Archive for the ‘1930’ Category


1931 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar 1931
Ab urbe condita 2684
Armenian calendar 1380
Assyrian calendar 6681
Bahá’í calendar 87–88
Bengali calendar 1338
Berber calendar 2881
British Regnal year 21 Geo. 5 – 22 Geo. 5
Buddhist calendar 2475
Burmese calendar 1293
Byzantine calendar 7439–7440
Chinese calendar 庚午年 (Metal Horse)
4627 or 4567
— to —
辛未年 (Metal Goat)
4628 or 4568
Coptic calendar 1647–1648
Discordian calendar 3097
Ethiopian calendar 1923–1924
Hebrew calendar 5691–5692
Hindu calendars
– Vikram Samvat 1987–1988
– Shaka Samvat 1852–1853
– Kali Yuga 5031–5032
Holocene calendar 11931
Igbo calendar 931–932
Iranian calendar 1309–1310
Islamic calendar 1349–1350
Japanese calendar Shōwa 6
Javanese calendar 1861–1862
Juche calendar 20
Julian calendar Gregorian minus 13 days
Korean calendar 4264
Minguo calendar ROC 20
Nanakshahi calendar 463
Thai solar calendar 2473–2474
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1931.
1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (dominical letter D) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1931st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 931st year of the 2nd millennium, the 31st year of the 20th century, and the 2nd year of the 1930s decade.


January – The National Committee for Modification of the Volstead Act is formed to work for the repeal of Prohibition in the United States.
January 2 – South Dakota native Ernest Lawrence invents the cyclotron, used to accelerate particles to study nuclear physics.
January 3 – Albert Einstein begins doing research at the California Institute of Technology, along with astronomer Edwin Hubble.
January 4 – German pilot Elly Beinhorn begins her flight to Africa.
January 6 – Thomas Edison submits his last patent application.
January 22 – Sir Isaac Isaacs is sworn in as the first Australian-born Governor-General of Australia.
January 25 – Mohandas Gandhi is again released from imprisonment in India.
January 27 – Pierre Laval forms a government in France.
January 30 – Release of the movie City Lights starring Charlie Chaplin.
February 3 – Hawke’s Bay earthquake: Much of the New Zealand cities of Napier and Hastings are destroyed in an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale killing 256 people.
February 4 – Soviet leader Joseph Stalin gives speech calling for rapid industrialization, arguing that only strong industrialized countries will win wars while “weak” nations are “beaten”. Stalin states : “We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or they will crush us.” Intensification of the First Five-Year Plan in the Soviet Union for industrialization and collectivization of agriculture.
February 10 – Official inauguration ceremonies for New Delhi as the capital of India begin.
February 11 – National Socialist (NSDAP) and German National People’s Party (DNVP) members walk out of the German Reichstag in protest against changes in the parliament’s protocol intended to limit heckling.
February 12 – Vatican Radio first broadcasts.
February 14 – The original film version of Dracula with Bela Lugosi is released in the United States.
February 16 – Pehr Evind Svinhufvud is elected president of Finland.
February 20 – California gets the go-ahead by the United States Congress to build the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge.
February 21 – Peruvian revolutionaries hijack a Ford Trimotor aeroplane and demand that the pilot drop propaganda leaflets over Lima.

February 10: New Delhi becomes India’s capital

February 21: Ford Trimotor hijacked
March 1 – The USS Arizona is placed back in full commission after a refit.
March 1 – Sir Oswald Mosley founds the New Party as a breakaway from the Labour Party in the United Kingdom.
March 3 – The Star-Spangled Banner is adopted as the United States’ National anthem.
March 5 – The British viceroy of India and Mohandas Gandhi sign the Gandhi–Irwin Pact.
March 7 – The new House of Representatives opens in Helsinki, Finland.
March 11 – The Ready for Labour and Defence of the USSR programme, abbreviated as GTO, is introduced in the Soviet Union.
March 17 – Nevada legalizes gambling.
March 19 – Westminster St George’s by-election in the U.K. results in the victory of the Conservative candidate Duff Cooper. The by-election has been treated virtually as a referendum on the leadership of the Conservative leader Stanley Baldwin, and Duff Cooper’s victory ends the campaign by the press barons Lord Beaverbrook and Viscount Rothermere to oust Baldwin.
March 23 – Indian revolutionary leaders Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar are hanged for conspiracy to murder in the British Raj.
March 25 – The Scottsboro Boys are arrested in Alabama and charged with rape.
March 27 – English writer Arnold Bennett dies of typhoid in London shortly after returning from a visit to Paris, where he drank local water to prove it was safe.
March 31 – An earthquake destroys Managua, Nicaragua, killing 2,000 people.
April 1 – The Second Encirclement Campaign against Jiangxi Soviet in China is launched by the Kuomintang government to destroy the Communist forces in Jiangxi province.
April 6 – The Portuguese government declares martial law in Madeira and in the Azores because of an attempted military takeover in Funchal.
April 9 – Argentinian anarchist Severino Digiovanni is executed.
April 12 – Municipal elections in Spain, which are treated as a virtual referendum on the monarchy, result in the triumph for the republican parties.
April 14 – The Second Spanish Republic is proclaimed in Madrid. Meanwhile, as a result of the victory of the Republican Left of Catalonia, Francesc Macià proclaims in Barcelona the Catalan Republic, as state of the Iberian Federation.
April 15 – The Castellammarese War ends with the assassination of Joe “The Boss” Masseria, briefly leaving Salvatore Maranzano as capo di tutti i capi (“boss of all bosses”) and undisputed ruler of the American Mafia. Maranzano is himself assassinated less than 6 months later, leading to the establishment of the Five Families.
April 17 – After the negotiations between the republican ministers of Spain and Catalonia, the Catalan Republic becomes into Generalitat of Catalonia, a Catalan autonomous government inside the Spanish Republic.
April 22 – Austria, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United States recognize the Spanish Republic.
April 25 – The automobile manufacturer Porsche is founded by Ferdinand Porsche in Stuttgart.

May 1: Empire State Building is completed.
May 1 – Construction of the Empire State Building is completed in New York City.
May 4 – Kemal Atatürk is re-elected president of Turkey.
May 5 – İsmet İnönü forms a new government in Turkey (7th government).
May 11 – The Creditanstalt, Austria’s largest bank, goes bankrupt, beginning the banking collapse in Central Europe that causes a worldwide financial meltdown.
May 13 – Paul Doumer is elected president of France.
May 14 – Ådalen shootings: Five people are killed in Ådalen, Sweden, when soldiers open fire on an unarmed trade union demonstration.
May 15
The Chinese Communists inflict a sharp defeat on the Kuomintang forces.
Pope Pius XI issues the encyclical Quadragesimo anno on the “reconstruction of the social order”.
May 31 – The Second Encirclement Campaign against Jiangxi Soviet ends in defeat of the Kuomintang.
June 3 – Salvador Dalí’s The Persistence of Memory is put on display for the first time in Paris at the Galerie Pierre Colle.
June 5 – German Chancellor Dr. Heinrich Brüning visits London, where he warns the British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald that the collapse of the Austrian banking system, caused by the bankruptcy of the Creditanstalt, has left the entire German banking system on the verge of collapse.
June 12 – English cricketer Charlie Parker equals J. T. Hearne’s record for the earliest date to reach 100 wickets.
June 14 – Saint-Philibert disaster: the overloaded pleasure craft Saint-Philibert, carrying trippers home to Nantes from the Île de Noirmoutier, sinks at the mouth of the river Loire in France; over 450 drown.
June 19
In an attempt to stop the banking crisis in Central Europe from causing a worldwide financial meltdown, U.S. President Herbert Hoover issues the Hoover Moratorium.
The Geneva Convention (1929) relative to the treatment of prisoners of war enters into force.
June 23–July 1 – Wiley Post and Harold Gatty accomplish the first round-the-world flight in a single-engine plane, flying eastabout from Roosevelt Field, New York, in 8 days, 15 hours, 51 minutes.
July – John Haven Emerson of Cambridge, Massachusetts perfects his negative pressure ventilator (“iron lung”) just in time for the growing polio epidemic.
July 1 – Rebuilt Milano Centrale railway station officially opens in Italy.
July 9 – Irish racing driver Kaye Don breaks the world water speed record at Lake Garda, Italy.
July 13 – Royal soldiers shoot and kill 22 people demonstrating against the Maharaja Hari Singh of the Indian princely state of Kashmir and Jammu.
July 16 – Emperor Haile Selassie signs the first constitution of Ethiopia.
July 26 – The millennialist Bible Student movement adopts the name Jehovah’s Witnesses at a meeting in Columbus, Ohio.
July 31 – The May Report in the United Kingdom recommends extensive cuts to government expenditure. This produces a political crisis as many members of the Labour Party (at this time in government) object to the proposals.
The 1931 China floods reach their peak in possibly the deadliest natural disaster yet recorded.
Warner Brothers releases the first Merrie Melodies cartoon, Lady, Play Your Mandolin.
August 9 – Referendum in Prussia for dissolving the Landtag ends with the “yes” side winning 37% of the vote, which is insufficient for calling the early elections. The elections are intended to remove the Social Democratic Party (SPD) government of Otto Braun, which is one of the strongest forces for democracy in Germany. Supporting the “yes” side were the NSDAP, the DNVP and the Communist Party (KPD) while supporting the “no” side were the SPD and Zentrum.
August 11 – Run on the British pound leads to political and economic crisis in Britain.
August 24 – The Labour Government of Ramsay MacDonald resigns in Britain, replaced by a National Government of people drawn from all parties, also under MacDonald.

