Eighty Days, with a comedic and ironic rewriting of the Jules Verne novel by Welles, incidental music and songs by Cole Porter, and production by Mike Todd (who would later produce the successful film version with David Niven.) When Todd pulled out from the lavish and expensive production, Welles supported the finances himself. When he ran out of money at one point, he convinced Columbia president Harry Cohn to send him enough to continue the show, and in exchange Welles promised to write, produce, direct and star in a film for Cohn for no further fee. The stage show would soon fail due to poor box-office, with Welles unable to claim the losses on his taxes. He wound up owing the IRS several hundred thousand dollars, and in a few years time Welles would seek tax-shelter in Europe.

 

At the same time in 1946 he began two new radio series, The Mercury Summer Theatre for CBS and Orson Welles Commentaries for ABC. While Summer Theatre featured half-hour adaptions of some of the classic Mercury radio shows from the 1930s, the first episode was a condensation of his Around the World stage play, and remains the only record of Cole Porter's music for the project. Several original Mercury actors returned for the series, as well as Bernard Herrmann. It was only scheduled for the summer months, and Welles invested his earnings into his failing stage play. Commentaries was a political soap-box, continuing the themes from his New York Post column. Again Welles lacked a clear focus, until the NAACP brought to his attention the case of Isaac Woodward. Welles devoted the rest of the run of the series to Woodward's cause, was the first broadcaster to bring it to national attention, and caused shockwaves across the nation. Soon Welles was being burned in effigy in the South and The Stranger was banned in several southern states. ABC was unable to find a sponsor for the radio show and soon cancelled it. Welles never had a regular radio show in America again and would never direct another anywhere.

 

The film for Cohn wound up being The Lady from Shanghai, filmed in 1947 for Columbia Pictures. Intended to be a modest thriller, the budget skyrocketed after Cohn suggested that Welles then-estranged second wife Rita Hayworth costar. Cohn was enraged by Welles' rough-cut, in particular the confusing plot and lack of close-ups, and ordered extensive editing and reshoots. After heavy editing by the studio, approximately one hour of Welles' first cut had been removed. While expressing dismay at the cuts, Welles was particularly appalled by the soundtrack, objecting to the musical score he thought more suitable for a Disney cartoon and the lack of the ambient soundscape he had designed. The film was considered a disaster in America at the time of release. Welles recalled people refusing to speak to him about it to save him embarrassment. Not long after release, Welles and Hayworth finalised their divorce. Though the film was acclaimed in Europe, it was not embraced in the US for several decades.

 

Unable to find work as a director at any of the major studios, in 1948 Welles convinced Republic Pictures to let him direct a low-budget version of Macbeth, which featured paper-mache sets, cardboard crowns and a cast of actors lip-synching to a prerecorded soundtrack. Republic did not care for the Scottish accents on the soundtrack and held up release for almost a year. Welles left for Europe, while his co-producer and life-long supporter Richard Wilson reworked the soundtrack. Welles ultimately returned and cut twenty minutes from the film at Republic's request and recorded narration to cover the gaps. The film was decried as another disaster. In the late 1970s it was restored to Welles' original version.

 

 

Welles in Europe (1948 to 1956)

Welles left Hollywood for Europe in 1948, drawn by some acting offers and to look for producers who would allow him to direct. He also had the tax bill to pay.

 

In Italy he starred as Cagliostro in the 1948 film Black Magic. His costar was Akim Tamiroff, who impressed Welles so much that he appeared in four of Welles' own productions during the 1950s and 1960s.

 

The following year, Welles appeared as Harry Lime in The Third Man, written by Graham Greene, directed by Carol Reed, starring Mercury Theatre alumnus Joseph Cotten, and with a memorable zither score by Anton Karas. The film was an international smash hit, but Welles unfortunately turned down a percentage of the gross in exchange for a lump-sum advance. A few years later British radio producer Harry Alan Towers would resurrect the Lime character for radio in the series The Lives of Harry Lime. The 1951 series included new recordings by Karas, was very successful, and ran for 52 weeks; a handful of episodes written by Welles himself (a claim disputed by Towers, who maintains they were written by Ernest Borneman) would serve as the basis for the screenplay of Welles' 1955 film Mr. Arkadin.

 

Welles also appeared as Cesare Borgia in the 1949 Italian film Prince of Foxes, with Tyrone Power and Mercury Theatre alumnus Everett Sloane, and as the Mongol warrior Bayan in the 1950 film version of the novel The Black Rose (again with Tyrone Power). During this time, Welles was channelling his money from acting jobs into a self-financed film version of Shakespeare's play Othello.

