Orson Welles

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Date of Birth May 6, 1915
Place of Birth Kenosha, Wisconsin
Date of Death Oct 10, 1985 (70)
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Orson Welles

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 filmmakers 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, a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

Born: George Orson Welles, May 06, 1915, Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died: October 10, 1985, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place: Ronda, Spain
Alma mater: School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Occupation: Actor, director, writer, producer
Years active: 1931–1985
Home town: Woodstock, Illinois, U.S.
Television: Orson Welles' Sketch Book
Spouse(s): Virginia Nicolson, (married 1934–1940), Rita Hayworth, (married 1943–1947), Paola Mori, (married 1955–1985)
Partner(s): Dolores del Río (1940–43), Oja Kodar (1966–85)
Children: 3, including Beatrice Welles
Youtube: Orson Welles's Youtube channel
IMDb: Orson Welles's IMDb
Rotten Tomatoes: Orson Welles's Rotten Tomatoes

About Orson Welles

Best known for his seminal 1941 film Citizen Kane, which he co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in. The film is widely considered one of the most important films in cinema history. He also directed the features The Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady from Shanghai and Touch of Evil.

Before Fame

He received a scholarship to attend Harvard University after high school, but chose instead to travel through Europe. He first gained recognition for his narration of classic literary works in the 1938 CBS Radio series The Mercury Theatre on the Air.


His War of the Worlds radio broadcast during the Mercury Theatre on the Air series became one of the most famous incidents of mass panic in history as many radio listeners believed Welles was reading a shocking news bulletin that featured alien invasions when really he was reciting the H.G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds.

Family Life

He was married three times to Virginia Nicolson, Rita Hayworth, and Paola Mori. He also had relationships with Dolores del Rio and Oja Kodak. He had children: Michael, Beatrice, Rebecca and Christopher.


He co-starred with Charlton Heston in the 1958 crime noir film Touch of Evil.

Information related to Orson Welles

  • Orson Welles Category
  • Ballet librettists
  • American radio directors
  • American expatriates in Spain
  • American radio writers
  • American male Shakespearean actors
  • Best Original Screenplay Academy Award winners
  • Male actors from Wisconsin
  • Film directors from Illinois
  • American radio producers
  • People of the New Deal arts projects
  • Academy Honorary Award recipients
  • Hollywood blacklist
  • Anti-racism activists
  • Film directors from Los Angeles
  • Members of the Académie des beaux-arts
  • Broadway theatre people
  • American magicians
  • Special effects people
  • American theatre managers and producers
  • American male radio actors
  • Male actors from Chicago
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago alumni
  • American film editors
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Latest information about Orson Welles updated on October 28, 2020.

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