Why Orson Welles lived a life like no other
Because Orson Welles’ life was so complicated, his accomplishments so varied, and his personality so enigmatic, I wanted to cast a wide net while also diving deep beneath the surface.
I had just turned 40 and Welles had only been dead four years. I took in every film, every radio show, every documentary, and archival material. I interviewed everyone who worked with him in the theater. As part of my Orson Welles project, I visited every place of significance in his life. I started with paper filing boxes and quickly grew to six.
Orson Welles’ life was legendary, but there were as many Welleses as interviewees. The first book, The Road to Xanadu (1995), was a blast to write, as phenomenal good fortune propelled him from one high to the next. I promised Orson Welles’ biographer that the rest of his life would fit into a third volume.
Did Orson Welles have a high IQ?
Welles had an IQ of 185, which put him on the cusp of genius, but he never realized that the cinema isn’t first and foremost an art form; it’s a money-making machine.
What kind of person was Orson Welles?
Welles was a lifelong magician who was known for presenting troop variety shows during the war years and was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics in 2002. He was known for his baritone voice and performed extensively across theatre, radio, and film.
What is Orson Welles best known for?
Orson Welles began his career as a stage actor before moving to radio, where he created his unforgettable version of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, and then to Hollywood, where he left an artistically indelible mark with films like Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons.
Did Orson Welles have diabetes?
Welles, who was as big in stature as he was in talent, was being treated for a heart condition and diabetes, and police said there would be no need for an autopsy because his heart condition was well-known and he had seen a doctor about it within the last 20 days.
Why did Orson Welles get so fat?
During the filming of Citizen Kane, Orson Welles’ first and perhaps most famous film, he made it a habit to go to the commissary dressed in costume and full make-up, including the extra padding to make him look portly.
What was Orson Welles IQ?
Welles had an IQ of 185, according to Todd Tarbox, the grandson of Roger Hill, Welles’ teacher and mentor at the celebrated Todd School during the orphaned boy’s vital adolescence, and it is difficult to think of anyone in our contemporary world of arts and letters who could match Welles’ mastery of language.
Who did Orson Welles marry?
Hearst was said to be particularly enraged by the film’s portrayal of a character based on his companion, Marion Davies, a former showgirl whom he had assisted in becoming a popular Hollywood actress.
Is Orson Welles still alive?
Welles was a genius director and actor, and this is the closest he ever came to repeating Citizen Kane’s combination of popular and artistic success.
How much money did Orson Welles leave?
Orson Welles signed his last will and testament on January 15, 1982, leaving his Las Vegas home and the majority of his estate to Mori, with $10,000 bequests to each of his three daughters, and his Los Angeles home and contents to Kodar.
Did Orson Welles have a son?
Welles had a daughter from each marriage, as well as an illegitimate son from actress Geraldine Fitzgerald and film director Sir Michael Lindsay-Hogg.
What nationality was Orson Welles?
Orson Welles, full name George Orson Welles, was an American motion picture actor, director, producer, and writer who was born on May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and died on October 10, 1985, in Los Angeles, California.
What is the best biography of Orson Welles?
Citizen Welles, written by biographer Frank Brady after a decade of research and writing, is the first comprehensive life story of Orson Welles from his birth in 1925 to his death in 1985.