 

From 1949 to 1951, Welles worked on Othello, filming on location in Europe and Morocco. The film featured Micheál MacLiammóir as Iago and Hilton Edwards as Desdemona's father Brabantio (Edwards and MacLiammóir ran the Gate Theatre in Ireland and had given Welles his first professional job as actor in 1931). Suzanne Cloutier starred as Desdemona and Campbell Playhouse alumnus Robert Coote appeared as Iago's lackey Roderigo. Filming was suspended several times over the years as Welles ran out of funds and left to find other acting jobs (accounted in detail in MacLiammóir's published memoir Put Money in Thy Purse). When it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival it won the Palme d'Or, but was not given a general release in the United States until 1955 (by which time Welles had re-cut the first reel and redubbed most of the film, removing Cloutier's voice entirely) and played only in New York and Los Angeles. The American release prints had a technically flawed soundtrack (suffering from a complete drop-out of sound at every quiet moment), and it was one of these flawed prints that was restored (by Welles' daughter Beatrice Welles-Smith) in 1992 for a wide re-release. The restoration included reconstructing Francesco Lavagnino's original musical score (which was inaudible) and adding ambient stereo sound effects (which weren't in the original film and sound like the roar of a busy expressway). Though still active in Italy, Lavagnino was not consulted. The subject of great controversy among film scholars, the restoration went on to a successful theatrical run in America. (An unflawed print of the US version was released in Europe on laser-disc in the 1990s and the original Cannes version has survived as well).

 

In 1952 Welles continued finding work in England, after the success of the Harry Lime radio show. Harry Alan Towers offered Welles another series, The Black Museum, with Welles as host and narrator, and this would also run 52 weeks. Director Herbert Wilcox offered him the part of the murdered victim in Trent's Last Case, based on the novel by E. C. Bentley. And in 1953 the BBC hired Welles to read an hour of selections from Walt Whitman's epic poem Song of Myself. Towers hired Welles again, to play Professor Moriarty in the radio series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.

 

Late in 1953 Welles returned to America to star in a live CBS Omnibus television presentation of Shakespeare's play King Lear. The cast included Micheál MacLiammóir and Alan Badel. While Welles received good notices, he was guarded by IRS agents, prohibited to leave his hotel room when not at the studio, prevented from making any purchases, and the entire sum (less expenses) he earned went to his tax bill. Welles returned to England after the broadcast.

 

In 1954, director George More O'Ferrall offered Welles the title role in the Lord Mountdrago segment of Three Cases of Murder, costarring Alan Badel. Director Herbert Wilcox cast him as the antagonist in Trouble in Glen opposite Margaret Lockwood, Forrest Tucker and Victor McLaglen. And director John Huston cast him as Father Mapple in his film adaption of Herman Melville's Moby Dick, starring Gregory Peck.

 

Welles' next turn as director was Mr. Arkadin, the 1955 film produced Louis Dolivet, Welles' political mentor from the 1940s. It was filmed in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Based on several episodes of the Harry Lime radio show, it stars Welles as a paranoid billionaire who hires a petty smuggler to delve into the secrets of his seedy past. Welles' absurd and obvious makeup has been the subject of much derision, but it may have been the intent to show a character who was in disguise and hiding his true identity. The film stars Robert Arden (who had worked on the Harry Lime series), Welles' third wife Paola Mori (whose voice was completely redubbed by actress Billie Whitelaw) and a bevy of guest stars including Akim Tamiroff, Michael Redgrave, Katina Paxinou and Mischa Auer. Frustrated by Welles' slow progress in the editing room, producer Dolivet removed Welles from the project and finished the film without him. Eventually five different versions of the film would be released, two in Spanish and three in English. The version which Dolivet completed was retitled Confidential Report (this was the version furthest from Welles' original intentions.) In 2005 Stefan Droessler of the Munich Film Museum oversaw a reconstruction of what might have been Welles' original intention. It was released by the Criterion Company on DVD and is considered by Welles scholar and director Peter Bogdanovich to be the best version available.

 

Also in 1955 Welles directed two television series for the BBC. The first was Orson Welles' Sketchbook, a series of six 15-minute shows featuring Welles drawing in a sketchbook to illustrate his reminiscenses for the camera (including such topics as the filming of It's All True and the Isaac Woodward case), and the second was Around the World with Orson Welles, a series of six travelogues set in different locations around Europe (such as Venice, the Basque country between France and Spain, and England). Welles served as host and interviewer, his commentary including documentary facts and his own personal observations (a technique he would continue to explore). A seventh episode of this series, based on the Gaston Dominici case, was suppressed at the time by the French government, but was reconstructed after Welles' death and released to video in 1999.

