Orson Welles is a Actor, Director, Scriptwriter, Producer, Co-Director, Director of Photography, Editor, Production Design, Costume Design, Music Arranger and Other American born on 6 may 1915 at Kenosha (USA)
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Birth name George Orson WellesNationality USABirth 6 may 1915George Orson Welles (/ˈwɛlz/; May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American actor, director, writer, and producer who worked in theatre, radio, and film. He is best remembered for his innovative work in all three: in theatre, most notably Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar; in radio, the 1938 broadcast "The War of the Worlds", one of the most famous in the history of radio; and in film, Citizen Kane (1941), consistently ranked as one of the all-time greatest films.
at Kenosha (USA
)Death 10 october 1985
(at 70 years) at Los Angeles (USA
Welles directed a number of high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project in his early twenties, including an innovative 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 an acclaimed series of productions on Broadway through 1941. Welles found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds performed for his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It reportedly caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was occurring. Although some contemporary sources claim these reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, they rocketed Welles to notoriety.
His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which he co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles was an outsider to the studio system and directed only 13 full-length films in his career. Because of this, he struggled for creative control from the major film studios, and his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, innovative uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as a major creative force and as "the ultimate auteur".
Welles followed up Citizen Kane with critically acclaimed films including The Magnificent Ambersons in 1942 and Touch of Evil in 1958. Although these three are his most acclaimed films, critics have argued other works of his, such as The Lady from Shanghai (1947) and Chimes at Midnight (1966), are underappreciated.
In 2002, Welles was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics, and a wide survey of critical consensus, best-of lists, and historical retrospectives calls him the most acclaimed director of all time. Well known for his baritone voice, Welles was a well-regarded actor in radio and film, a celebrated Shakespearean stage actor, and an accomplished magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years.
Relationships and family
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 divorced 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 (1943). Their relationship came to an end, among other things, due to the infidelities of Welles. Del Río returned to México in 1943, shortly before Welles married Rita Hayworth.
Welles married Rita Hayworth September 7, 1943. They were divorced 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 (née Countess Paola di Girifalco), an Italian aristocrat who starred as Raina Arkadin in his 1955 film, Mr. Arkadin. The couple had embarked on a passionate affair, and they were married at her parents' insistence. They were wed in London May 8, 1955, and never divorced.
Croatian-born artist and actress Oja Kodar became Welles's longtime companion both personally and professionally from 1966 onwards, and they lived together for some of the last 20 years of his life.
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 a son, British director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (born May 5, 1940), from an affair with Irish actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, then the wife of Sir Edward Lindsay-Hogg, 4th baronet. When Lindsay-Hogg was 16 his mother reluctantly divulged that there were pervasive rumors that his father was Welles, and she denied them — but in such detail that he was left confused and dubious. Fitzgerald evaded the subject for the rest of her life. Lindsay-Hogg knew Welles, worked with him in the theatre and met him at intervals throughout Welles's life. After he learned that Welles's oldest daughter Chris, his childhood playmate, had long suspected that he was her brother, Lindsay-Hogg initiated a DNA test that proved inconclusive. In his 2011 autobiography Lindsay-Hogg reported that his questions were resolved by his mother's close friend Gloria Vanderbilt, who wrote that Fitzgerald had told her that Welles was his father. A forthcoming 2015 biography by Patrick McGilligan reportedly documents the impossibility of Welles's paternity.
After the death of Rebecca Welles Manning, a man named Marc McKerrow was revealed to be her son, and therefore the direct descendant of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. McKerrow's reactions to the revelation and his meeting with Oja Kodar are documented in the 2008 film Prodigal Sons. McKerrow died June 18, 2010.
Despite an urban legend promoted by Welles himself, he was not related to Abraham Lincoln's wartime Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles. The myth dates back to the first newspaper feature ever written about Welles — "Cartoonist, Actor, Poet and only 10" — in the February 19, 1926, issue of The Capital Times. The article falsely states that he was descended from "Gideon Welles, who was a member of President Lincoln's cabinet". As presented by Charles Higham in a genealogical chart that introduces his 1985 biography of Welles, Orson Welles's father was Richard Head Welles (born Wells), son of Richard Jones Wells, son of Henry Hill Wells (who had an uncle named Gideon Wells), son of William Hill Wells, son of Richard Wells (1734–1801).
In his 1956 biography, Peter Noble describes Welles as "a magnificent figure of a man, over six feet tall, handsome, with flashing eyes and a gloriously resonant speaking-voice". Welles said that a voice specialist once told him he was born to be a heldentenor, a heroic tenor, but that when he was young and working at the Gate Theatre he forced his voice down into a bass-baritone.
Even as a baby Welles was prone to illness, including diphtheria, measles, whooping cough and malaria. From infancy he suffered from asthma, sinus headaches, and backache that was later found to be caused by congenital anomalies of the spine. Foot and ankle trouble throughout his life was the result of flat feet. "As he grew older," Brady wrote, "his ill health was exacerbated by the late hours he was allowed to keep [and] an early penchant for alcohol and tobacco".
In 1928, at age 13, Welles was already more than six feet tall and weighed over 180 pounds. His passport recorded his height as six feet three inches, with brown hair and green eyes.
"Crash diets, drugs, and corsets had slimmed him for his early film roles," wrote biographer Barton Whaley. "Then always back to
gargantuan consumption of high-caloric food and booze. By summer 1949, when he was 34, his weight had crept up to a stout 230 pounds. In 1953 he ballooned from 250 to 275 pounds. After 1960 he remained permanently obese."
When Peter Bogdanovich once asked him about his religion, Orson Welles gruffly replied that it was none of his business, then misinformed him that he was raised Catholic.
Although the Welles family was no longer devout, it was fourth-generation Protestant Episcopalian and, before that, Quaker and Puritan. Welles's earliest paternal forebear in America, Richard Wells, was a leader of the Quaker community in Pennsylvania. His earliest maternal ancestor in America was John Alden, a crew member on the Pilgrim ship Mayflower.
The funeral of Welles's father Richard H. Welles was Episcopalian.
In April 1982, when interviewer Merv Griffin asked him about his religious beliefs, Welles replied, "I try to be a Christian. I don't pray really, because I don't want to bore God." Near the end of his life Welles was dining at Ma Maison, his favorite restaurant in Los Angeles, when proprietor Patrick Terrail conveyed an invitation from the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, who asked Welles to be his guest of honor at divine liturgy at Saint Sophia Cathedral. Welles replied, "Please tell him I really appreciate that offer, but I am an atheist."
"Orson never joked or teased about the religious beliefs of others," wrote biographer Barton Whaley. "He accepted it as a cultural artifact, suitable for the births, deaths, and marriages of strangers and even some friends — but without emotional or intellectual meaning for himself."