Orson Welles - Famous Film Producer

Orson Welles Net Worth


Orson Welles, the famous American actor, director, writer, and producer, had a net worth of $20 million at the time of his death in 1985, making him a wealthy celebrity. Throughout his successful career in film, radio, and theater, Welles was known for his groundbreaking works such as the Broadway production ‘Caesar,’ the iconic radio broadcast ‘The War of the Worlds,’ and the legendary film ‘Citizen Kane.’ His immense talent and creative genius contributed to his impressive net worth and solidified his status as one of the greatest film directors of all time.

Key facts:

  • Orson Welles was an American actor, director, writer, and producer.
  • He became well known for his radio broadcast adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel 'The War of the Worlds', which caused widespread panic that aliens were invading Earth.
  • Welles is recognized for directing and starring in the critically acclaimed film 'Citizen Kane', which continues to be ranked as one of the greatest films ever made.
  • He won an Oscar in 1942 for 'Citizen Kane' and was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls of critics and directors.
  • Welles had a tumultuous personal life, being married and divorced multiple times, and having relationships with several notable actresses including Dolores del Rio and Rita Hayworth.

Basic Information About Orson Welles

CategoryCelebrities โ€บ Directors
ProfessionsFilm Director, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Television Director, Playwright, Film Editor, Theatre Director, Costume Designer, Production Designer
Net worth$20,000,000
Date of birth1915-05-06
Place of birthKenosha
Date of death1985-10-10 (aged 70)
NationalityUnited States of America
Curiosities and TrademarksOne of the most recognizable deep voices in all of film, radio or television.
Frequently cast Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, Oja Kodar, Everett Sloane, Akim Tamiroff, Ray Collins, Erskine Sanford, and Paul Stewart
Frequently wrote, directed, and/or starred in films that feature the rise and fall of the main character, often unmade by their own vices: Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane (1941), George Amberson Minafer in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), Macbeth in Macbeth (1948), Othello in The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (1951), Gregory Arkadin in Confidential Report (1955), Detective Hank Quinlan in Touch of Evil (1958), Sir John Falstaff in Falstaff (Chimes at Midnight) (1965), and Jake Hannaford in The Other Side of the Wind (2018).
Known for his use of low camera angles, tracking shots, deep focus, overlapping dialogue, and elaborate crane shots in his films.
Often played characters decades older than his real age
Frequently worked with filmmakers Peter Bogdanovich, John Huston, and Oja Kodar, cinematographer Gary Graver, and composers Bernard Herrmann, Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, and Michel Legrand.
Frequently starts a film with the death of his main character, only to flashback and reveal the events leading up to their demise. Examples include: Citizen Kane (1941), The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (1951), Confidential Report (1955), and The Other Side of the Wind (2018).
Long takes
Deep focus
Expressionistic lighting
Low angles
SpousePaola Mori - (8 Mayย 1955 - 10 Octoberย 1985)ย (his death)ย (1 child)
Rita Hayworth - (7 Septemberย 1943 - 1 Decemberย 1948)ย (divorced)ย (1 child)
Virginia Nicolson - (14 Novemberย 1934 - 1 Februaryย 1940)ย (divorced)ย (1 child)
Height6 ft (1.854 m)
Social Mediaโ†—๏ธŽ Wikipedia โ†—๏ธŽ IMDb

What Movie Awards did Orson Welles win?


Golden Globe

Golder Raspberry


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Orson Welles awards

Award Name State Movie / Series Name Year
BSFC Award - Best Film EditingNomineeThe Other Side of the Wind2018
CFCA Award - Best EditingNomineeThe Other Side of the Wind2018
CinEuphoria - Best Screenplay - International CompetitionNomineeThe Other Side of the Wind2019
HPA Awards - Outstanding Editing - Feature FilmNomineeThe Other Side of the Wind2019
ICS Award - Best EditingNomineeThe Other Side of the Wind2019
INOCA - Best Film EditingWinnerThe Other Side of the Wind2019
SFFCC Award - Best Film EditingWinnerThe Other Side of the Wind2018
Top 10 Film Award - Best FilmNomineeLe procรจs1962
Critics Award - Best FilmWinnerLe procรจs1964
Golden Lion - Best FilmNomineeLe procรจs1962
Primetime Emmy - Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety or MusicWinnerLaugh-In1971

Orson Welles roles

Movie / Series Role
Casino RoyaleLe Chiffre
Get ShortyPolice Captain Hank Quinlan (archive footage) (uncredited)
Catch-22General Dreedle
A Man for All SeasonsCardinal Wolsey
History of the World: Part INarrator (voice)
The Muppet MovieLew Lord
The Transformers: The MovieUnicron (voice)
King of KingsNarrator (voice) (uncredited)
The Other Side of the WindDirector
The Other Side of the WindWriter
Le procรจsDirector
Le procรจsWriter
Le procรจsAlbert Hastler - The Advocate / Narrator
ButterflyJudge Rauch
The Bible: In the Beginning...Writer
WaterlooLouis XVIII
MoonlightingOrson Welles 1 episode, 1985
The Name of the GameNarrator 1 episode, 1970
The Dick Cavett ShowSelf - Guest / ... 4 episodes, 1970-1973
Laugh-InGuest Performer 1 episode, 1970