 

In 1956 Welles completed Portrait of Gina (posthumously aired on German television under the title 'Viva Italia'), a thirty minute personal essay on Gina Lollobrigida and the general subject of Italian sex symbols. Dissatisfied with the results (Welles recalled he had worked on it a lot and the result was something that looked as though it had been worked on a lot), he left the only print behind at the Hotel Ritz in Paris, where the film cans would remain in a lost and found locker for several decades (ultimately to be rediscovered after Welles' death).

 

 

Return to Hollywood (1956 to 1959)

In 1956, Welles returned to Hollywood, guesting on radio shows (notably as narrator of Tomorrow, a nuclear holocaust drama produced by the Federal Civil Defense Administration) and television shows (including I Love Lucy) and began filming a projected pilot for Desilu (owned by his former protegee Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz, who had recently purchased the defunct RKO studios.) The film was The Fountain of Youth based on a story by John Collier. Deemed un-commercial and unviable as a pilot, the film sat on the shelf for two years. When it was aired in 1958 it won the Peabody Award for excellence.

 

Welles' next feature film role was in Man in the Shadow for Universal Pictures in 1957, starring Jeff Chandler.

 

Welles stayed on at Universal to costar with Charlton Heston in the 1958 film of Whit Masterson's novel Badge of Evil (which Welles famously claimed never to have read). Originally only hired as an actor, he was promoted to director by Universal Studios at the suggestion (and insistence) of Charlton Heston. Reuniting many actors and technicians with whom he'd worked in Hollywood in the 1940s (including cameraman Russell Metty [The Stranger], make-up artist Maurice Siederman [Citizen Kane], and actors Joseph Cotten, Marlene Dietrich, and Akim Tamiroff), the filming proceeded smoothly, with Welles finishing on schedule and on budget, and the studio bosses praising the daily rushes. However, once in the editing room, the studio wrested Touch of Evil from Welles' hands, re-edited it, re-shot some scenes, and shot new exposition scenes to clarify the plot. When Welles viewed the studio's preview version, he wrote a 58-page memo outlining his suggestions and objections. The studio followed a few of the ideas, then cut another 30 minutes from the film and released it. Even in this state, the film was widely praised across Europe, awarded the top prize at the Brussels World's Fair. In 1978, the long preview version of the film was rediscovered and released, and in 1998, editor Walter Murch and producer Rick Schmidlin consulted the original memo, and using a workprint version they attempted to restore the film as close as possible to the memo. Welles stated in that memo that the film was no longer his version - it was the studio's, but as such, he was still prepared to help them with it.

 

While Universal reworked Evil, Welles began filming his adaption of Miguel Cervantes' novel Don Quixote in Mexico, starring Mischa Auer as Quixote and Akim Tamiroff as Sancho Panza. While filming would continue in fits and starts for several years, Welles would never complete the project.

 

Welles continued acting, notably in The Long, Hot Summer (1958) and Compulsion (1959), but soon returned to Europe to continue his pattern of self-producing low budget films over which he would have creative control and final cut.

 

 

Return to Europe (1959 to 1970)

Welles returned to Europe and resumed acting jobs. He continued shooting Don Quixote in Spain, but replaced Mischa Auer with Francisco Reiguera.

 

In Italy in 1959 Welles directed his own scenes as King Saul in Richard Pottier's film David and Goliath. In Hong Kong he costarred with Curt Jurgens in Lewis Gilbert's film Ferry to Hong Kong.

 

In 1960 in Paris he costarred in Richard Fleischer's film Crack in the Mirror. In Yugoslavia he starred in Richard Thorpe's film The Tartars. He also staged a play at the Gate Theatre in Dublin which compressed five of Shakespeare's history plays in order to focus on the story of Falstaff. Keith Baxter played Prince Hal and Welles called the adaption Chimes at Midnight.

 

By this time he had completed filming on Quixote. Though he would continue toying with the editing well into the 1970s, he never completed the film. On the scenes he did complete, Welles voiced all the actors and provided the narration. In 1992 a version of the film was completed by director Jess Franco, though not all the footage Welles shot was available to him. What was available had decayed badly. While the Welles footage was greeted with interest, the post-production by Franco was met with harsh criticism.