September 18: The Mukden Incident: Incident Museum in Shenyang
September 5 – John Thomson, Scottish football player, dies as the result of an accident during a Celtic–Rangers match.
September 7 – Second Round Table Conference on the constitutional future of India opens in London. Mahatma Gandhi represents the Indian National Congress.
September 10 – The worst hurricane in British Honduras history kills an estimated 1,500.
September 15 – Invergordon Mutiny: Strikes are called in the British Royal Navy due to decreased pay.
September 16 – Hanging of resistance leader Omar Mukhtar in Italian Libya.
September 18
Japanese military stage the Mukden Incident as a pretext for the Japanese invasion of Manchuria.
Geli Raubal commits suicide in her uncle Adolf Hitler’s apartment.
September 20 – With a gun literally pointed to his head the Chinese commander of Kirin province announces the annexation of that territory to Japan.
September 22 – The United Kingdom abandons the gold standard.
October – The Caltech Department of Physics faculty and graduate students meet with Albert Einstein as a guest.
October 4 – Dick Tracy, the comic strip detective character created by cartoonist Chester Gould, makes his debut appearance in the Detroit Mirror newspaper.
October 5 – American aviators Clyde Edward Pangborn and Hugh Herndon, Jr., complete the first non-stop flight across the Pacific Ocean, from Misawa, Japan, to East Wenatchee, Washington, in 41½ hours.
October 11 – Rally in Bad Harzburg, Germany leads to the Harzburg Front being founded, uniting the NSDAP, the DNVP, the Stahlhelm and various other right-wing fractions.
October 17
American gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion in Chicago.
Leeds Bradford International Airport is opened as Leeds and Bradford Municipal Aerodrome in England.
October 24 – The George Washington Bridge across the Hudson River in the United States is dedicated; it opens to traffic the following day. At 3,500 feet (1,100 m), it nearly doubles the previous record for the longest main span in the world.
October 27 – United Kingdom general election results in the victory of the National Government and the defeat of Labour Party in the country’s greatest ever electoral landslide.
November 7
The Chinese Soviet Republic is proclaimed by Mao Zedong.
Red China News Agency, a predecessor for Xinhua News Agency, officially founded and news wire service start in Ruijin, Jiangxi Province, China.
November 8
French police launch a large-scale raid against Corsican bandits.
The Panama Canal is closed for a couple of weeks due to damage caused by earthquakes.
Our Gang kid Darla Hood is born in Leedey, Oklahoma.
November 21 – The infamous Red-and-White Party, given by Arthur Jeffress in Maud Allan’s Regent’s Park townhouse in London, marks the end of the “Bright young things” subculture in Britain.[6]
November 25
Heavy hydrogen, later named deuterium, is discovered by chemist Harold Clayton Urey.
Ali Fethi Okyar forms a new government in Turkey (third government).
Release of James Whale’s film of Frankenstein in New York.
December 5 – Original Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow (1883) is dynamited by order of Joseph Stalin.
December 8 – Carl Friedrich Goerdeler is appointed Reich Price Commissioner in Germany to enforce the deflationary policies of the Brüning government.
December 9 – The Spanish Constituent Cortes approves the Spanish Constitution of 1931, effectively establishing the Second Spanish Republic.
December 10
Jane Addams became the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Niceto Alcalá-Zamora is elected president of the Spanish Republic.
December 11 – The Parliament of the United Kingdom enacts the Statute of Westminster, which establishes a status of legislative equality between the self-governing dominions of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of Canada, the Irish Free State, Newfoundland, the Dominion of New Zealand and the Union of South Africa.
December 13 – Wakatsuki Reijirō resigns as Prime Minister of Japan.
December 26 – Phi Iota Alpha, the oldest surviving Latino fraternity, is founded in the United States.
Date unknown Edit
Ust-Abakanskoye becomes Abakan.


Toshiki Kaifu

Robert Duvall

Caterina Valente

James Earl Jones
January 2 – Toshiki Kaifu, 2-Time Prime Minister of Japan
January 5
Alvin Ailey, American choreographer (d. 1989)
Alfred Brendel, Austrian pianist
Robert Duvall, American actor and director
January 6
Fern Battaglia, American professional baseball player (d. 2001)
E. L. Doctorow, American author (d. 2015)
January 8 – Bill Graham, German concert promoter (d. 1991)
January 10
Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, Malaysian politician and Muslim cleric (d. 2015)
Peter Barnes, English playwright and screenwriter (d. 2004)
January 12 – Roland Alphonso, Jamaican musician (d. 1998)
January 13 – Charles Nelson Reilly, American actor (d. 2007)
January 14 – Caterina Valente, French singer and actress
January 16
Ellen Holly, American actress
Johannes Rau, President of Germany (d. 2006)
January 17 – James Earl Jones, American actor
January 18 – Chun Doo-hwan, President of South Korea
January 19
Pat Hunt, New Zealand National Party politician
Robert MacNeil, Canadian journalist
January 20 – David Lee, American physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics
January 22 – Sam Cooke, American singer (d. 1964)
January 24 – Lars Hörmander, Swedish mathematician (d. 2012)
January 25 – Dean Jones, American actor (d. 2015)
January 26 – Alfred Lynch, English actor (d. 2003)
January 27 – Mordecai Richler, Canadian author (d. 2001)
January 29 – Ferenc Mádl, President of Hungary (d. 2011)
January 30 – Allan W. Eckert, American historian, naturalist, and author (d. 2011)
January 31 – Ernie Banks, American baseball player (d. 2015)

Boris Yeltsin

Dries van Agt

James Dean
February 1 – Boris Yeltsin, 1st President of Russia (d. 2007)
February 2
Dries van Agt, Dutch politician, 46th Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Les Dawson, British comedian (d. 1993)
Hillel Zaks, Polish-born Israeli rabbi (d. 2015)
Walter Burkert, German writer (d. 2015)
February 4 – Isabel Martínez de Perón, 41st President of Argentina
February 6
Rip Torn, American actor and director
Mamie Van Doren, American actress and author
February 8 – James Dean, American actor (d. 1955)
February 9
Thomas Bernhard, Austrian author (d. 1989)
Jack Van Impe, American televangelist
February 11 – Larry Merchant, American author and boxing commentator
February 13 – Geoff Edwards, American actor and game show host (d. 2014)
February 15 – Claire Bloom, English actress
February 16
George E. Sangmeister, American politician (d. 2007)
Ken Takakura, Japanese actor (d. 2014)
February 18
Johnny Hart, American cartoonist (d. 2007)
Toni Morrison, American writer, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature
Bob St. Clair, American football player (d. 2015)
February 24 – Brian Close, English cricketer
February 25 – Eric Edgar Cooke, Australian serial killer (d. 1964)
February 28
Dean Smith, American basketball coach (d. 2015)
Gavin MacLeod, American actor and Mayor of Pacific Palisades