Orson Welles's Movie/Shows Salary

Movie / Series Salary
Jane Eyreย (1943)$100,000
Follow the Boysย (1944)$50,000
Tomorrow Is Foreverย (1946)$20,000
The Strangerย (1946)$50,000
Macbethย (1948)$100,000 (for acting, adapting and directing)
Black Magicย (1949)$100,000
The Third Manย (1949)$100,000
I Love Lucyย (1951)$15,000
Trouble in the Glenย (1954)ยฃ10,000
Around the World with Orson Wellesย (1955)ยฃ75 per episode
Moby Dickย (1956)ยฃ6,000
Lucy Meets Orson Wellesย (1956)$5,000
Man in the Shadowย (1957)$60,000
The Long, Hot Summerย (1958)$150,000
Touch of Evilย (1958)$125,000
The Roots of Heavenย (1958)settlement of debts worth $15,000
Compulsionย (1959)$100,000
The Kremlin Letterย (1970)$50,000

Orson Welles's Quotes

  • Even if the good old days never existed, the fact that we can conceive such a world is, in fact, an affirmation of the human spirit.
  • [on pop idol Donny Osmond] He has Van Gogh's ear for music.
  • I'm not very fond of movies. I don't go to them much.
  • I started at the top and worked down.
  • I'm not bitter about Hollywood's treatment of me, but over its treatment of D.W. Griffith, Josef von Sternberg, Erich von Stroheim, Buster Keaton and a hundred others.

Orson Welles's photos

The Life and Legacy of Orson Welles

Orson Welles was a multi-talented American actor, director, writer, and producer who left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin in May 1915, Welles went on to become one of the most influential figures in film, radio, and theater. His groundbreaking work and innovative storytelling techniques continue to inspire filmmakers and artists to this day.

Net Worth Details

At the time of his death in 1985, Orson Welles had amassed a net worth equal to $20 million, adjusting for inflation. His career spanned several decades, during which he achieved tremendous success and recognition for his artistic contributions. From his early beginnings in radio to his iconic film debut with Citizen Kane, Welles’ talent and creative vision propelled him to the pinnacle of his field.


What is Orson Welles known for?

Orson Welles is best known for his groundbreaking work in the theater, radio, and film industries. He gained fame as the director and star of the iconic film Citizen Kane, which is often regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made. Throughout his career, Welles pushed the boundaries of storytelling and technique, leaving an indelible legacy in each medium he explored.

Early life and education

Welles had a challenging childhood marked by his parents’ separation and his father’s alcoholism. Despite these difficulties, he showed signs of his creative brilliance from an early age. Raised by his mother after his father’s death, Welles attended Todd Seminary for Boys in Illinois where he was encouraged to explore his creativity through theatrical productions.


Welles began his stage career in Dublin, where he caught the attention of theater managers with his talent. He eventually returned to the United States and honed his craft by joining various theater companies. In 1934, he got his first radio job and quickly became a popular radio actor. Welles then founded his own theater company, the Mercury Theatre, which went on to produce several successful stage productions.

His career skyrocketed when he produced and directed the radio broadcast adaptation of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds” in 1938. The realistic portrayal of an alien invasion caused widespread panic among listeners, demonstrating Welles’ ability to captivate audiences with his storytelling skills.

In 1941, Welles made his directorial debut in film with Citizen Kane, a groundbreaking masterpiece that revolutionized the industry. The film’s innovative narrative structure, unique visual style, and compelling performances solidified Welles’ reputation as a visionary filmmaker.

  • The success of Citizen Kane led to the creation of several more critically acclaimed films, including The Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady from Shanghai, Touch of Evil, Chimes at Midnight, and F for Fake.
  • Throughout his career, Welles garnered numerous awards and accolades. He won an Academy Award for Citizen Kane and received an Honorary Award in 1971. His contributions to radio were acknowledged with three Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word Recording. In 1975, he was honored with the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award.

Personal Life and Death

Orson Welles had a tumultuous personal life, marked by multiple marriages and relationships. He was married three times, first to Virginia Nicolson, then to Rita Hayworth, and finally to Paola Mori. Welles also had a long-time companion, Oja Kodar, with whom he spent the final years of his life.

Orson Welles passed away on October 10, 1985, at the age of 70, following a heart attack. His death left a void in the world of entertainment, but his legacy continues to thrive through his timeless works. A small private funeral was held in his honor, attended by close family and friends. A public memorial tribute showcased the impact Welles had on the industry, with speakers like Charlton Heston and Geraldine Fitzgerald paying homage to his genius.