 

In 1961 Welles directed In the Land of Don Quixote, a series of eight half-hour episodes for the Italian television network RAI. Similar to the Around the World with Orson Welles series, they presented travelogues of Spain and included Welles' wife, Paola, and their daughter, Beatrice. The Italian network was not interested in Welles providing English narration and the series sat unreleased until 1964, by which time the network had added Italian narration of its own.

 

In 1962 Welles directed his adaption of The Trial, based on the novel by Franz Kafka and produced by Alexander Salkind and Michael Salkind. The cast included Anthony Perkins as Josef K, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Paola Mori and Akim Tamiroff. While filming exteriors in Zagreb, Welles was informed that the Salkinds had run out of money, meaning that there could be no set construction. No stranger to shooting on found locations, Welles soon filmed the interiors in the Gare d'Orsay, at that time an abandoned railway station in Paris. Welles thought the location possessed a 'Jules Verne modernism' and a melancholy sense of 'waiting,' both suitable for Kafka. The film failed at the box-office. Peter Bogdanovich would later observe that Welles found the film riotously funny. During the filming, Welles met Oja Kodar, who would later become his muse, star and partner for 20 years.

 

Welles continued taking what work he could find acting, narrating or hosting other people's work, and began filming Chimes at Midnight, which was completed in 1966. Filmed in Spain, it was a condensation of five Shakespeare plays, telling the story of Falstaff and his relationship with Prince Hal. The cast included Keith Baxter, John Gielgud, Jeanne Moreau and Margaret Rutherford, with narration by Ralph Richardson. Music was again by Francesco Lavagnino. Jess Franco served as second unit director.

 

In 1966, Welles directed a film for French television, an adaption of The Immortal Story, by Isak Dinesen. Released in 1968, it stars Jeanne Moreau, Roger Coggio and Norman Eshley. The film had a successful run in French theaters. At this time Welles met Kodar again, and gave her a letter he had written to her and had been keeping for four years; they would not be parted again. They immediately began a collaboration both personal and professional, which would continue for the rest of his life. The first of these was an adaptation of Isak Dinesen's "The Heroine", meant to be a companion piece to "The Immortal Story" and starring Kodar; unfortunately, the funding disappeared after one day's shooting.

 

In 1967 Welles began directing The Deep, based on the novel Dead Calm by Charles Williams and filmed off the shore of Yugoslavia. The cast included Jeanne Moreau, Laurence Harvey and Kodar. Personally financed by Welles and Kodar, they could not obtain the funds to complete the project, and it was abandoned a few years later after the death of Laurence Harvey. The surviving footage was eventually restored by the Filmmuseum München.

 

In 1968 Welles began filming a TV special for CBS under the title Orson's Bag, combining travelogue, comedy skits and a condensation of Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice with Welles as Shylock. CBS declined to finish the show and it was not completed. The surviving portions were eventually restored by the Filmmuseum München. In 1969, Welles authorized the use of his name for a movie theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Orson Welles Cinema remained in operation until 1986 (with Welles making a personal appearance there in 1977).

 

Drawn by the numerous offers he received to work in television and films, and upset by a tabloid scandal reporting his affair with Kodar, Welles abandoned the editing of Don Quixote and moved back to America in 1970.

 

 

Return to America and final years (1970 to 1985)

Welles returned to Hollywood, where he continued to self-finance his own film and television projects. While offers to act, narrate and host continued, Welles also found himself in great demand on talk shows, and made frequent appearances for Dick Cavett, Johnny Carson and Dean Martin. Welles' primary focus in this period was filming The Other Side of the Wind, a project that took six years to film but has remained unfinished and unreleased.

 

In 1971 Welles directed a short adaption of Moby Dick, a one-man performance on a bare stage, reminiscent of his stage production Moby Dick - Rehearsed from the 1950s. Never completed, it was eventually restored by the Filmmuseum München.

 

In 1971 the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave him an honorary award "For superlative artistry and versatility in the creation of motion pictures". Welles pretended to be out of town and sent John Huston to claim the award. Huston criticized the Academy for awarding Welles while they refused to give him any work.

 

In 1973 Welles completed F for Fake, a personal essay film about art forger Elmyr d'Hory and his biographer Clifford Irving. Based on an existing documentary by Francois Reichenbach, it included new material with Oja Kodar, Joseph Cotten, Paul Stewart and William Alland.