Mikhail Gorbachev

Rupert Murdoch

William Shatner

Leonard Nimoy
March 2
Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
Tom Wolfe, American novelist and journalist
March 3 – John Smith, American actor (d. 1995)
March 4
Wally Bruner, American journalist and television host (d. 1997)
William Cardinal Keeler, American Roman Catholic prelate
Alice Rivlin, American economist
March 8 – Neil Postman, American media theorist and cultural critic (d. 2003)
March 9
Jackie Healy-Rae, Irish Politician (d. 2014)
León Febres Cordero, President of Ecuador (d. 2008)
March 11
Janosch, German writer
Rupert Murdoch, Australian-born publisher
March 12 – Herb Kelleher, American businessman
March 15 – Ted Marchibroda, American football player (d. 2016)
March 18
Shirley Stovroff, American female professional baseball player (d. 1994)
Vlastimil Bubník, Czech ice hockey and football player (d. 2015)
March 20
Hal Linden, American actor and singer
Karen Steele, American actress (d. 1988)
March 22
Burton Richter, American physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics
William Shatner, Canadian actor
March 24 – Connie Hines, American actress (d. 2009)
March 26 – Leonard Nimoy, American actor and director (d. 2015)
March 27 – David Janssen, American actor (d. 1980)
March 29
Aleksei Gubarev, Russian cosmonaut (d. 2015)
Norman Tebbit, British politician

April 1
Ita Ever, Estonian actress
Rolf Hochhuth, German writer
April 5 – Héctor Olivera, Argentine film director, producer and screenwriter
April 6 – Suchitra Sen (Roma Dasgupta), legendary Bengali actress (d. 2014)
April 11
Luis Cabral, 1st President of Guinea-Bissau (d. 2009)
Mustafa Dağıstanlı, Turkish free-style wrestler
Johnny Sheffield, American child actor (d. 2010)
April 15
Helen Maksagak, Canadian, first Inuk and woman to be the Commissioner of both the Northwest Territories and Nunavut (d. 2009)
Tomas Tranströmer, Swedish poet and translator, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature (d. 2015)
April 27 – Igor Oistrakh, Ukrainian violinist
April 29
Frank Auerbach, German-born painter
Lonnie Donegan, Scottish musician (d. 2002)

Willie Mays
May 6 – Willie Mays, American baseball player
May 7 – Teresa Brewer, American pop and jazz singer (d. 2007)
May 10 – Ichirō Nagai, Japanese voice actor (d. 2014)
May 13
András Hajnal, Hungarian mathematician
Jim Jones, American cult leader (d. 1978)
Jiří Petr, Czech university president
May 14 – Alvin Lucier, American composer
May 15
Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Chairman of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse
Ken Venturi, American golfer (d. 2013)
May 16
Jack Dodson, American actor (d. 1994)
Natwar Singh, Indian politician
May 17 – Marshall Applewhite, Heaven’s Gate religious sect founder (d. 1997)
May 18
Robert Morse, American actor
Don Martin, American artist (d. 2000)
May 19 – Éric Tappy, Swiss tenor
May 20 – Ken Boyer, American baseball player (d. 1982)
May 23
Barbara Barrie, American actress
Patience Cleveland, American actress and diarist (d. 2004)
May 25 – Georgy Grechko, Russian cosmonaut
May 27 – Faten Hamama, Egyptian actress (d. 2015)
May 28 – Carroll Baker, American actress
May 30 – Father John O’Brien, Irish priest and musician (d. 2008)
May 31
John Schrieffer, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
Shirley Verrett, American mezzo-soprano (d. 2010)


Raúl Castro

Fernando Henrique Cardoso

Olympia Dukakis
June 2
Viktor Tsaryov, Russian footballer (d. 2017)
Larry Jackson, American baseball player (d. 1990)
June 3
Raúl Castro, President of Cuba
Lindy Remigino, American athlete
June 7 – Malcolm Morley, English-born painter
June 8 – Dana Wynter, German-born American actress (d. 2011)
June 9
Jackie Mason, American comedian
Joe Santos, American actor
June 10 – João Gilberto, Brazilian musician
June 13 – Moysés Baumstein, Brazilian holographer and artist (d. 1991)
June 14
Kenneth Cope, English actor
Ross Higgins, Australian actor
Marla Gibbs, American comedic actress and singer
Junior Walker, American saxophonist and singer (d. 1995)
June 16 – Gerson Poyk (id), Indonesian author and journalist (d. 2017)
June 18 – Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of Brazil
June 20
Olympia Dukakis, American actress
Arne Nordheim, Norwegian composer (d. 2010)
June 21
Margaret Heckler, American Secretary of Health and Human Services
David Kushnir, Israeli former Olympic long-jumper
Les Vandyke, American musician
June 22
Martin Lipton, American lawyer
Ian Browne, Australian track cyclist
Teruyuki Okazaki, Japanese black belt in Shotokan Karate
June 23
Doris Cook, American pitcher and outfielder
Ola Ullsten, Swedish politician and diplomat
Charles Keith Taylor, Canadian politician
June 24
Juanita Quigley, American child actress
Emilio Fede, Italian anchorman, journalist and writer
Billy Casper, American golfer
Árpád Bárány, Hungarian fencer
George Petchey, English former footballer
Gaston Flosse, French politician
June 25
Stan Dromisky, Canadian liberal party
Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Prime Minister of India (d. 2008)
June 26
George Lois, American art director, designer, and author
Robert Colbert, American actor
Alan Bailey, former senior British civil servant
Colin Wilson, British writer (d. 2013)
June 27
Graziella Galvani, Italian stage, television and film actress
Charles Bronfman, Canadian / American businessman and philanthropist
Geoffrey Harcourt, Australian academic economist
Martinus J. G. Veltman, Dutch physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics
June 28
Tom Stolhandske, American football linebacker
Junior Johnson, American NASCAR driver of the 1950s and 1960s
Jenny Glusker, British biochemist and crystallographer
Aleksandar Ivoš, Serbian footballer
Hans Alfredson, Swedish actor, film director, writer and comedian
June 29
Alina Obidniak, Polish theatre director and actress
Brian Hutton, Baron Hutton, Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland and British Lord of Appeal in Ordinary
Richard L. Berkley, American politician
June 30 – Allan Jay, British foil and épée fencer

