Orson Welles

  • Birth Name: George Orson Welles
  • Birth Place: Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
  • Died: October 9, 1985
  • Profession: Actor, Director, Writer, Producer
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Fast Facts

  • Was a child prodigy who excelled at poetry, painting, acting, the piano and magic.
  • Made his first stage appearance at age 5 with a walk-on role in the Chicago Opera's production of Samson and Delilah.
  • Terrified radio listeners and caused a nationwide panic with a realistic 1938 broadcast of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds.
  • Was only 25 when he produced, directed, cowrote and starred in the 1941 masterpiece Citizen Kane, which was voted No. 1 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Greatest Movies.
  • Was George Lucas's first choice to voice Darth Vader in Star Wars.
  • Never won a Best Director Oscar but received an Honorary Oscar in 1970.


  • 1941, Oscar — Best Writing (Original Screenplay): Winner
  • 1976, Grammy — Best Spoken Word Album: Winner
  • 1981, Grammy — Best Spoken Word Album: Winner
  • 1982, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1941, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 1941, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1970, Oscar — Honorary Award: Winner
  • 1959, Cannes Film Festival — Best Actor: Winner
  • 1983, Directors Guild of America Awards — Lifetime Achievement in Feature Film: Winner
  • 1968, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actor: Nominee
  • 1952, Cannes Film Festival — Grand Prix: Winner
  • 1978, Grammy — Best Spoken Word Album: Winner


  • Geraldine Fitzgerald — Ex-significant Other
  • Oja Kodar — Significant Other
  • Richard Head Welles — Father
  • Virginia Nicholson — Ex-wife
  • Beatrice Welles-Smith — Daughter
  • Beatrice Ives — Mother
  • Richard Ives Welles — Brother
  • Rita Hayworth — Ex-wife
  • Christopher Welles Feder — Daughter
  • Paola Mori — Wife
  • Rebecca Welles Manning — Daughter

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