 

Working again for Harry Alan Towers, Welles played Long John Silver in director John Hough's 1973 adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island, which had been the second story broadcast by The Mercury Theatre on the Air in 1938. While Welles contributed to the script, he was dissatisfied with the film, and his writing credit was attributed to the pseudonym 'O. W. Jeeves.'

 

In 1975, the American Film Institute presented Welles with their third Lifetime Achievement Award (the first two going to director John Ford and actor James Cagney.) At the ceremony, Welles screened two scenes from the nearly finished The Other Side of the Wind. By 1976 Welles had almost completed the film. Financed by Iranian backers, ownership of the film fell into a legal quagmire after the Shah of Iran was deposed. Written by Welles, the story told of a destructive old film director looking for funds to complete his final film. It starred John Huston and the cast included Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg, Norman Foster, Edmond O'Brien, Cameron Mitchell, and Dennis Hopper. While the Showtime network is said to be interested in completing the film, it remains unreleased.

 

In 1979 Welles completed his documentary Filming Othello, which featured Michael MacLiammoir and Hilton Edwards. Made for West German television, it was also released in theaters.

 

Also in 1979 Welles completed his self-produced pilot for The Orson Welles Show television series, featuring interviews with Burt Reynolds, Jim Henson and Frank Oz and guest-starring The Muppets and Angie Dickinson. Unable to find network interest, the pilot was never broadcast.

 

Beginning in the late 1970s, Welles participated in a series of famous television commercial advertisements, acting as the on-camera spokesman for the Paul Masson wine company. The sign-off phrase of the commercials — "We will sell no wine before its time" — became a national catchphrase.

 

In 1980 the BBC broadcast The Orson Welles Story for the Arena series. Interviewed by Leslie Megahey, Welles examined his past in great detail, and several people from his professional past were interviewed as well.

 

During the 1980s, Welles worked on such film projects as The Dreamers, based on two stories by Isak Dinesen and starring Oja Kodar, and The Orson Welles Magic Show, which reused material from his failed TV pilot. Another project he worked on was Filming The Trial, the second in a proposed series of documentaries examining his feature films. While much was shot for these projects, none of them were completed. All of them were eventually restored by the Filmmuseum München.

 

Welles in his later years was unable to get funding for his many film-scripts, but came close with The Big Brass Ring and The Cradle Will Rock: Arnon Milchan had agreed to produce The Big Brass Ring if any one of six actors - Warren Beatty, Clint Eastwood, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, or Burt Reynolds - would sign on to star. All six declined for various reasons. Independent funding for The Cradle Will Rock had been obtained and actors had signed on, including Rupert Everett to play the young Orson Welles, location filming was to be done in New York City with studio work in Italy. While pre-production went without a problem, three weeks before filming was to begin the money fell through. Allegedly Welles approached Steven Spielberg to ask for assistance in rescuing the film, but Spielberg declined. The scripts to both films were published posthumously. After a studio auction, he complained that Steven Spielberg spent $50,000 for a Rosebud sled used in Citizen Kane, but wouldn't give him a dime to make a picture.

 

Welles died at his home in Hollywood, California at the age of 70 on October 10, 1985. He had various projects underway, including a planned film adaption of King Lear, The Orson Welles Magic Show, and The Dreamers. His final interview had been recorded the day before, on The Merv Griffin Show and with his biographer Barbara Leaming. His last film role before his death was as the voice of the villainous god Unicron in Transformers: The Movie, a film based upon the animated series The Transformers and the Transformers toyline.

 

His ashes were placed at a friend's estate in Ronda, Spain, at his request. According to some reports, some of his ashes have been scattered in the town's famous Plaza de Toros, the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain still in use.

 

 

Unfinished projects

Welles's exile from Hollywood and reliance on independent production meant that many of his later projects were filmed piecemeal or were not completed. In the mid-1950s, Welles began work on the Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quixote, initially a commission from CBS television. Welles expanded the film to feature length, developing the screenplay to take Quixote and Sancho Panza into the modern age. The project was finally abandoned with the death of Francisco Reiguera, the actor playing Quixote, in 1969. An incomplete version of the film was released in 1992.

 

In 1970 Welles began shooting The Other Side of the Wind, about the effort of a film director (played by John Huston) to complete his last Hollywood picture, and is largely set at a lavish party. Although in 1972 the film was reported by Welles as being "96% complete", the negative remained in a Paris vault until 2004, when Peter Bogdanovich (who also acted in the film) announced his intention to complete the production. Footage is included in the documentary Working with Orson Welles (1993)

 

Other unfinished projects include The Deep, an adaptation of Charles Williams's Dead Calm—abandoned in 1970 one scene short of completion due to the death of star Laurence Harvey—and The Big Brass Ring, the script of which was adapted and filmed by George Hickenlooper in 1999.