July 1
Leslie Caron, French actress
Chris Strachwitz, German-born American record label executive and record producer
Marilyn Hickey, American televangelist, speaker and author
Stanislav Grof, Czech psychiatrist
Seyni Kountché, former President of Niger (d. 1987)
July 2
Robert Ito, Canadian actor
Mohammad Yazdi, Iranian cleric
Frank Williams, English actor
July 3
Ray Rogers, American politician
Dickie Dowsett, English former professional footballer
Claude-Henri Chouard, French surgeon
Mick Cullen, Scottish footballer
July 4
Lyndell Petersen, American former politician
Peter Richardson, English former cricketer
Bill Gleeson, Australian rules footballer
Stephen Boyd, Irish actor (d. 1977)
July 5
Ryuzo Sato, Japanese economist
Aloysius Gordon, British-based Jamaican jazz pianist and singer
Peter Silverman, Canadian broadcast journalist
António de Macedo, Portuguese filmmaker and later a writer, university professor and lecturer
Ismail Mahomed, South African and Namibian Chief Justice (d. 2000)
July 6
Maralou Gray, American film, television, and theater actress
Louis Mexandeau, French politician
Antonella Lualdi, Italian actress and singer
Jean Campeau, French Canadian businessman and politician
Della Reese, American actress, singer and evangelist
Emily Nasrallah, Lebanese writer and women’s rights activist
Robert Dunham, American actor and writer (d. 2001)
July 7
Russo (assistente de palco) (pt), Brazilian stage assistant at Rede Globo (d. 2017)
Alex South, English former footballer
Charles Oakley, American football player
Sunaryati Hartono, Indonesian attorney, lawyer, professor of law and government official
J. Joseph Curran Jr., American politician
Palle Kjærulff-Schmidt, Danish film director and screenwriter
David Eddings, American novelist (d. 2009)
July 8
Zach Monroe, American baseball player
Thorvald Stoltenberg, Norwegian politician
Lowell N. Lewis, American plant physiology professor
July 9
Sylvia Bacon, American judge
Rodney Anderson, American politician
Thomas A. Pankok, American Democratic Party politician
July 10
Morris Chang, Chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. (TSMC) in 1987
Nick Adams, American actor (d. 1968)
Julian May, American science fiction, fantasy, horror, science
Alice Munro, Canadian writer, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature
July 11
Tab Hunter, American actor and singer (Damn Yankees)
Yasuo Ōtsuka, Japanese animator
July 13
James Cellan Jones, British television and film director
Jim Cairney, Scottish former professional footballer
Ernie Colón, American born Puerto Rico comics artist known
Frank Ramsey, American former professional basketball player and coach
July 14
Maria Musso, Italian sprinter and pentathlete
NK Lučko, Croatian football player
July 15
Joanna Merlin, American actress
Clive Cussler, American author
July 16
Andrzej Kryński, Polish fencer
Fergus Gordon Kerr, Scottish Roman Catholic priest of the English Dominican Province
Norm Sherry, American former catcher, manager, and coach in Major League Baseball
July 17 – Caroline Graham, English playwright, screenwriter and novelist
July 18 – Mark Pharaoh, English track and field athlete
July 19
Mary Lou Studnicka, American female professional baseball player
Allan Slaight, Canadian rock and roll pioneer, media mogul, and philanthropist
July 20 – Gilles Morin, Canadian politician
July 23 – Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, Māori queen (d. 2006)
July 26 – Fred Foster, American songwriter and record producer
July 27 – Jerry Van Dyke, American comedian and actor

Barbara Eden

Sri Chinmoy
August 2 – Ruth Maria Kubitschek, German actress
August 7 – Charles E. “Charlie” Rice, American legal scholar and author
August 9 – Mário Zagallo, Brazilian football player and manager
August 10 – Tom Laughlin, American actor (Billy Jack) (d. 2013)
August 12 – William Goldman, American author
August 15
Joe Feeney, American singer (d. 2008)
Richard F. Heck, American chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (d. 2015)
August 16 – Marion Patrick Jones, Trinidadian writer (d. 2016)
August 18
Hans van Mierlo, Dutch politician, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister (d. 2010)
Bramwell Tillsley, General of The Salvation Army
August 19 – Willie Shoemaker, American jockey (d. 2003)
August 20 – Don King, American boxing promoter
August 23
Barbara Eden, American actress and singer
Lyle Lahey, American cartoonist (d. 2013)
Hamilton O. Smith, American microbiologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
August 25
Hal Fishman, Los Angeles based local news anchor (d. 2007)
Regis Philbin, American television personality
August 27 – Sri Chinmoy, Bengali spiritual teacher, poet, artist and athlete who immigrated to the U.S. in 1964 (d. 2007)
August 28
Shunichiro Okano, Japanese football player and manager (d. 2017)
John Shirley-Quirk, English bass-baritone (d. 2014)
August 30
Jacques Braunstein, Romanian-born Venezuelan economist, publicist and disc jockey (d. 2009)
Jack Swigert, American astronaut (d. 1982)
August 31
Jean Béliveau, Canadian hockey player (d. 2014)
Kenny Burrell, American jazz musician
Noble Willingham, American actor (d. 2004)


Ian Holm

Barbara Bain

Larry Hagman
September 1
Cecil Parkinson, British politician (d. 2016)
Javier Solís, Mexican ranchera & bolero singer (d. 1966)
September 3 – Paulo Maluf, Brazilian politician
September 4 – Mitzi Gaynor, American actress, singer and dancer
September 8 – Jack Rosenthal, English playwright (d. 2004)
September 10 – Philip Baker Hall, American actor
September 12
Ian Holm, British actor
George Jones, American country music singer and songwriter (d. 2013)
September 13 – Barbara Bain, American actress
September 15 – Brian Henderson, Australian broadcaster
September 17 – Anne Bancroft, American actress (d. 2005)
September 21
Gertrude Alderfer, American female professional baseball player
Gloria Cordes, American female professional baseball player
Larry Hagman, American actor and director (d. 2012)
September 22
Fay Weldon, British author
George Younger, 4th Viscount Younger of Leckie, British politician (d. 2003)
September 23 – Gerald Merrithew, Canadian educator and statesman (d. 2004)
September 27 – Freddy Quinn, Austrian singer and actor
September 29
James Watson Cronin, American nuclear physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics (d. 2016)
Anita Ekberg, Swedish actress (d. 2015)
September 30
Angie Dickinson, American actress
Wesley L. Fox, U.S. Marine Corps officer


Desmond Tutu

A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
October 1 – Alan Wagner, American opera critic (d. 2007)
October 2 – Morris Cerullo, American televangelist
October 3 – Denise Scott Brown, American architect
October 6 – Riccardo Giacconi, Italian-born physicist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics
October 7
Cotton Fitzsimmons, American basketball coach (d. 2004)
Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican archbishop and activist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
October 13 – Eddie Mathews, baseball player (d. 2001)
October 15 – Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, President of India (d. 2015)
October 16
James Chace, American historian (d. 2004)
Rosa Rosal, Filipino actress and humanitarian
Charles Colson, American politician; Watergate conspirator (d. 2012)
October 17
José Alencar, Brazilian politician (d. 2011)
Ernst Hinterberger, Austrian writer (d. 2012)
October 19
John le Carré, English novelist
Manolo Escobar, Spanish singer and actor. (d. 2013)
October 20 – Mickey Mantle, American baseball player (d. 1995)
October 21 – Shammi Kapoor, Indian film actor and director (d. 2011)
October 22 – Ann Rule, American true-crime writer (d. 2015)
October 23
Jim Bunning, American baseball player and U.S. Senator
Diana Dors, English actress (d. 1984)
October 25 – Jimmy McIlroy, Irish footballer and football manager
October 26 – Hank Garrett, American actor and comedian
October 28 – Harold Battiste, American composer and arranger (d. 2015)
October 31 – Dan Rather, American television news reporter

Mwai Kibaki

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
November 2 – Phil Woods, American saxophonist (d. 2015)
November 3
Michael Fu Tieshan, Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association bishop (d. 2007)
Monica Vitti, Italian actress
November 4 – Marie Mansfield, American professional baseball player
November 5 – Ike Turner, African-American singer and songwriter (d. 2007)
November 6 – Mike Nichols, German-American television actor, writer and director (d. 2014)
November 8
Darla Hood, American actress, voice actress, and singer (d. 1979)
Morley Safer, Canadian journalist (d. 2016)
November 9 – Whitey Herzog, American baseball player
November 10 – Don Henderson, British actor (d. 1997)
November 12 – Mary Louise Wilson, American actress and singer
November 15 – Mwai Kibaki, third President of Kenya
November 16 – Hubert Sumlin, American blues musician (d. 2011)
November 21
Revaz Dogonadze, Georgian physicist (d. 1985)
Malcolm Williamson, Australian composer (d. 2003)
November 26 – Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Argentine activist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
November 28
Dervla Murphy, Irish author
Tomi Ungerer, French book illustrator and writer
November 29 – Shintaro Katsu, Japanese actor (d. 1997)

