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Biography of Orson Welles

There are several myths surrounding the life of American actor and filmmaker Orson Welles. A critic who said something negative about the play was cursed by the voodoo sorcerers who performed in his theatrical presentation of Macbeth, and the poor man passed away unexpectedly. Because Orson’s radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’s War of the Worlds was so accurate, it sent a shockwave through the American public.


The filmmaker was born in the Wisconsin town of Kenosha in May 1915. The boy was raised by artistic parents: his father was a self-taught mechanic and the creator of the bicycle light, while his mother was a pianist. Wells’s father passed away from alcoholism when his son was fifteen years old, leaving him an orphan at a young age.

The filmmaker experimented with a variety of jobs during his adolescence, such as illustrating Shakespeare’s writings and engaging in bullfighting in Spanish arenas.

When Orson made his theatrical debut at the age of sixteen at Dublin’s Gate Theater, he informed the director that he was a Hollywood star. The theater owner was so taken aback by Wells’s impudence that he gave the young guy a chance and thought highly of his performance. At the age of 19, Orson directed his first short film, “Heart of the Wind,” and secured a position in American radio.

Individual existence

The director’s personal life was turbulent; he had a snub nose his entire life and became obese as he grew older (at the age of 38, Orson weighed 120 kg at a height of 187 cm). Three legal marriages were consummated by the filmmaker: the first at the age of 19 with the socialite and actress Virginia Nicholson from Chicago; the second with actress Rita Hayworth; and the third with Paola Mori, an artist and heiress of Italian aristocracy.

Because of Orson’s adultery, each of the formal unions terminated after around five years. He stopped their relationship, but did not formally divorce Paola.

When Wells first saw Rita Hayworth on screen, he instantly fell in love. The director sat on her porch every night in an attempt to woo the beauty. The woman left her husband for Orson’s sake, but neither that nor Rita’s intense love nor the arrival of her daughter Rebecca stopped the man from going on another binge. The director had three children in total, one from each of his wives: Christopher, Rebecca, and Beatrice.

Orson also had long-term relationships with the Croatian-Hungarian artist Oja Kodar and the Mexican actress Dolores del Rio. Wells was able to turn the heads of many women, including Francoise Sagan and Marlene Dietrich.


For many years, reviewers have regarded Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane as the greatest movie ever made. Welles’s movie was eclipsed in the 1990s by Frank Darabont’s Shawshank Redemption in terms of box office receipts.

The paradox lies in the fact that Darabont’s masterwork is based on a Stephen King story titled “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” which has Orson’s second wife’s name and surname. The protagonist’s cell had a poster hanging over the hole he had dug out, with a picture of the star.

The narrative of “Citizen Kane” centers on a journalist’s inquiry into a media mogul’s final remarks. The final frames of the scene provide the audience the meaning of the word, but it’s still unclear to the amateur investigator. However, the journalist fills in the holes in the tycoon’s life story and his moral decline. Wells thought that his best picture was “The Trial,” which was based on Franz Kafka’s writings, rather than “Citizen Kane.”

Falsification is a common theme in Orson’s motion pictures. A rich man hires a young smuggler in the movie “Mr. Arkadin,” ostensibly to recreate a forgotten past, but in reality, to make the past disappear.

This movie also explores the issue of forgeries. Shakespeare’s plays, around half of which he knew by heart, were another passion of the filmmaker.

Despite its box office failure, Wells’ The Lady from Shanghai is now regarded as a masterpiece and the only noir comedy in movie history. Later critics and directors, such Lars von Trier, were impressed by the funhouse shootout sequence, and Woody Allen referenced it in his movie “Murder in Manhattan.” Rita Hayworth, Orson’s second wife, and Orson himself played the major parts in the movie.


On October 10, 1985, Orson passed away concurrently with actor Yul Brynner, another legendary figure in American cinema.

A heart attack was the cause of death. In an appearance with Merv Griffin’s talk program two hours before he passed away, the filmmaker referred to Rita Hayworth as one of the most compassionate ladies in the world.

Unexpectedly, 33 years after his passing, Welles’s filmography has grown. The director started filming “The Other Side of the Wind” in 1980, and it made its Venice Film Festival debut on August 31, 2018. The film’s soundtrack represented Michel Legrand’s final major composition. Legrand and Welles worked together to create the film “F as Fake.”

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