 

 

Trivia

Although never a suspect in the original investigation, Welles may have been involved in the infamous Black Dahlia murder.

Welles felt that The Trial and Chimes at Midnight were his most rewarding achievements, Touch of Evil the most fun he had making a film and The Stranger to be the least of his films.

It was Orson Welles who suggested to Peter Bogdanovich that he film The Last Picture Show in black & white.

As a child he was deeply fascinated by conjuring, both stage and close up. There is a myth that the young Welles was taught magic by Harry Houdini when he was 5 years old. He travelled with a magic act on several occasions throughout his adult life. His interest in the psychology employed by a magician surfaced in much of his film-making. For example, in Citizen Kane, during the dialogue in the famous puzzle scene with his wife Susan Alexander, Kane walks back in the shot to stand near the fireplace. He is unexpectedly dwarfed by the fireplace; a visual representation of his downward decline. The optical illusion obtained by Welles employs principles of 'manipulation of perspective' used by magicians.

During Welles' radio years, he often freelanced and would split his time between the Mercury Theatre, CBS, Mutual, and NBC, among others. Due to this, Welles rarely rehearsed, instead reading ahead during other actors' lines, a practice used by some radio stars of the time. Many of his co-stars on The Shadow have remarked about this in various interviews. There are a number of apocryphal stories where Welles was reported to have turned to an actor during the mid-show commercial break and commented that this week's story was fascinating and he couldn't wait to "find out how it all ends." Welles admitted to preferring the cold-reading style in his on-air performances as he described the hectic nature of radio work to Peter Bogdanovich in This Is Orson Welles:

Soon I was doing so many [programs] that I didn't even rehearse. I'd come to a bad end in some tearjerker on the seventh floor of CBS and rush up to the ninth (they'd hold an elevator for me), where, just as the red light was going on, somebody'd hand me a script and whisper, "Chinese mandarin, seventy-five years old", and off I'd go again... Not rehearsing... made it so much more interesting. When I was thrown down the well or into some fiendish snake pit, I never knew how I'd get out.

Also due to Welles' often tight radio schedule, he was hard pressed to find ways to get from job to job in busy New York City traffic. In an interview conducted in his later years, Welles tells how he "discovered that there was no law in New York that you had to be sick to travel in an ambulance." Therefore, he took to hiring ambulances to take him, sirens blazing, through the crowded streets to get to various buildings.

Orson Welles was Francis Ford Coppola's first choice to play Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979), based on the novel Heart of Darkness which Welles was planning to adapt before he wrote Citizen Kane.

His regular dinner: two steaks and a pint of scotch. During his early years, especially while filming Citizen Kane, Welles' entire dinner menu also included a full pineapple, triple pistachio ice cream, and a full bottle of scotch.

According to a 1941 physical (Welles was 26), he was 72 inches tall, and weighed 218 pounds. His eyes were brown. (From the first volume of Simon Callow's biography: Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu.) Other sources cite that he was 6 feet 4 inches tall.

He was born on the day that Babe Ruth hit his first home run.

Was dating Billie Holiday around the time he was making Citizen Kane. According to Holiday's autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, she saw the film nine times before it ever played in a theater.

Welles had three daughters to three different mothers: children's author Chris Welles Feder, born 1937 (to mother Virginia Nicholson); Rebecca Welles Manning, 1944-2004 (to mother Rita Hayworth); and Beatrice Welles, born in November 1955 (to mother Paola Mori).

Was parodied by comedian Bill Martin in his monologue, An Evening with Sir William Martin.

He has been portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio with his voice dubbed by Maurice LaMarche in Ed Wood and the 2005 short film Five Minutes, Mr Welles, Angus Macfayden in Cradle Will Rock, Liev Schreiber in RKO 281, Jean Guerin in Heavenly Creatures, Danny Huston in the upcoming Fade to Black, Paul Shenar in The Night That Panicked America, Eric Purcell in Malice in Wonderland, John Candy in Second City Television, David Benson in the Doctor Who audio drama Invaders From Mars and the voice of Maurice LaMarche in various animation and films.

Voiced a trailer for The Incredible Shrinking Man in 1957 as well as the original trailer for Star Wars in 1977.

He died the same day as Yul Brynner.