Rita Moreno
December 1
Jimmy Lyons, American musician (d. 1986)
Jim Nesbitt, American country music singer (d. 2007)
December 2
Nigel Calder, British science writer (d. 2014)
Edwin Meese, American attorney, law professor, and author; 75th Attorney General of the United States (1985–1988)
December 3 – Jaye P. Morgan, American singer, chanteuse
December 9 – Ladislav Smoljak, Czech film and theater director, actor and screenwriter (d. 2010)
December 11 – Rita Moreno, Puerto Rican-American actress
December 12 – Lionel Blair, British actor, choreographer, dancer, headmaster and TV presenter
December 15 – Klaus Rifbjerg, Danish writer (d. 2015)
December 17 – Dave Madden, Canadian American actor (d. 2014)
December 23 – Ronnie Schell, American actor
December 24 – Mauricio Kagel, Argentine composer (d. 2008)
December 27
Edward E. Hammer, American electrical engineer and inventor (d. 2012)
John Charles, Welsh international footballer (d. 2004)
December 28 – Martin Milner, American actor (d. 2015)
December 30 – Skeeter Davis, American singer (d. 2004)
December 31 – Bob Shaw, Irish writer (d. 1996)



Anna Pavlova

Ernst Seidler von Feuchtenegg
January 3 – Joseph Joffre, French World War I general (b. 1852)
January 4
Art Acord, American actor (b. 1890)
Roger Connor, American baseball player and MLB Hall of Famer (b. 1857)
Louise, Princess Royal, British royal, eldest daughter of Edward VII of the United Kingdom (b. 1867)
January 11 – James Milton Carroll, Baptist pastor, historian, and author (b. 1852)
January 14 – Hardy Richardson, American baseball player (b. 1855)
January 22 – Alma Rubens, American actress (b. 1897)
January 23
Anna Pavlova, Russian ballerina (b. 1881)
Ernst Seidler von Feuchtenegg, former Minister-President of Austria (b. 1862)


Otto Wallach
February 11 – Charles Algernon Parsons, British inventor (b. 1854)
February 16 – Wilhelm von Gloeden, German photographer (b. 1856)
February 18 – Louis Wolheim, American actor (b. 1880)
February 23
Eduard von Capelle, German admiral (b. 1855)
Dame Nellie Melba, Australian soprano (b. 1861)
February 26 – Otto Wallach, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1847)
February 28 – Thomas S. Rodgers, American admiral (b. 1858)


F. W. Murnau
March 5 – Arthur Tooth, Anglican clergyman (b. 1839)
March 7
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Finnish painter (b. 1865)
Theo van Doesburg, Dutch painter (b. 1883)
March 11 – F. W. Murnau, German director (b. 1888)
March 20
Joseph B. Murdock, United States Navy admiral and New Hampshire politician (b. 1851)
March 21 – Bhagat Singh, Indian revolutionary (b. 1908)
March 22 – James Campbell, 1st Baron Glenavy, Irish lawyer and politician (b. 1851)
March 24 – Robert Edeson, American actor (b. 1868)
March 25 – Ida Wells, African-American lynching crusader.
March 27 – Arnold Bennett, English novelist (b. 1867)
March 28 – Ban Johnson, American baseball executive (b. 1864)
March 31 – Knute Rockne, American football coach (b. 1888)
April 8 – Erik Axel Karlfeldt, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1864)
April 9 – Nicholas Longworth, American politician, Speaker of the House (b. 1869)
April 10 – Khalil Gibran, Lebanese poet and painter (b. 1883)
April 14 – Richard Armstedt, German historian (b. 1851)
April 15 – Joe Masseria, Italian-born American gangster (b. 1886)
April 20 – Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon, British baronet and Titanic survivor (b. 1862)
April 26 – George Herbert Mead, American philosopher, sociologist and psychologist (b. 1863)
April 30 – Sammy Woods, English cricketer (b. 1867)
May 2 – George Fisher Baker, American financier and philanthropist (b. 1840)
May 9 – Albert Abraham Michelson, German-born physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1852)
May 14 – David Belasco, American Broadway impresario, theater owner and playwright (b. 1853)

June 2 – Joseph W. Farnham, American screenwriter (b. 1884)
June 4 – Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca, Arab nationalist
June 8 – Virginia Frances Sterrett, American artist and illustrator (b. 1900)

July 4
Buddie Petit, American jazz musician
Prince Emanuele Filiberto, 2nd Duke of Aosta (b. 1869)
July 12 – Nathan Söderblom, Swedish archbishop, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1866)


Hamaguchi Osachi
August 6 – Bix Beiderbecke, American jazz trumpeter (b. 1903)
August 15 – Nigar Shikhlinskaya, Azerbaijani World War I nurse (b. ca. 1878)
August 26
Frank Harris, Irish author and editor (b. 1856)
Hamaguchi Osachi, 27th Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1870)
August 27 – Francis Marion Smith, American businessman (b. 1846)

September 5 – John Thomson, Scottish footballer (b. 1909)
September 10 – Salvatore Maranzano, Italian-American mobster (b. 1886)
September 12
Francis J. Higginson, United States Navy admiral (b. 1843)
Joseph Le Brix, French aviator and naval officer (b. 1899)
September 16 – Omar Mukhtar, the leader of Libyan resistance (b. 1858)
September 17
Marcello Amero D’Aste, Italian admiral and politician (b. 1853)
Marvin Hart, American World Heavyweight Boxing Champion (b. 1876)
September 18 – Geli Raubal, Hitler’s niece (b. 1908)
September 19 – David Starr Jordan, American ichthyologist, educator, eugenicist, and peace activist (b. 1851)


Thomas Edison
October 3 – Carl Nielsen, Danish composer (b. 1865)
October 13 – Ernst Didring, Swedish writer (b. 1868)
October 18 – Thomas Edison, American inventor (b. 1847)
October 21 – Arthur Schnitzler, Austrian author and dramatist (b. 1862)
October 24 – Sir Murray Bisset, South African cricketer and Governor of Southern Rhodesia (b. 1876)
November 4 – Buddy Bolden, African-American musician (b. 1877)
November 6 – Jack Chesbro, American baseball player and MLB Hall of Famer (b. 1874)
November 11 – Shibusawa Eiichi, Japanese industrialist (b. 1840)
November 13 – Ivan Fichev, Bulgarian general, minister of defense, military historian, and academician (b. 1860)
November 20 – Julius Drewe, English businessman, retailer and entrepreneur (b. 1856)
November 21 – Bruno von Mudra, German general (b. 1851)

Antonio Salandra
December 2 – Vincent d’Indy, French composer (b. 1851)
December 5 – Vachel Lindsay, American poet (b. 1879)
December 9 – Antonio Salandra, Italian statesman, 21st Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1853)
December 18 – Jack Diamond, American gangster (b. 1897)
December 23 – Tyrone Power, Sr., American actor (b. 1869)
December 26 – Melvil Dewey, American librarian, inventor of Dewey Decimal Classification (b. 1851)
December 27 – José Figueroa Alcorta, 16th President of Argentina (b. 1860)

Nobel Prizes

Nobel medal.png
Physics – not awarded
Chemistry – Carl Bosch, Friedrich Bergius
Physiology or Medicine – Otto Heinrich Warburg
Literature – Erik Axel Karlfeldt
Peace – Jane Addams, Nicholas Murray Butler


1930 January February March April May June July August September October November December
Millennium: 2nd millennium
19th century 20th century 21st century
1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s
1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933
1930 by topic:
Archaeology Architecture Art Aviation Awards Comics Film Literature Poetry Meteorology Music Country Rail transport Radio Science Sports Television
By country
Australia Canada China France Germany India Ireland Iran Japan New Zealand Norway Palestine Mandate Philippines South Africa Soviet Union Sweden Turkey United Kingdom United States
Sovereign states Sovereign state leaders
Territorial governors Religious leaders Law
Birth and death categories
Births Deaths
Establishments and disestablishments categories
Establishments Disestablishments
Works and introductions categories
Works Introductions
v t e
1930 in various calendars
Gregorian calendar 1930
Ab urbe condita 2683
Armenian calendar 1379
Assyrian calendar 6680
Bahá’í calendar 86–87
Bengali calendar 1337
Berber calendar 2880
British Regnal year 20 Geo. 5 – 21 Geo. 5
Buddhist calendar 2474
Burmese calendar 1292
Byzantine calendar 7438–7439
Chinese calendar 己巳年 (Earth Snake)
4626 or 4566
— to —
庚午年 (Metal Horse)
4627 or 4567
Coptic calendar 1646–1647
Discordian calendar 3096
Ethiopian calendar 1922–1923
Hebrew calendar 5690–5691
Hindu calendars
– Vikram Samvat 1986–1987
– Shaka Samvat 1851–1852
– Kali Yuga 5030–5031
Holocene calendar 11930
Igbo calendar 930–931
Iranian calendar 1308–1309
Islamic calendar 1348–1349
Japanese calendar Shōwa 5
Javanese calendar 1860–1861
Juche calendar 19
Julian calendar Gregorian minus 13 days
Korean calendar 4263
Minguo calendar ROC 19
Nanakshahi calendar 462
Thai solar calendar 2472–2473
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1930.
1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (dominical letter E) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1930th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 930th year of the 2nd millennium, the 30th year of the 20th century, and the 1st year of the 1930s decade.

