Profile of the Day: Orson Welles

Posted May 6, 2020 by Amanda | No Comment

On this day in 1915, Orson Welles was born. An actor, writer, director, and producer, Welles is remembered as one of the most influential filmmakers in history.

Image: Orson Welles / Library of Congress

Welles was born on May 6, 1915 in Kenosha, Wisconsin to Beatrice Ives, a pianist, and Richard Head Welles, an inventor of a popular bicycle lamp. After his father’s death in 1930, Welles traveled to Ireland, where he made his acting debut at the Gate Theater in Dublin. When he returned to the United States, Welles juggled his work in the theater with his extensive work as a radio actor, writer, director, and producer.

In 1938, Welles skyrocketed to fame as the narrator and director of the radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’s novel, The War of the Worlds. He followed up his radio success with his first feature film, Citizen Kane, in which he not only starred as the lead, but also co-wrote, directed, and produced the film. The 1941 movie is still considered to be one of the greatest films ever made. Today, Welles is largely considered one of the greatest directors of all time.

Explore Orson Welles’s family tree and share how you’re connected!

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Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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