The Brain, the evil genius lab mouse in the cartoon series Pinky and the Brain, was loosely based on Orson Welles. The Brain even parodies Welles' The War of the Worlds broadcast and his infamous radio commercial argument. Voice artist Maurice LaMarche provided the voice of The Brain, and would later portray a bloated Orson Welles at the low point of his television career in The Critic.

Welles performed narration for two songs of the heavy metal band Manowar.

His last filmed appearance was on the television show Moonlighting. He recorded an introduction to an episode entitled "The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice," which was partially filmed in black and white. The episode aired five days after his death and was dedicated to his memory.

His final role was the voice of the planet eating robot Unicron in Transformers: The Movie, released almost a year after his death on August 8, 1986.

Welles narrated "Drippy the Runaway Raindrop" by Sidney, Mary and Alexandra Sheldon which continues to be a popular English educational series in Japan.

When asked to describe Welles' influence, Jean-Luc Godard remarked: "Everyone will always owe him everything." (Ciment, 42)

 

Selected filmography

Directed by Welles

 

Hearts of Age (1934) - Welles' first film, a silent one-reeler made at age 18.

Too Much Johnson (1938)

Citizen Kane (1941) - won Oscar for Best Writing (Original Screenplay); nominated for Best Actor, Best Picture and Best Director.

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) - nominated for Oscar for Best Picture; shortened and recut against Welles' wishes, footage forever lost

The Stranger (1946)

The Lady from Shanghai (1947) - shortened and recut against Welles' wishes, footage forever lost

Macbeth (1948) - shortened and recut against Welles' wishes, recently restored to original vision

Othello (1952) - won the Palme d'Or, 1952 Cannes Film Festival

Mr. Arkadin (aka Confidential Report) (1955) - shortened and recut against Welles' wishes, Criterion's restoration released in April 2006.

Touch of Evil (1958) - won the top-prize at the Brussels World's Fair; shortened and recut against Welles' wishes, recently restored to original vision

The Trial (1962)

Chimes at Midnight (1965)

The Immortal Story (1968)

The Deep (1970) - unfinished

The Other Side of the Wind (1970-76) - currently unreleased, restoration in progress

F for Fake (aka Vérités et mensonges) (1974)

Other notable films

 

Swiss Family Robinson (1940) - narration

It's All True (1942)

Journey Into Fear (1943) - actor, rumored to be co-director with Norman Foster. Welles denied he directed it.

Jane Eyre (1944) - actor (Rochester)

Duel in the Sun (1946) - narration

Monsieur Verdoux (1947) - story idea

The Third Man (1949)- actor, dialogue

Moby Dick (1956) - cameo role as actor

Man in the Shadow (1957) - actor

The Long Hot Summer (1958) Will Varner

Compulsion (1959) - actor

A Man for All Seasons (1966) - actor

I'll Never Forget What's'isname (1967) - actor

Casino Royale (1967) - as Bond villain Le Chiffre ("Zero" or "The Cipher")

Don Quixote (1969, version released 1992) - writer, director, actor

The Battle of Neretva (1969) - as Chetnik senator

Start the Revolution Without Me (1970) - narration, cameo role

Catch-22 (1970) - actor

Waterloo (1970) - actor

Flame of Persia (1972) - Documentary narration

The Muppet Movie (1979) - cameo

History of the World, Part One (1981) - narration

The Dreamers (1980-82, unfinished) - actor, writer, director

Transformers: The Movie (1986) - voice actor

 

References and Further reading

Anderegg, Michael: "Orson Welles, Shakespeare and Popular Culture", Columbia University Press, 1999

Bazin, Andre: "Orson Welles", Harper and Rowe, 1978

Benamou, Catherine: "It's All True: Orson Welles’s Pan-American Odyssey", University of California Press, 2007 (forthcoming)

Beja, Morris, ed.: "Perspectives on Orson Welles", G.K Hall, 1995

Berg, Chuck and Erskine, Tom, ed.: "The Encyclopedia of Orson Welles", Checkmark Books, 2003

Bessy, Maurice: "Orson Welles: An investigation into his films and philosophy", Crown, 1971

Brady, Frank: "Citizen Welles", Charles Scribner's Sons, 1989

Callow, Simon: The Road to Xanadu. Jonathan Cape, 1995.

Callow, Simon: Hello Americans. Jonathan Cape, 2006.