January 6  The first diesel engine automobile trip is completed (Indianapolis, Indiana, to New York City) by Clessie Cummins, founder of the Cummins Motor Co..
An early literary character licensing agreement is signed by A. A. Milne, granting Stephen Slesinger U.S. and Canadian merchandising rights to the Winnie-the-Pooh works.
January 13 – The Mickey Mouse comic strip makes its first appearance.
January 15 – The Moon moves into its nearest point to Earth, called perigee, at the same time as its fullest phase of the Lunar Cycle. This is the closest moon distance at 356,397 km in recent memory and the next one will be on January 1, 2257 at 356,371 km.
January 26 – The Indian National Congress declares this date as Independence Day or as the day for Poorna Swaraj (Complete Independence).
January 28 – The first patent for a field-effect transistor is granted in the United States to Julius Edgar Lilienfeld.
January 30 – Pavel Molchanov launches a radiosonde from Pavlovsk in the Soviet Union.
January 31 – The 3M company markets Scotch Tape, invented by Richard Gurley Drew, in the United States.
February 2 – The Communist Party of Vietnam is established.
February 10 – The Việt Nam Quốc Dân Đảng launch the Yên Bái mutiny in the hope of ending French colonial rule in Vietnam.
February 18
While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh confirms the existence of Pluto, a celestial body considered a planet until redefined as a dwarf planet in 2006.
Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft, and also the first cow to be milked in an aeroplane.

Mahatma Gandhi
March 2 – Mahatma Gandhi informs the British viceroy of India that civil disobedience will begin the following week.
March 5 – Danish painter Einar Wegener begins sex reassignment surgery in Germany and takes the name Lili Elbe.
March 6 – International Unemployment Day.
The first frozen foods of Clarence Birdseye go on sale in Springfield, Massachusetts.
March 12 – Mahatma Gandhi sets off on a 200-mile protest march towards the sea with 78 followers to protest at the British monopoly on salt; more will join them during the Salt March that ends on April 5.
March 28 – The government of Turkey requests the international community to adopt Istanbul and Ankara as the official names for Constantinople and Angora.
March 29 – Heinrich Brüning is appointed Chancellor of Germany.
March 31 – The Motion Picture Production Code (“Hays Code”) is instituted in the United States, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in films for the next 40 years.


I’m xApril 4 – The Communist Party of Panama is founded.
April 5 – In an act of civil disobedience, Mahatma Gandhi breaks the Salt laws of British India by making salt by the sea at the end of the Salt March.
April 6
International Left Opposition (ILO) is founded in Paris, France.
Hostess Twinkies are invented.
April 17 – Neoprene is invented by DuPont.
April 18
The Chittagong Rebellion begins in India with the Chittagong armoury raid.
BBC Radio from London reports on this day that “There is no news”.
April 19 – Warner Bros. in the United States release their first cartoon series called Looney Tunes which runs until 1969.
April 21
A fire in the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus kills 320 people.
The Turkestan–Siberia Railway is completed.
April 22 – The United Kingdom, Japan and the United States sign the London Naval Treaty to regulate submarine warfare and limit naval shipbuilding.
April 28 – The first night game in organized baseball history takes place in Independence, Kansas.

May 5 – Mahatma Gandhi is re-arrested.
May 6 – The 7.1 Mw Salmas earthquake shakes northwestern Iran and southeastern Turkey with a maximum Mercalli intensity of X (Extreme). Up to three-thousand people were killed.
May 10 – The National Pan-Hellenic Council is founded in Washington, D.C..
May 15 – Nurse Ellen Church becomes the world’s first flight attendant, working on a Boeing Air Transport trimotor.
May 16 – Rafael Leónidas Trujillo is elected president of the Dominican Republic.
May 17 – French Prime Minister André Tardieu decides to withdraw the remaining French troops from the Rhineland (they depart by June 30).
May 24 – Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Australia, becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight).
May 30
Sergei Eisenstein arrives in California to work for Paramount Pictures; they part ways by October.
Canadian adventurer William “Red” Hill, Sr., makes a five-hour journey down the Niagara Gorge rapids.


June 7 – Carl Gustaf Ekman becomes the Prime Minister of Sweden for the second and final time.
June 9 – Chicago Tribune journalist Jake Lingle is shot in Chicago, Illinois. Newspapers promise $55,000 reward for information. Lingle is later found to have had contacts with organized crime.
June 14 – Bureau of Narcotics established under the United States Department of the Treasury, replacing the Narcotics Division of the Prohibition Unit.
June 17 – President of the United States Herbert Hoover signs the Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act into law.
June 21 – One-year conscription comes into force in France.

July 4 – The dedication of George Washington’s sculpted head is held at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.
July 5 – The Seventh Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops opens. This conference approves the use of birth control in limited circumstances, a move away from the Christian views on contraception expressed by the Sixth Conference a decade earlier
July 7
The Lapua Movement marches in Helsinki, Finland.
Building of the Boulder Dam (later known as the Hoover Dam) is started on the Colorado River in the United States.
July 11 – Australian cricketer Donald Bradman scores a world record 309 runs in one day, on his way to the highest individual Test innings of 334, during a Test match against England.
July 13 – The first FIFA World Cup starts: Lucien Laurent scores the first goal, for France against Mexico.
July 19 – Georges Simenon’s detective character Inspector Jules Maigret makes his first appearance in print under Simenon’s own name when the novel Pietr-le-Letton (known in English as The Strange Case of Peter the Lett) begins serialization in a French weekly magazine.[3] Simenon will eventually write 75 novels (as well as 28 short stories) featuring the pipe-smoking Paris detective.
July 21 – United States Department of Veterans Affairs established.
July 25 – Laurence Olivier marries actress Jill Esmond.
July 26 – Charles Creighton and James Hargis of Missouri begin their return journey to Los Angeles using only a reverse gear; the 11,555 km trip lasts 42 days.
July 28 – R. B. Bennett defeats William Lyon Mackenzie King in federal elections and becomes the Prime Minister of Canada.
July 29 – British airship R100 sets out for a successful 78-hour passage to Canada.
July 30
Uruguay beats Argentina 4–2 to win the first Association football FIFA World Cup final.
New York station W2XBS is put in charge of NBC broadcast engineers.
July 31 – The radio drama The Shadow airs for the first time in the United States.

August – The volcanic island of Anak Krakatau begins to form permanently in the Sunda Strait.
August 6 – Judge Joseph Force Crater disappears in New York City.
August 7
R. B. Bennett takes office as the eleventh Prime Minister of Canada.
Lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Marion, Indiana. They are hanged; James Cameron survives. This will be the last recorded lynching of African Americans in the Northern United States.
August 9 – Cartoon character Betty Boop premieres in the animated film Dizzy Dishes.
August 12 – Turkish troops move into Persia to fight Kurdish insurgents.
August 16 – The first British Empire Games open in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
August 21 – Princess Margaret Rose is born at Glamis Castle in Scotland, younger daughter of Prince Albert, Duke of York (second son of King George V and Queen Mary, and later King George VI) and Elizabeth, Duchess of York, and sister to The Princess Elizabeth.
August 27 – A military junta takes over in Peru.

