Orson Welles

Orson Welles

  • Born on
    • May 6th, 1915
  • Died on
    • October 10th, 1985
George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985), best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, actor, theatre director, screenwriter, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television and radio. Noted for his innovative dramatic productions as well as his distinctive voice and personality, Welles is widely acknowledged as one of the most accomplished dramatic artists of the twentieth century, especially for his significant and influential early work—despite his notoriously contentious relationship with Hollywood. His distinctive directorial style featured layered, nonlinear narrative forms, innovative uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unique camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. Welles's long career in film is noted for his struggle for artistic control in the face of pressure from studios. Many of his films were heavily edited and others left unreleased. He has been praised as a major creative force and as "the ultimate auteur." After directing a number of high-profile theatrical productions in his early twenties, including an innovative adaptation of Macbeth and The Cradle Will Rock, Welles found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds performed for the radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was reported to have caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was occurring. Although these reports of panic were mostly false and overstated,[2] they rocketed Welles to instant notoriety. Citizen Kane (1941), his first film with RKO, in which he starred in the role of Charles Foster Kane, is often considered the greatest film ever made. Several of his other films, including The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), Touch of Evil (1958), Chimes at Midnight (1965), and F for Fake (1974), are also widely considered to be masterpieces. In 2002, he was voted the greatest film director of all time in two separate British Film Institute polls among directors and critics, and a wide survey of critical consensus, best-of lists, and historical retrospectives calls him the most acclaimed director of all time. Well known for his baritone voice, Welles was also an extremely well regarded actor and was voted number 16 in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars list of the greatest American film actors of all time. He was also a celebrated Shakespearean stage actor and an accomplished magician, starring in troop variety shows in the war years.

Starring Orson Welles on Plex


Acting (79 Credits)

2020Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind
2018The Other Side of the Wind as Journalist (voice)
2010Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff as Genghis Khan / Bayan (archive footage)
2001A Huey P. Newton Story
1987Someone to Love as Danny's FriendWatch Free
1986The Transformers: The Movie as Unicron (voice)
1982Genocide as Narrator (voice)
1982Slapstick of Another Kind as Aliens' Father (voice)
1981The Man Who Saw Tomorrow as Presenter / Narrator
1981Butterfly as Judge Rauch
1981History of the World: Part I as Narrator
1980Shogun as Narrator
1980The Secret Life of Nikola Tesla as J.P. Morgan
1980Shogun as Narrator
1979The Muppet Movie as Lew Lord
1977It Happened One Christmas as Henry F. Potter
1976Voyage of the Damned as José Estedes
1975Rikki-Tikki-Tavi as Narrator / Nag / Chuchundra (voice)Watch Free
1974Ten Little Indians as Voice on Tape
1973The Battle of Sutjeska as Winston Churchill
1972Necromancy as Mr. Cato
1972Treasure Island as Long John Silver
1972Get to Know Your Rabbit as Mr. Delasandro
1971The Legend of Doom House as Cassavius
1971Directed by John Ford as Narrator (voice)
1971A Safe Place as The Magician
1971Ten Days Wonder as Théo Van Horn
1970Waterloo as Louis XVIII
1970The Kremlin Letter as Bresnavitch
1970Catch-22 as Brigadier General Dreedle
1970Start the Revolution Without Me as The Narrator
1969The Battle of Neretva as Četnik
1969Tepepa as Colonel Cascorro
196912 + 1 as Markan
1969The Southern Star as Plankett
1968The Immortal Story as Charles Clay
1967I'll Never Forget What's'isname as Jonathan Lute
1967Casino Royale as Le Chiffre
1966Is Paris Burning? as Konsul Nordling
1966A Man for All Seasons as Cardinal Wolsey
1965Chimes at Midnight as Falstaff
1965Marco the Magnificent as Akerman, Marco's Teacher
1963Ro.Go.Pa.G. as The 'Director' (segment "La ricotta")
1963The V.I.P.s as Max Buda
1962The Trial as Albert Hastler
1961King of Kings as Narrator (Voice)
1960David and Goliath as Re Saul
1960The Battle of Austerlitz as Robert Fulton
1959Compulsion as Jonathan Wilk
1958Touch of Evil as Police Captain Hank Quinlan
1958The Long, Hot Summer as Will Varner
1958The Roots of Heaven as Cy Sedgewick
1958The Vikings as Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
1957Man in the Shadow as Virgil Renchler
1956Moby Dick as Father Mapple
1955Confidential Report as Gregory Arkadin
1955Three Cases of Murder as Lord Mountdrago ("Lord Mountdrago" segment)
1955Napoleon as Sir Hudson Lowe
1954Royal Affairs in Versailles as Benjamin Franklin
1953Return to Glennascaul as Narrator
1952The Little World of Don Camillo as Voice of Christ
1951Othello as Othello
1950The Black Rose as Bayan
1949Black Magic as Joseph Balsamo aka Count Cagliostro
1949Prince of Foxes as Cesare Borgia
1949The Third Man as Harry Lime
1948Macbeth as Macbeth
1947The Lady from Shanghai as Michael O'HaraWatch Free
1946Tomorrow Is Forever as John Andrew MacDonald
1946The Stranger as Charles RankinWatch Free
1946Duel in the Sun as Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
1943Jane Eyre as Edward Rochester
1943Journey Into Fear as Colonel Haki
1942The Magnificent Ambersons as Narrator (voice)
1941Citizen Kane as Charles Foster Kane
1940Swiss Family Robinson as Opening Narrator
1938Too Much Johnson as Keystone Kop
1937The Spanish Earth as Narrator (voice)
1934The Hearts of Age as Death

Himself (11 Credits)

2018They'll Love Me When I'm Dead as Himself (archive footage)
2018The Eyes of Orson Welles as Himself (archive footage)
2018The Great Buster as Self
2014Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles as Self / Various Roles (archive footage)
2002Lost in La Mancha as Himself (archive footage)
1995A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies as Himself
1995The Battle Over Citizen Kane as Himself (archive footage)
1993It's All True as Himself
1993La Classe américaine as Self (archive footage)
1992Don Quixote as Himself
1973F for Fake as Himself


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