Orson Welles (1915–1985)

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His father, Richard Head Welles, was a well-to-do inventor, his mother, Beatrice (Ives) Welles, a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died in 1924 (when he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. He was orphaned at 15 after his father's death in 1930 and ... See full bio »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 35 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »


Known For

Touch of Evil Police Captain Hank Quinlan
The Lady from Shanghai Michael O'Hara
The Trial Albert Hastler - The Advocate / Narrator


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (130 credits)
 1987 Someone to Love
Danny's Friend
 1986 Hot Money
Sheriff Paisley
 1986 The Transformers: The Movie
Unicron (voice)
 1985 Moonlighting (TV Series)
Orson Welles
- The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice (1985) ... Orson Welles
 1981-1984 Magnum, P.I. (TV Series)
Robin Masters
- Luther Gillis: File #001 (1984) ... Robin Masters (voice)
- Squeeze Play (1983) ... Robin Masters (voice)
- The Big Blow (1983) ... Robin Masters (voice, uncredited)
- Birdman of Budapest (1983) ... Robin Masters (voice, uncredited)
- Double Jeopardy (1982) ... Robin Masters (voice, uncredited)
 1984 Where Is Parsifal?
 1982 The Dreamers (Short)
Marcus Kleek
 1982 Wagner e Venezia (TV Movie)
Richard Wagner (voice)
 1982 Slapstick of Another Kind
Aliens' Father (voice, uncredited)
 1981 Butterfly
Judge Rauch
 1981 The Enchanted Journey
Pippo (English version, voice)
 1981 Tales of the Klondike (TV Mini Series)
- Love of Life (1981) ... Narrator
- The Unexpected (1981) ... Narrator
- Scorn of Women (1981) ... Narrator
- The Race for Number One (1981) ... Narrator
- The One Thousand Dozen (1981) ... Narrator
 1981 History of the World: Part I
Narrator (voice)
 1981 The Man Who Saw Tomorrow
 1980 The Greenstone Narrated by Orson Welles (Short)
Narrator (voice)
 1980 Shogun (TV Mini Series)
- Episode #1.5 (1980) ... Narrator (voice, uncredited)
- Episode #1.4 (1980) ... Narrator (voice)
- Episode #1.3 (1980) ... Narrator (voice)
- Episode #1.2 (1980) ... Narrator (voice)
- Episode #1.1 (1980) ... Narrator (voice)
 1980 Shogun (TV Movie)
Narrator (voice)
 1980 The Secret Life of Nikola Tesla
J.P. Morgan
 1979 The New Media Bible: Book of Genesis (Video)
 1979 To Try Again... and Succeed (Short)
Narrator (voice)
 1979 The Double McGuffin
Narrator (voice)
 1979 The Muppet Movie
Lew Lord
 1978 A Woman Called Moses (TV Mini Series)
- Episode #1.2 (1978) ... Narrator (voice)
- Episode #1.1 (1978) ... Narrator (voice)
 1978 The Biggest Battle
Narrator (voice, uncredited)
 1977 Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Short)
Narrator (voice)
 1977 It Happened One Christmas (TV Movie)
Henry F. Potter
 1977 Hot Tomorrows
Parklawn Mortuary (voice)
 1976 Voyage of the Damned
Jose Estedes
 1975 Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (TV Short)
Narrator / Nag / Chuchundra (voice)
 1974 Ten Little Indians
U. N. Owen / and the voice of (voice)
 1973 The Battle of Sutjeska
Winston Churchill
 1972 The Man Who Came to Dinner (TV Movie)
Sheridan Whiteside
 1972 Treasure Island
Long John Silver
 1972 Get to Know Your Rabbit
Mr. Delasandro
