Orson Welles – photos and quotes

Orson Welles

“But I’m sure Hollywood isn’t what it used to be. Once it was what people expected, a wild boom town, where a new gold had been discovered, and actors, naturally a crazy and vagabond ilk, ran loose. Today that’s gone. Hollywood is horribly respectable. The actors are too sober. They play cricket and polo; they read books and build big homes and do the right things. It’s all very middle class. That is because Hollywood is now in its second generation. It’s behaving, maturing, and the actors are busy being cultured and making money. I’m a dreadfully commercial creature myself. But, in brief, Hollywood is socially disillusioning. Like a million actors toiling in a factory, which indeed they are. The weakness of the town is not that it hasn’t the best people, because it has. The weakness is that the best people aren’t doing their best work. All very amazing!”Orson Welles

Source: George Benjamin (1940)
Photo: Ernest Bachrach


Orson Welles reading

“A good artist should be isolated. If he isn’t isolated, something is wrong.”Orson Welles


Orson Welles painting

Orson Welles. Artist: Gus Schilling. Year: 1941. Oil on canvas board. 16 x 12 inches.


Rita Hayworth Orson Welles Magic 1943

“Apparently, the way to a girl’s heart is to saw her in half.” – Victor Mature, after Rita Hayworth dumped him for Orson Welles. Hayworth and Welles [pictured, here, in 1943] had been working together on a charity magic act at the time.


Orson Welles The Lady from Shanghai 1947

“I write, produce, direct, and act in the movies. I write, produce, direct, and act on the radio. I write, produce, direct, and act on the stage. Isn’t it too bad there are so many of me and so few of you?”Orson Welles

Source: Herb Drake (1947)

Photo: The Lady from Shanghai (1947)


Orson Welles

“I never thought about whether I could do things – I just went ahead and did them.”Orson Welles


Superman meets Orson Welles

Welles helping out Superman in 1950. Or is it the other way around?


I Love Lucy (1956). With Lucille Ball and Orson Welles as a guest star. Bizarre Los Angeles

“I discovered at the age of six that almost everything in this world was phony, worked with mirrors. Since then, I’ve always wanted to be a magician.”Orson Welles

Source: 1943

Photo: I Love Lucy (1956). With Lucille Ball.


Orson Welles Directing

“A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.”Orson Welles


Orson Welles sketch

1981. Artist: Nicholas Volpe. Pastel on 12½” x 10½” lightly affixed to a 15″ x 10″ piece of paper with the subject’s name misspelled at the bottom. Created for The Brown Derby, the “Restaurant of the Stars.”



“The terrible thing about L.A. is that you sit down when you’re 25 and when you stand up you’re 62.”Orson Welles

Source: Peter Bogdanovich

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