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Orson Welles
Orson Welles 1937.jpg
Welles on March 1, 1937 (age 21), photographed by Carl Van Vechten
Born
George Orson Welles

(1915-05-06)May 6, 1915
Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States
Died October 10, 1985(1985-10-10) (aged 70)
Resting place Ronda, Málaga, Andalusia, Spain
Alma mater School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Occupation
  • Actor
  • director
  • writer
  • producer
Years active 1931–1985
Home town Woodstock, Illinois, U.S.
Spouse(s)
  • Virginia Nicolson
  • (married 1934–1940)
  • Rita Hayworth
  • (married 1943–1947)
  • Paola Mori
  • (married 1955–1985)
Partner(s)
Children 3, including Beatrice Welles
Signature
Orson Welles signature.svg

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American director of movies and the theatre, as well as an actor, screenwriter, broadcaster and producer.

Welles was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

In 1938, he performed The War of the Worlds (about an attack on Earth by beings from the planet Mars) on the radio. It was a radio drama (fiction), but many people took it as a newscast.

Welles also made the movie Citizen Kane in 1941. Many movie critics think that this movie is the best movie ever made.

Welles died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California, aged 70.

Personal life

Welles and Virginia Nicolson Welles with their daughter Christopher Marlowe Welles (1938)
Welles and Dolores del Río (1941)
Wedding of Welles and Rita Hayworth, with best man Joseph Cotten (September 7, 1943)
Daughter Rebecca Welles and Rita Hayworth (December 23, 1946)
Paola Mori and Welles, days before their marriage (May 1955)

Orson Welles and Chicago-born actress and socialite Virginia Nicolson (1916–1996) were married on November 14, 1934. The couple separated in December 1939 and were divorced on February 1, 1940.

Infatuated with her since adolescence, Welles met del Río at Darryl Zanuck's ranch soon after he moved to Hollywood in 1939. Del Río returned to Mexico in 1943, shortly before Welles married Rita Hayworth.

Welles married Rita Hayworth on September 7, 1943. They were divorced on November 10, 1947.

In 1955, Welles married actress Paola Mori (née Countess Paola di Gerfalco), an Italian aristocrat. They were wed in London May 8, 1955 and never divorced.

Croatian-born artist and actress Oja Kodar became Welles's longtime companion both personally and professionally from 1966 onward, and they lived together for some of the last 20 years of his life.

Welles had three daughters from his marriages: Christopher Welles Feder (born March 27, 1938, with Virginia Nicolson); Rebecca Welles Manning (December 17, 1944 – October 17, 2004, with Rita Hayworth); and Beatrice Welles (born November 13, 1955, with Paola Mori).

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