Photo of Orson Welles Orson Welles

"Boy genius" Orson Welles was born May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, Wis., displaying an extraordinary talent for acting at a young age. He made his Broadway debut in 1934 in "Romeo & Juliet," and in 1937, he and John Houseman formed the Mercury Theater Company -- a group renowned for its innovative plays and radio shows, such as the infamous 1938 broadcast of "War of the Worlds."

Hollywood beckoned, and at age 25, Welles co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in Citizen Kane. It was swiftly hailed as a masterpiece, earning him his only Oscar (for Original Screenplay). His later directing efforts included The Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady from Shanghai and Touch of Evil.

Later in life, Welles directed several Shakespeare adaptations and acted often in films such as The Third Man, A Man for All Seasons, The Muppet Movie and Someone to Love (1987). He died Oct. 10, 1985.

Orson Welles in Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane

1941 PG

Still considered one of the greatest films ever made, Orson Welles's complex and technically stunning film chronicles newspaper baron Charles Foster Kane's rise from poverty to become one of America's most influential men.

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