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April 25, 2023
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Citizen Welles

A Biography of Orson Welles

George Orson Welles (1915–1985) is considered to be among the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. At just twenty-five years old, he cowrote, produced, directed, and starred in his Academy Award–winning debut film Citizen Kane (1941). His innovative and distinctive directorial style—nonlinear narratives, unusual camera angles, deep focus shots, and long takes—continues to be emulated by directors and cinematographers to this day. The brilliant yet provocative Welles won multiple Grammys, a Golden Globe, and the greatest honor the Directors Guild of America bestowed: the D. W. Griffith Award. His final film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in 2018, 33 years after his death.

In Citizen Welles: A Biography of Orson Welles, author Frank Brady presents a comprehensive and complete picture of the artist and auteur. Painstakingly researched, Brady delves into Welles's creative achievements, from his critically acclaimed film Citizen Kane and controversial radio broadcast "The War of the Worlds" (1938) to his starring turn on Broadway in Shaw's Heartbreak House (for which he made the cover of Time). Brady also explores other notable films, including The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), Touch of Evil (1958), and Chimes at Midnight (1965). This all-encompassing work also details the personal side of Welles's life, including his romances with Rita Hayworth and Dolores Del Rio and the confounding tragedy of his final years. Presented is a captivating and compelling encapsulation of the revered and respected artist.

About the Author

Frank Brady is an American writer, editor, and professor emeritus at St. John's University. Brady has authored over ten books and is best known for his work on chess genius Bobby Fischer. His critically acclaimed biographies include Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy, Onassis: An Extravagant Life, Barbra Streisand: An Illustrated Biography, Hefner, and Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall.


"Citizen Welles is a serious, respectful, well-written, and ultimately moving account. . . . The author of biographies of Bobby Fischer, Barbra Streisand, and Aristotle Onassis writes with obvious sympathy and affection for Welles. . . . As an exhaustively detailed catalogue of everything he ever did on the stage, on radio and in film, as well as everything he ever wanted to do, Citizen Welles may well be definitive."—The New York Times

"Monumental, authoritative, and exhaustive. . . . If [Brady's biography] is not definitive, it is probably because Welles may not ultimately be definable. Brady's detailing of Welles's life is amazingly full."—The Los Angeles Times


9780813197135 : citizen-welles-brady
Paperback / softback
692 Pages
$40.00 USD

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