Carringer, Robert: "The Making of Citizen Kane", University of California Press, 1985

Carringer, Robert: "The Magnificent Ambersons: A Reconstruction", University of California Press, 1993

Ciment, Michel: 'Les Enfants Terrible' in "American Film", Dec. 1984 (French)

Comito, Terry, ed.: "Touch of Evil", Rutgers, 1985

Conrad, Peter: "Orson Welles: The Stories of His Life", Faber and Faber, 3003

Cowie, Peter: The Cinema of Orson Welles, Da Capo Press, 1973.

Davies, Anthony: "Filming Shakespeare's Plays", Cambridge University Press, 1988

Drazin, Charles: "In Search of the Third Man", Limelight, 2000

Estrin, Mark: "Orson Welles Interviews", University Press of Mississippi, 2002

France, Richard, ed.: "Orson Welles on Shakespeare", Routledge, 2001

France, Richard: "The Theatre of Orson Welles", Bucknell University Press, 1977

Garis, Robert: "The Films of Orson Welles", Cambridge University Press, 2004

Gottesman, Ronald, ed.: "Focus on Citizen Kane", Prentice Hall, 1971

Gottesman, Ronald, ed.: "Focus on Orson Welles", Prentice Hall, 1976

Greene, Graham: "The Third Man", Faber and Faber, 1991

Heyer, Paul: "The Medium and the Magician: Orson Welles, The Radio Years", Rowman and Littlefield, 2005

Heylin, Clinton. Despite the System: Orson Welles Versus the Hollywood Studios, Chicago Review Press, 2005.

Higham, Charles: "The Films of Orson Welles", University of California Press, 1970

Higham, Charles: "Orson Welles: The Rise and Fall of an American Genius", St. Martin's Press, 1985

Howard, James: "The Complete Films of Orson Welles", Citadel Press, 1991

Jorgens, Jack J.: "Shakespeare on Film", Indiana University Press, 1977

Leaming, Barbara: "Orson Welles", Viking, 1985

Lyons, Bridget Gellert, ed.: "Chimes at Midnight", Rutgers, 1988

Mac Liammóir, Micháel. Put Money in Thy Purse: The Filming of Orson Welles' Othello, Virgin, 1994

McBride, Joseph: "Orson Welles", Harcourt Brace, 1977

McBride, Joseph: Orson Welles, Da Capo Press, 1996.

McBride, Joseph: "Whatever Happened to Orson Welles? A Portrait of an Independent Career", University Press of Kentucky, 2006 (forthcoming)

Mulvey, Laura: "Citizen Kane", BFI, 1992

Naremore, James. The Magic World of Orson Welles, Southern Methodist University Press, 1989.

Naremore, James, ed.: "Orson Welles's Citizen Kane: A Casebook", Oxford University Press, 2004

Noble, Peter: "The Fabulous Orson Welles", Hutchinson and Co., 1956

Perkins, V.F.: "The Magnificent Ambersons", BFI, 1999

Rosenbaum, Jonathan: 'Orson Welles's Essay Films and Documentary Fictions', in "Placing Movies", University of California Press, 1995

Rosenbaum, Jonathan: 'The Battle Over Orson Welles', in "Essential Cinema", Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004

Rosenbaum, Jonathan: 'Orson Welles as Ideological Challenge' in "Movie Wars", A Capella Books, 2000

Rosenbaum, Jonathan: "Discovering Orson Welles", University of California Press, 2007 (forthcoming)

Shakespeare Bulletin, Volume 23, Number 1, Spring 2005: Special Welles issue.

Simon, William G., ed.: "Persistence of Vision: The Journal of the Film Faculty of the City University of New York", Number 7, 1988: Special Welles issue

Taylor, John Russell: "Orson Welles: A Celebration", Pavilion, 1986

Taylor, John Russell: "Orson Welles", Pavilion, 1998

Walsh, John Evangelist: "Walking Shadows: Orson Welles, William Randolph Hearst and Citizen Kane", The University of Wisconsin Press, 2004

Walters, Ben: "Welles", Haus, 2004

Welles, Orson: "Les Bravades", Workman, 1996

Welles, Orson and Bogdanovich, Peter: This is Orson Welles, Da Capo Press, 1998.

Welles, Orson: "Mr. Arkadin", Harper Collins, 2006

Welles, Orson: "The Big Brass Ring", Black Spring Press, 1991

Welles, Orson: "The Cradle Will Rock", Santa Teresa Press, 1994

White, Rob: "The Third Man", BFI, 2003

Wood, Bret: "Orson Welles: A Bio-Bibliography", Greenwood blue, 1990

 

****

 

 

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