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George Orson Welles was a uniquely talented artist, but one who was doomed to spend much of his life unable to realize his ambitions. It didn't start that way: Welles was a precocious and gifted child who began acting, writing, and directing for theater in his teens. In the mid 1930s he established himself as a radio actor (on "The March of Time" and "The Shadow," among other shows) and then, with partner John Houseman, revolutionized both the radio medium and the theater with the forwardthinking productions of the Mercury Players. Their "War of the Worlds" broadcast on Halloween night of 1938 made history when it scared the bejeezus out of thousands of listeners ... and helped plant the name of Orson Welles in the national consciousness.

His first film to be seen by the public was Citizen Kane (1941), a commercial failure losing RKO $150,000, but regarded by many as the best film ever made. Many of his next films were commercial failures and he exiled himself to Europe in 1948. In 1956 he directed Touch of Evil (1958); it failed in the U.S. but won a prize at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. In 1975, in spite of all his box-office failures, he received the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1984 the Directors Guild of America awarded him its highest honor, the D.W. Griffith Award. His reputation as a film maker has climbed steadily ever since.

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George Orson Welles was a uniquely talented artist, but one who was doomed to spend much of his life unable to realize his ambitions. It didn't start that way: Welles was a precocious and gifted child who began acting, writing, and directing for theater in his teens. In the mid 1930s he established himself as a radio actor (on "The March of Time" and "The Shadow," among other shows) and then, with partner John Houseman, revolutionized both the radio medium and the theater with the forwardthinking productions of the Mercury Players. Their "War of the Worlds" broadcast on Halloween night of 1938 made history when it scared the bejeezus out of thousands of listeners ... and helped plant the name of Orson Welles in the national consciousness.

His first film to be seen by the public was Citizen Kane (1941), a commercial failure losing RKO $150,000, but regarded by many as the best film ever made. Many of his next films were commercial failures and he exiled himself to Europe in 1948. In 1956 he directed Touch of Evil (1958); it failed in the U.S. but won a prize at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. In 1975, in spite of all his box-office failures, he received the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1984 the Directors Guild of America awarded him its highest honor, the D.W. Griffith Award. His reputation as a film maker has climbed steadily ever since. More

 
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