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Today in History: Orson Welles Dies of a Heart Attack (1985)

Genius, director, actor, writer, producer. These are some of the titles that the late Orson Welles had in his long list of credentials. More titles would be then added in his decorated life even after his death in 1985.

The War of the Worlds ignited the infamy that made Orson Welles so known for. His 60-minute radio broadcast struck fear in the hearts of listeners as the broadcast depicted a world under siege by extra terrestrial forces. It was based on a sci-fi book written by H.G. Wells. Though panic and terror among the population of listeners is still debated until today, it is without a doubt a broadcast that made the world listen with such great intent. His well known baritone voice made the airwaves his domain as simulated news bulletins took over and the imagination of the people turned unto them.

The young Orson Welles was a prolific student of the arts and the stage. Being born in a family with great influences, Welles had to make his own way into the world. He took the knowledge imparted to him in school and with a talent set to match in order to make a name for himself in a burgeoning world of art and theater.

His classic directorial feat on Citizen Kane as well as his part in portraying the life and legacy of newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane cemented his spot among Hollywood greats. His film was regarded by some critics to be the greatest film ever made and was accompanied by awards such as Best Writing (Original Screenplay) although it did not take to flight in the box office. Welles was deeply involved in all aspects of the films he created, going long lengths to ensure creative and even technical control over all aspects such as the editing and writing process.

Orson Welles died of a heart attack in 1985 at his home in Los Angeles. At a ripe age, he was still writing and typing for a project that was to begin shooting the next day. Welles lived a life of art and did so until his remaining moments.

All information used in this article were sourced from Orson Welles website, Wikipedia, IMDB.

You might also want to check out George Eastman to Premiere Restored Orson Welles Film in October 2013.

written by cheeo

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