 1972 Necromancy
Mr. Cato
 1971 London (Short)
Presenter / Winston Churchill / One-Man Band / ...
 1971 The Legend of Doom House
 1971 Freedom River (Short)
Narrator (voice)
 1971 Ten Days Wonder
Théo Van Horn - un multimillionnaire qui vit en despote dans sa maison
 1971 Night Gallery (TV Series)
Narrator (segment "Silent Snow, Secret Snow")
- The Phantom Farmhouse/Silent Snow, Secret Snow (1971) ... Narrator (segment "Silent Snow, Secret Snow") (voice)
 1971 A Safe Place
The Magician
 1970 The Deep
Russ Brewer
 1970 Is It Always Right to Be Right? (Short)
Narrator (voice)
 1970 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (TV Series)
Guest Performer
- Vincent Price, Rod Serling, Orson Welles (1970) ... Guest Performer
 1970/I Waterloo
 1970 The Name of the Game (TV Series)
- The Enemy Before Us (1970) ... Narrator
 1970 Upon This Rock (TV Movie)
Michelangelo (voice)
 1970 Catch-22
General Dreedle
 1970 Start the Revolution Without Me
The Narrator
 1970 The Kremlin Letter
 1969 The Merchant of Venice (TV Movie)
 1969 To Build a Fire
Narrator (voice)
 1969 12 + 1
Maurice Markau
 1969 The Battle of Neretva
 1969 Kampf um Rom II - Der Verrat
 1969 The Southern Star
 1969 Tepepa
Colonel Cascorro
 1968 The Last Roman
Emperor Justinian
 1968 House of Cards
 1968 Oedipus the King
 1968 The Immortal Story (TV Movie)
Mr. Charles Clay
 1967 I'll Never Forget What's'isname
Jonathan Lute
 1967 The Sailor from Gibraltar
Louis de Mozambique
 1967 Casino Royale
Le Chiffre
 1966 A Man for All Seasons
Cardinal Wolsey
 1966 Is Paris Burning?
Consul Raoul Nordling
 1965 La isla del tesoro (Short)
Long John Silver
 1965 Treasure Island (Short)
Long John Silver
 1965 Chimes at Midnight
 1965 Marco the Magnificent
Akerman, Marco's Tutor
 1965 High Journey (Short)
Narrator (voice)
 1964 The Finest Hours (Documentary)
Narrator (voice)
 1963 The V.I.P.s
Max Buda
 1963 Ro.Go.Pa.G.
The 'Director' (segment "La ricotta")
 1962 The Trial
Albert Hastler - The Advocate / Narrator
 1962 Lafayette
Benjamin Franklin
 1961 King of Kings
Narrator (voice, uncredited)
 1961 The Tartars
 1960 The Battle of Austerlitz
Robert Fulton
 1960 An Arabian Night (TV Movie)
 1960 Crack in the Mirror
Hagolin / Lamerciere
 1960 David and Goliath
King Saul
 1959 Ferry to Hong Kong
Captain Hart
 1959 Compulsion
Jonathan Wilk
 1958 Masters of the Congo Jungle (Documentary)
Narrator, English Language Version (voice)
 1958 The Roots of Heaven
Cy Sedgewick
 1958 Colgate Theatre (TV Series)
- Fountain of Youth (1958) ... Narrator
 1958 The Fountain of Youth (TV Movie)
Host / Narrator
 1958 South Seas Adventure
Supplemental Narrator (voice)
 1958 The Vikings
Narrator (voice, uncredited)
 1958 Touch of Evil
Police Captain Hank Quinlan
 1958 The Long, Hot Summer
Will Varner
 1957/I Man in the Shadow
Virgil Renchler
 1956 I Love Lucy (TV Series)
Orson Welles
- Lucy Meets Orson Welles (1956) ... Orson Welles
 1956 Moby Dick
Father Mapple
 1956 Ford Star Jubilee (TV Series)
Oscar Jaffe
- Twentieth Century (1956) ... Oscar Jaffe
 1955 Moby Dick Rehearsed (TV Movie)
An Actor Manager / Father Mapple / Ahab
 1955 Confidential Report
Gregory Arkadin
 1955 Napoleon
Sir Hudson Lowe
 1954 Three Cases of Murder
Lord Mountdrago ("Lord Mountdrago" segment)
 1954 Trouble in the Glen
Sanin Cejador y Mengues
