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Orson Welles

Broadcaster + Director + Actor
Born May 6, 1915

George Orson Welles was an American actor, director, writer and producer who worked extensively in theater, radio and film.

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1915 Birth George Orson Welles was born May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, son of Richard Head Welles (b. … Read More
1919 4 Years Old Despite his family's affluence, Welles encountered hardship in childhood. His parents separated and moved to Chicago in 1919. … Read More
1924 9 Years Old Beatrice died of hepatitis in a Chicago hospital May 10, 1924, aged 42, just after Welles's ninth birthday. The Gordon String Quartet, which had made its first appearance at her home in 1921, played at Beatrice's funeral. … Read More


1926 - 1930 2 More Events
1931 16 Years Old 1 More Event
Following graduation from Todd in May 1931, Welles was awarded a scholarship to Harvard University, while his mentor Roger Hill advocated he attend Cornell College in Iowa. … Read More
1932 17 Years Old In March 1932 Welles performed in W. … Read More
1933 18 Years Old In 1933, Roger and Hortense Hill invited Welles along to a party in Chicago, where Welles met Thornton Wilder. … Read More
In 1934, Welles got his first job on radio — on The American School of the Air — through actor-director Paul Stewart, who introduced him to director Knowles Entrikin. … Read More


1935 20 Years Old 1 More Event
By 1935 Welles was supplementing his earnings in the theater as a radio actor in Manhattan, working with many actors who would later form the core of his Mercury Theatre on programs including America's Hour, Cavalcade of America, Columbia Workshop and The March of Time. "Within a year of his debut Welles could claim membership in that elite band of radio actors who commanded salaries second only to the highest paid movie stars," wrote critic Richard France. … Read More
In 1937 American composer Aaron Copland chose Welles to direct The Second Hurricane, an operetta with a libretto by Edwin Denby, and one of Copland's least known works. … Read More
…  The series began July 11, 1938, initially titled First Person Singular, with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. … Read More
1939 - 1940 3 More Events
In late November 1941, Welles was appointed as a goodwill ambassador to Latin America by Nelson Rockefeller, U.S. Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs and a principal stockholder in RKO Radio Pictures. The Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs was established in August 1940 by order of the U.S. Council of National Defense, and operated with funds from both the government and the private sector. By executive order July 30, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the OCIAA within the Office for Emergency Management of the Executive Office of the President, "to provide for the development of commercial and cultural relations between the American Republics and thereby increasing the solidarity of this hemisphere and furthering the spirit of cooperation between the Americas in the interest of hemisphere defense." … Read More
Required to film the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro in early February 1942, Welles rushed to edit The Magnificent Ambersons and finish his acting scenes in Journey into Fear. … Read More
In early 1943, the two concurrent radio series (Ceiling Unlimited, Hello Americans) that Orson Welles created for CBS to support the war effort had ended.
A half-hour variety show broadcast January 26–July 19, 1944, on the Columbia Pacific Network, The Orson Welles Almanac presented sketch comedy, magic, mindreading, music and readings from classic works. … Read More


…  Welles was an advisor and correspondent for the Blue-ABC radio network's coverage of the San Francisco conference that formed the UN, taking place April 24–June 23, 1945. … Read More
1946 - 1952 9 More Events
1953 38 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1953, the BBC hired Welles to read an hour of selections from Walt Whitman's epic poem Song of Myself. … Read More
1954 39 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1954, director George More O'Ferrall offered Welles the title role in the 'Lord Mountdrago' segment of Three Cases of Murder, co-starring Alan Badel. … Read More


1955 40 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1955, Welles also directed two television series for the BBC. … Read More
1956 41 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1956, Welles completed Portrait of Gina. … Read More
1957 - 1961 5 More Events
1962 47 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1962, Welles directed his adaptation of The Trial, based on the novel by Franz Kafka and produced by Alexander Salkind and Michael Salkind. … Read More


1966 - 1968 4 More Events
In 1969 Welles called again the Film Editor Frederick Muller to work with him re-editing the material and they set up cutting rooms at the Safa Palatino Studios in Rome. … Read More
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. … Read More
1971 - 1972 2 More Events
1973 58 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1973, Welles completed F for Fake, a personal essay film about art forger Elmyr de Hory and the biographer Clifford Irving. … Read More


1975 - 1977 4 More Events
1979 64 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1979, Welles completed his documentary Filming Othello, which featured Michael MacLiammoir and Hilton Edwards. … Read More
1981 66 Years Old In 1981, Welles hosted the documentary The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, about Renaissance-era prophet Nostradamus.
1982 67 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1982, the BBC broadcast The Orson Welles Story in the Arena series. … Read More
1984 69 Years Old In 1984, Welles narrated the short-lived television series Scene of the Crime. … Read More
…  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). … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orson_Welles.
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