Log in

Someday, people will point to me and say:

'That's Orson Welles, the famous actor-producer.'

Orson George Welles
6 May

"If you try to probe, I'll lie to you. Seventy-five percent of what I say in interviews is false. I'm like a hen protecting her eggs. I cannot talk. I must protect my work. Introspection is bad for me. I'm a medium, not an orator. Like certain oriental and Christian mystics, I think the self is a kind of enemy. My work is what I am ... Do you know the best service anyone could render to art? Destory all biographies. Only art can explain the life of a man - and not the contrary."
-Orson Welles 1962

Written OOC:

Orson Welles Trivia:

> One of the most recognizable deep voices in all of film, radio or television.
> Once ate 18 hotdogs in one sitting at Pink's (a Los Angeles hot dog institution).
> On old time radio, Orson Welles provided the voice for Lamont Cranston, aka THE SHADOW
> Ashes are buried inside an old well covered by flowers, within the rural property of retired bullfighter Antonio Ordóñez, Ronda, Malaga, Spain.
> One of only five actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his first screen appearance.
> Despite his reputation as an actor and master film-maker, he maintained his membership in the Magicians' Union, and regularly practiced sleight-of-hand magic in case his career came to an abrupt end.
> He was born on the same day that Babe Ruth hit his very first home run.
> He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988.
> Frank Sinatra (_franksinatra_) was the godfather of one of his daughters.
> Has the distinction of appearing in both the American Film Institute and British Film Institute's #1 movie. For AFI it was Citizen Kane (1941). For BFI it was The Third Man (1949).
> Was voted the 2nd Greatest Film Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
> Was named #16 on the 50 Greatest Screen Legends list of the American Film Institute.
> His average dinner famously consisted of two steaks cooked rare, and a pint of scotch - explaining his obesity as he got older, and his subsequent death.

Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin on May 6th 1915, George Orson Welles's father changed his name to Orson George Welles because, "[e]very damn Pullman porter in the country is named 'George'." At nine, his mother passed away from stomach cancer and when he was fifteen, his father drank himself to death. After graduating from the Todd School for Boys, Orson turned down multiple scholarships and chose, instead, to take a sketching tour of Ireland. There, he lied about his age (and took up smoking cigars to look older) and entered the Gate Theatre, where he stayed from 1931 till 1932.
After traveling the world for a few years, Orson returned to America and married Virgina Nicholson, with whom he had one child (b.1937) named Christopher. With reccomendations from Thornton Wilder and Alexander Woollcott, he entered the Katherine Cornell road company where he joined with John Houseman and together they were invited into the Federal Theatre to run one of the Negro Units. Thier version of the "voodoo" Macbeth was widely popular and after running for twenty weeks in New York it went on a nation-wide tour. Welles and Houseman went on to form Project 891, which put on Horse Eats Hat; Dr. Faustus, which was famous; and The Cradle Will Rock, which, though known as one of the greatest moments in theatre history, lead to the expulsion of Welles and Houseman.
The two went on to form the Mercury Theatre, best known for it's modern-dress Julius Caesar. Later, they were invited to do a radio show called First Person Singular, but better known as The Mercury Theatre On the Air, which was famous for it's October 30th broadcast of War of the Worlds, which sent the entire country into a panic and got Welles a contract with RKO. By this time (1940), Virginia and he had divorced and in 1943 he married Rita Hayworth with whom he had another girl named Rebecca (b. 1944). In 1948, they divorced and in 1955 he married for the last time to Paola Mori, with whom he had another girl named Beatrice, after his mother (b. 1955).
In Hollywood, after two false starts, Orson put out Citizen Kane, which is widely hailed as America's greatest film. The film sparked two great contreversy, the lesser known one is to the real script writer, but the bigger one is of its representation of William Randolph Hearst. Hearst set about ruining Welles in Hollywood, but despite his attempts history won out.
Though his career went downhill, he put out other well-remembered films, like The Stranger, The Lady from Shanghai, Macbeth, The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice, Mr. Arkain, Touch of Evil, Chimes at Midnight, The Immortal Story and F for Fake. He also took up roles in other films, including the much beloved Harry Lime in The Third Man.
Unfortunately, on October 10th 1985 he passed away during the night from a heart attack.
The moral of the story?
Don't eat two steaks, an entire pinapple, a decantor of scotch and two pints of icecream every night for dinner. You'll live longer

Famous Quotes:

"I started at the top and worked down."

"I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts."

"If there hadn't been women we'd still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilization in order to impress our girl friends. And they tolerated it and let us go ahead and play with our toys."

"Keep Ted Turner and his goddamned Crayolas away from my movie."
[On Citizen Kane (1941) being colorized]

"This is the biggest electric train set a boy ever had!"
(At RKO Studios working on Heart of Darkness, a film he later abandoned)

"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people."

"I don't pray because I don't want to bore God."

"I have the terrible feeling that, because I am wearing a white beard and am sitting in the back of the theater, you expect me to tell you the truth about something. These are the cheap seats, not Mount Sinai."

"The word genius was whispered into my ear, the first thing I ever heard, while I was still mewling in my crib. So it never occurred to me that I wasn't until middle age."

Works Cited

Callow, Simon. Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu. New York: Penguin Books. 1995.

Brady, Frank. Citizen Welles. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1989.