 1954 Royal Affairs in Versailles
 1953 Omnibus (TV Series)
King Lear (segment)
- King Lear (1953) ... King Lear (segment)
 1953 L'uomo la bestia e la virtù
Captain Perella - the Beast
 1952 Return to Glennascaul (Short)
Narrator / Orson Welles
 1952 Trent's Last Case
Sigsbee Manderson
 1952 The Little World of Don Camillo
Narrator (voice)
 1951 Othello
 1950 The Black Rose
 1949 Prince of Foxes
Cesare Borgia
 1949 The Third Man
Harry Lime
 1949 Black Magic
Joseph Balsamo aka Count Cagliostro
 1948 Macbeth
 1947 The Lady from Shanghai
Michael O'Hara
 1946 Duel in the Sun
Narrator (voice, uncredited)
 1946 The Stranger
Prof. Charles Rankin
 1946 Tomorrow Is Forever
John Andrew MacDonald / Erik Kessler
 1944 Follow the Boys
Orson Welles (uncredited)
 1943 Jane Eyre
Edward Rochester
 1943 Journey Into Fear
Colonel Haki
 1942 The Magnificent Ambersons
Narrator (voice)
 1941 Citizen Kane
 1940 Swiss Family Robinson
Opening Narrator (uncredited)
 1939 The Green Goddess (Short)
Rajah / Narrator
 1938 Too Much Johnson
Keystone Kop
 1938 The Mercury Theatre on the Air (Podcast Series)
Clarence / Sergeant Buzzfuzz / Mr. Jingle / ...
- Clarence (1938) ... Clarence
- The Pickwick Papers (1938) ... Sergeant Buzzfuzz / Mr. Jingle
- A Passenger to Bali (1938) ... Reverend Dr. Ralph Walkes
- Heart of Darkness/Life with Father (1938) ... Author / Ernest Kurtz (segment: Heart of Darkness)
- Around the World in Eighty Days (1938) ... Phineas Fogg
 1934 The Hearts of Age (Short)
 1933 Twelfth Night (Short)
Show Show Director (63 credits)
Show Show Writer (70 credits)
Show Show Producer (27 credits)
Show Show Editor (11 credits)
Show Show Camera and Electrical Department (1 credit)
Show Show Soundtrack (8 credits)
Show Show Costume designer (3 credits)
Show Show Music department (3 credits)
Show Show Production designer (3 credits)
Show Show Cinematographer (2 credits)
Show Show Art department (1 credit)
Show Show Art director (1 credit)
Show Show Script and Continuity Department (1 credit)
Show Show Additional Crew (1 credit)
Show Show Thanks (22 credits)
Show Show Self (164 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (196 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Audio book (Japan only): Narrated Evelyn Waugh's "A Handful of Dust". See more »

Publicity Listings:

16 Biographical Movies | 50 Print Biographies | 26 Portrayals | 58 Articles | 2 Pictorials | 6 Magazine Cover Photos | See more »

Official Sites:

Facebook | Twitter

Alternate Names:

O. W. Jeeves | G.O. Spelvin | Orson Wells | Wells


6' (1.83 m)


Paola Mori  (his death)  (1 child) | See more »


Beatrice Welles | See more »


Richard Head Welles | Beatrice Ives

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[on a lunch encounter with Richard Burton] Richard Burton had great talent. He's ruined his great gifts. He's become a joke with a celebrity wife. Now he just works for money, does the worst shit. And I wasn't rude. To quote Carl Laemmle, "I gave him an evasive answer. I told him, 'Go fuck yourself'.". See more »


Was voted the Second Greatest Film Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. See more »


Frequently played characters decades older than his real age. See more »


The Great One

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