ORSON WELLES, ENGLAND, OCTOBER, 1972

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David Steen recalls: “He made Citizen Kane in 1942 when he was 25 years old. Thirty years later, when this photograph was taken, he was often derided (‘America’s youngest living has-been’ was coined while he was still in his twenties) and he himself admitted that he began at the top and ‘had been working my way down ever since.’ He worked less and ate more and was so fat at one stage that he couldn’t walk. When I photographed him he was in a wheelchair. Every one of us with him that day knew we were in the presence of a genius.”
Location: England
Year: 1972
Biography: Born in Wisconsin in 1915, Welles lost both his parents at a young age – his mother when he was nine years old, and his father three years later. He first found fame for his radio work and his dramatisation of H. G. Welles’ War of the Worlds, broadcast on Halloween, 1938 and which caused massive controversy when listeners truly believed they were listening to news reports of an alien invasion. His first film was RKO’s Citizen Kane (1941). Hard to imagine now that it was a box office flop, such is the acclaim in which it is held. Its many innovations changed the way films were made forever and earned it nine Academy Award nominations – it won just one for Best Screenplay. He was only 25 years old, and the world should have been at his feet. However, commercial success as a director eluded him. He continued directing films throughout his life, usually with the same story of critical success and box-office failure, making a better living as a highly-accomplished actor (his portrayal of Harry Lime in the 1949 film The Third Man is a particular high point). He was married to first wife Rita Hayworth for five years and they had a daughter.
Print Type: Fibre-based Harman Galerie FB Digital
Printed by: Metro Imaging, London
Limited Editions: All prints are limited editions, no further prints are produced once sold
Bespoke: All prints are bespoke and printed to order, stamped and numbered
Presentation: Prints are supplied to clients flat in an acid-free box or rolled in a tube
Watermark: Watermarks will not be present on an original print
Tags: george orson welles, american actor, author, director, producer, citizen kane, touch of evil, f for fake, confidential report
Copyright: © David Steen / The David Steen Archive