Orson Welles’ achievements in the entertainment industry are countless. He revolutionized storytelling in film, theater, and radio, leaving an unmistakable mark on each medium. Citizen Kane, his directorial masterpiece, remains an influential work that has shaped the art of filmmaking.

Welles’ innovative techniques and bold artistic vision continue to inspire generations of filmmakers and artists. His contributions to the arts have been widely recognized, earning him praise as the greatest film director of all time in British Film Institute polls and inclusion in the list of the 50 greatest Hollywood actors by ‘The Daily Telegraph’.

Orson Welles was a true visionary, pushing the boundaries of creativity and storytelling. His impact on the entertainment industry is immeasurable, and his legacy will live on for generations to come.

Interesting Facts about Orson Welles

  1. Once ate 18 hot dogs in one sitting at Pink's, a Los Angeles hot dog stand.
  2. Welles' Oscar statuette sold for $861,542, when it was auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Memorabilia on December 20, 2011.
  3. H.G. Wells was driving through San Antonio, Texas, and stopped to ask the way. The person he happened to ask was none other than Orson Welles, who had recently broadcast "The War of the Worlds" on the radio. They got on well and spent the day together.
  4. ABC-TV wanted him to play Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island (1977), but the series' producer, Aaron Spelling, insisted on Ricardo Montalban.
  5. He died on the same day as his Bitka na Neretvi (1969) co-star Yul Brynner: October 10, 1985.
  6. Ashes are buried inside an old well covered by flowers, within the rural property of the now-deceased, then-retired bullfighter Antonio Ordรณรฑez, Ronda, Malaga, Spain.
  7. One of only six actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his first starring role. The other five actors are: Paul Muni, Lawrence Tibbett, Alan Arkin, James Dean and Montgomery Clift.
  8. There is a longstanding urban myth that On October 30, 1938, he directed "The Mercury Theatre On the Air" in a dramatization of "The War of the Worlds", based on H.G. Wells's (whom coincidentally has a similar last name as Orson) novel. Setting the events in then-contemporary locations (The "landing spot" for the Martian invasion, Grover's Mill, New Jersey, was chosen at random with a New Jersey road map) and dramatizing it in the style of a musical program interrupted by news bulletins, complete with eyewitness accounts, it caused a nationwide panic, with many listeners fully convinced that the Earth was being invaded by Mars. The next day, Welles publicly apologized. While many lawsuits were filed against both Welles and the CBS radio network, all were dismissed. The incident is mentioned in textbook accounts of mass hysteria and the delusions of crowds. This has been completely debunked in Adam Ruins Everything: Adam Ruins Halloween (2017).
  9. Despite his reputation as an actor and master filmmaker, he maintained his memberships in the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians (neither of which are unions, but fraternal organizations), and regularly practiced sleight-of-hand magic in case his career came to an abrupt end. Welles occasionally performed at the annual conventions of each organization, and was considered by fellow magicians to be extremely accomplished.
  10. A bootleg tape of a short-tempered (and foul-mouthed) Welles arguing with a recording engineer during a voice-over session has been widely distributed. It was used as the basis for an episode of the animated series Pinky and the Brain (1995), with The Brain reading cleaned-up versions of Orson's rantings (the episode's title, "Yes, Always", is taken from one of Welles' complaints). Ironically, the actor who plays The Brain, Maurice LaMarche, dubbed the voice of the actor who portrays Welles in Ed Wood (1994).
  11. He was born on the same day that Babe Ruth hit his very first home run.
  12. He tried to make a film version of Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra' book "Don Quixote". He started working on it in 1955 and continued to film through the 1970s with Francisco Reiguera and Akim Tamiroff starring. An incomplete version was released in Spain in 1992.
  13. Made a Hollywood satire, The Other Side of the Wind (2018), starring John Huston and Peter Bogdanovich. Though it was completed, the post-production process was not and the film also ran into legal problems.
  14. Posthumously inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988.
  15. Frank Sinatra was the godfather of his and Rita Hayworth's daughter, Rebecca Welles.
  16. Host/narrator of the BBC/Mutual Radio's "The Black Museum" (1952).
  17. He portrayed the title character on the syndicated radio show "The Lives of Harry Lime" (also known as "The Third Man") (1951-52). This was based on his character from the film The Third Man (1949).
  18. Has the distinction of appearing in both the American Film Institute and British Film Institute's #1 movie. For AFI, it was Citizen Kane (1941). For BFI, it was The Third Man (1949). Welles shares this honor with Joseph Cotten, who also starred in both movies.
  19. He was the studio's first choice to play the voice-over role of OMM in THX 1138 (1971). However, director George Lucas insisted on casting the relatively unknown stage actor James Wheaton instead.
  20. Has provided voice for some songs by the heavy metal band Manowar: "Dark Avenger" and "Defender".

Orson Welles Famous Network

Male Celebrities โ™‚๏ธ With Net Worth Closest To $20,000,000

Female Celebrities โ™€๏ธ With Net Worth Closest To $20,000,000

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