September 3 – A huge hurricane in the Caribbean demolishes most of the city of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
September 6 – José Félix Uriburu carries out a military coup, overthrowing Hipólito Yrigoyen, President of Argentina.
September 12 – England cricketer Wilfred Rhodes ends his 1,110-game first-class career by taking 5 for 95 for H. D. G. Leveson Gower’s XI against the Australians.
September 14 – German federal election, 1930: National Socialists win 107 seats in the German Parliament, the Reichstag (18.3% of all the votes), making them the second largest party.
September 20 – The Eastern Catholic Rite Syro-Malankara Catholic Church is formed.
September 27 – İsmet İnönü forms a new government in Turkey (6th government).

October – The Indochinese Communist Party is formed.
October 3 – The German Socialist Labour Party in Poland – Left founded following a split in DSAP in Łódź.
October 5 – British airship R101 crashes in France en route to India on its maiden long-range flight resulting in the loss of 48 lives.
October 8 – The Philadelphia Athletics win their second straight World Series, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 in Game 6.
October 20 – A British White Paper demands restrictions on Jewish immigration into Mandatory Palestine.
October 24 – Brazilian Revolution of 1930: Getúlio Vargas establishes a dictatorship.
October 27 – Ratifications exchanged in London on the first London Naval Treaty signed in April modifying the Washington Naval Treaty of 1925. Its arms limitation provisions go into effect immediately, hence putting more limits on the expensive naval arms race between its five signatories (the United Kingdom, the United States, the Japanese Empire, France, and Italy.)

November 2 – Haile Selassie is crowned emperor of Ethiopia.
November 3 – Getúlio Vargas becomes president of Brazil.
November 25
An earthquake in the Izu Peninsula of Japan kills 223 people and destroys 650 buildings.
Cecil George Paine, a pathologist at the Sheffield Royal Infirmary in England, achieves the first recorded cure (of an eye infection) using penicillin.
December – All adult Turkish women are given the right to vote in elections.
December 2 – Great Depression: President Herbert Hoover goes before the United States Congress to ask for a $150 million public works program to help create jobs and to stimulate the American economy.
December 7 – The television station W1XAV in Boston broadcasts video and audio from the radio orchestra program The Fox Trappers. This broadcast also includes the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for the I. J. Fox Furriers company which sponsored the telecast.
December 19 – Mount Merapi volcano in central Java, Indonesia, erupts, destroying numerous villages and killing thirteen hundred people.
December 24 – In London, inventor Harry Grindell Matthews demonstrates his device to project pictures on clouds.
December 29 – Sir Muhammad Iqbal’s presidential address in Allahabad introduces the two-nation theory, outlining a vision for the creation of Pakistan.
December 31 – The Papal encyclical Casti connubii issued by Pope Pius XI stresses the sanctity of marriage, prohibits Roman Catholics from using any form of artificial birth control, and reaffirms the Catholic prohibition on abortion.
Date unknown
A “Jake paralysis” outbreak occurs in the United States resulting from adulterated Jamaica ginger sold as an alcohol substitute during Prohibition.
Bernhard Schmidt invents the Schmidt camera. The chocolate chip cookie is invented by Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.
The experimental television station, W9XAP, in Chicago, broadcasts the election for the United States Senate, the first time that a senatorial race, with continual tallies of the votes, is televised.
Greater Sudbury is incorporated as a city in northern Ontario.


Robert Loggia

Buzz Aldrin

Gene Hackman
January 1 – Gaafar Nimeiry, 4th President of Sudan (d. 2009)
January 2 – Julius La Rosa, American singer (d. 2016)
January 3
Robert Loggia, American actor (d. 2015)
Barbara Stuart, American actress (d. 2011)
January 4 – Sorrell Booke, American actor (d. 1994)
January 5
Jesús Rosas Marcano, Venezuelan poet (d. 2001)
M.R. Srinivasan, Indian nuclear scientist
January 6
Charles Kalani, Jr., American actor (d. 2000)
Vic Tayback, American actor (d. 1990)
January 9 – Pavel Kolchin, Soviet Olympic cross-country skiier (d. 2010)
January 10 – Roy E. Disney, American film and television executive (d. 2009)
January 11 – Rod Taylor, Australian actor (d. 2015)
January 12
Bruce Lansbury, British-American television producer and television writer and screenwriter (d. 2017)
Jennifer Johnston, Irish novelist
January 13 – Frances Sternhagen, American actress
January 19 – Tippi Hedren, American actress
January 20 – Buzz Aldrin, American pilot and astronaut, Apollo 11 second person to set foot on the Moon
January 23
Derek Walcott, West Indian writer, Nobel Prize laureate
William R. Pogue, American astronaut (d. 2014)
January 24 – Rita Lakin, American author
January 27
Usko Meriläinen, Finnish composer (d. 2004)
Bobby Bland, American singer (d. 2013)
January 30
Samuel Byck, American airplane hijacker and murderer (d. 1974)
Gene Hackman, American actor

Hussain Muhammad Ershad

Robert Wagner

Joanne Woodward
February 1 – Hussain Muhammad Ershad, former President of Bangladesh
February 3 – Mani Krishnaswami, Carnatic music Vocalist of Tamil Nadu, India (d. 2002)
February 4 – Jim Loscutoff, American basketball player (d. 2015)
February 6 – Allan King, Canadian director (d. 2009)
February 8
Erich Bohme, German journalist and television host (d. 2009)
Jim Dooley, American football coach (d. 2008)
Alejandro Rey, Argentine-American actor (d. 1987)
February 9 – Rafiq Subaie, Syrian actor, writer and director (d. 2017)
February 10 – Robert Wagner, American actor
February 12 – Arlen Specter, American politician (d. 2012)
February 13 – Ernst Fuchs, Austrian painter (d. 2015)
February 15 – Sara Jane Moore, American convicted of attempted murder of President Gerald Ford
February 16
Peter Adamson, British actor (d. 2002)
Noah Weinberg, American-born Israeli rabbi, founder of Aish HaTorah (d. 2009)
February 17 – Ruth Rendell, British author (d. 2015)
February 19 – John Frankenheimer, American film director (d. 2002)
February 20 – Ken Jones, British actor (d. 2014)
February 21 – Dr. Dame Joan Metge, New Zealand social anthropologist, educator, lecturer and writer
February 22
James McGarrell, American painter
Marni Nixon, American vocalist (d. 2016)
February 24
Joan Diener, American musical theatre actress and singer (d. 2006)
Barbara Lawrence, American actress and model (d. 2013)
Anita Steckel, American feminist artist (d. 2012)
February 25 — Wendy Beckett, British nun and Author
February 26 – Robert Francis, American actor (d. 1955)
February 27
Peter Stone, American writer (d. 2003)
John Straffen, British serial killer (d. 2007)
Joanne Woodward, American actress
February 28 – Leon Cooper, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate

James Coco

Stephen Sondheim

Steve McQueen

Rolf Harris
March 3
Heiner Geißler, German politician
Ion Iliescu, 2nd President of Romania
K. S. Rajah, Senior Counsel and former Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore (d. 2010)
March 6
Allison Hayes, American actress (d. 1977)
Lorin Maazel, French-born American orchestral conductor (d. 2014)
March 7 – Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon, English photographer and royal spouse (d. 2017)
March 8 – Hector Lombana, Colombian sculptor, painter and architect (d. 2008)
March 9 – Ornette Coleman, American jazz saxophonist (d. 2015)
March 10 – Claude Bolling, French jazz pianist and composer
March 12 – Win Tin, Burmese journalist and politician (d. 2014)
March 13 – Liz Anderson, American country music singer-songwriter (d. 2011)
March 14 – Helga Feddersen, German actress (d. 1990)
March 15 – Zhores Alferov, Russian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
March 17 – James Irwin, American astronaut (d. 1991)
March 18 – Adam Cardinal Maida, American Roman Catholic prelate; Archbishop of Detroit (1990–2009)
March 20 – Willie Thrower, American football player (d. 2002)
March 21 – James Coco, American actor, the unemployed actor in Only When I Laugh, and Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha (d. 1987)
March 22
Stephen Sondheim, American composer and lyricist
Pat Robertson, American televangelist, motivational speaker, author and television host
March 24
David Dacko, 1st President of the Central African Republic (d. 2003)
Steve McQueen, American actor (d. 1980)
March 25 – John Keel, American journalist and ufologist (d. 2009)
March 26 – Sandra Day O’Connor, American politician and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
March 27 — James Tayoun Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives
March 28
Robert Ashley, American composer (d. 2014)
Jerome Isaac Friedman, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
March 29 – Anerood Jugnauth, Maurituian politician, 3-time Prime Minister of Mauritius and 4th President of Mauritius
March 30
John Astin, American actor
Rolf Harris, Australian-born entertainer


Helmut Kohl

José Sarney

Carolyn Jones
April 1 – Grace Lee Whitney, American actress (d. 2015)
April 2 – Roddy Maude-Roxby, English actor
April 3
Lawton Chiles, U.S. Senator and the Governor of Florida (d. 1998)
Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany
April 4 – Netty Herawaty, Indonesian actress (d. 1989)
April 7 – Andrew Sachs, German-born British actor (d. 2016)
April 8 – Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma (d. 2010)
April 10 – Spede Pasanen, Finnish television personality (d. 2001)
April 11 – Anton LaVey, American Satanist (d. 1997)
April 12 – Michał Życzkowski, Polish Professor of Engineering (d. 2006)
April 15 – Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland
April 16
Carol Bly, American author of short stories, essays and nonfiction; teacher (d. 2007)
Herbie Mann, American jazz flutist (d. 2003)
April 19 – Dick Sargent, American actor and gay activist (d. 1994)
April 21 – Silvana Mangano, Italian actress (d. 1989)
April 23 – Alan Oppenheimer, American actor
April 24
Richard Donner, American film director and producer
José Sarney, 31st President of Brazil
April 25 – Paul Mazursky, American director and writer (d. 2014)
April 28
James Baker, former United States Secretary of State
Carolyn Jones, American actress (d. 1983)
Richard C. Sarafian, American film and television director, writer and actor (d. 2013)
April 29
Jean Rochefort, French actor
Henri Coppens, Belgian football player (d. 2015)


Malcolm Fraser

Sonia Rykiel

Clint Eastwood
May 1 – Little Walter, American blues singer, musician, and songwriter (d. 1968)
May 3
Juan Gelman, Argentine poet and writer (d. 2014)
Bob Havens, American musician
May 4
Lois de Banzie, UK-born American actress
Katherine Jackson, Jackson family matriarch
Roberta Peters, American soprano
May 8 – Heather Harper, Northern Irish soprano
May 9 – Joan Sims, English actress (d. 2001)
May 10 – Pat Summerall, American football player and broadcaster (d. 2013)
May 11
Edsger Dijkstra, Dutch computer scientist (d. 2002)
Bud Ekins, American stuntman (d. 2007)
May 15 – Jasper Johns, American painter
May 19 – Lorraine Hansberry, American playwright (d. 1965)
May 21 – Malcolm Fraser, 22nd Prime Minister of Australia (d. 2015)
May 22
John Barth, American writer
Harvey Milk, American politician and civil rights activist of San Francisco (d. 1978)
Tiny Topsy, American rhythm and blues singer (d. 1964)
Agustín Tosco, Argentine union leader (d. 1975)
May 25 – Sonia Rykiel, French fashion designer (d. 2016)
May 28 – Frank Drake, American radio astronomer and pioneer in SETI
May 31 – Clint Eastwood, American actor, director, and producer

Vilmos Zsigmond

Itamar Franco
June 1 – Edward Woodward, British actor (d. 2009)
June 2 – Charles Conrad, American astronaut and moonwalker, commander of Apollo 12 (d. 1999)
June 3 – Marion Zimmer Bradley, American writer (d. 1999)
June 4 – Morgana King, American jazz singer and actress
June 8 – Robert Aumann, German-born mathematician, recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
June 9 – Monique Serf, French singer (d. 1997)
June 10 – Grace Mirabella, American editor of Vogue
June 11 – Charles B. Rangel, American politician
June 12
Jim Nabors, American actor, musician, and comedian
Son Sen, Cambodian politician and criminal (d. 1997)
June 16 – Vilmos Zsigmond, Hungarian-American cinematographer (d. 2016)
June 17 – Brian Statham, English cricketer (d. 2000)
June 19 – Gena Rowlands, American actress
June 21 – Gerald Kaufman, British Labour politician (d. 2017)
June 22
Yury Artyukhin, Russian cosmonaut (d. 1998)
Patricia Nielsen, British former swimmer
Fred Benners, American football player
June 23
John Elliot, British historian
Ben Speer, American singer, musician, music publisher, and record company executive
June 24
Peter Mazzaferro, American football coach
Dave Creighton, Canadian ice hockey forward
Herb Klein, American businessman, attorney, and politician
Claude Chabrol, French film director (d. 2010)
William B. Ziff, Jr., American publishing executive (d. 2006)
June 25
James Sedin, American ice hockey player
Memo Luna, Mexican professional baseball player
Vic Keeble, English former footballer
George Thomas, Welsh professional footballer
László Antal, Hungarian linguist (d. 1993)
June 27 – Ross Perot, American computer billionaire and politician
June 28
William C. Campbell, Irish-American biologist and parasitologist, Nobel Prize laureate
Ernesto Domingo, National Scientist of the Philippines
Maureen Howard, American writer, editor, and lecturer
Itamar Franco, President of Brazil (d. 2011)
June 29
Viola Léger, Acadian-Canadian actress and former Canadian Senator
Robert Evans, American producer
June 30
W. C. Gorden, American football player and coach
Isaac Levi, American philosopher
Ben Atchley, American former politician
Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Saudi Arabian politician
Ignatius Peter VIII Abdalahad, Syrian bishop
Thomas Sowell, American economist and author


Carlos Menem

Françoise Mallet-Joris
July 1
Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, Bolivian politician and businessman
Frank Joranko, American former football and baseball player and coach
Jerome A. Cohen, American professor of law at New York University School of Law
Ron Hughes, English professional footballer who played as a full-back
July 2
Carlos Menem, President of Argentina
Jane Moffet, American utility player
Pete Burnside, American professional baseball player
Randy Starr, American dentist and singer-songwriter
Vojislav Stanovčić, Serbian political scientists and theorists
Magdalen Redman, American professional baseball player
Ahmad Jamal, American jazz pianist and composer
Joe Scudero, American football safety
July 3
Ku Feng, Hong Kong actor
Radoslav Katičić, Croatian linguist, classical philologist, Indo-Europeanist, Slavist and Indologist, one of the most prominent Croatian scholars in the field of humanities
N. Venkatachala, Indian judge
José Luis Lamadrid, Mexican football forward
Ronnell Bright, American jazz pianist
Carlos Kleiber, Austrian conductor (d. 2004)
July 4
Jack Van Mark, American politician
Peter Angelos, American trial lawyer
Frunzik Mkrtchyan, Armenian actor (d. 1993)
George Steinbrenner, American big businessman and then baseball team owner (d. 2010)
July 5
Tommy Cook, American actor
Charles Beaulieu, Canadian academic, civil servant, and businessman
Donald Wilhelms, United States Geological Survey geologist
July 6
Michael Baume, Australian former Liberal Party politician
George Armstrong, Canadian professional ice hockey centre
Françoise Mallet-Joris, Belgian writer (d. 2016)
M. Balamuralikrishna, Indian Carnatic vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, playback singer, composer and actor (d. 2016)
July 9
Juan Carlos Frecia, Argentine fencer
Yu So-chow, Peking opera family
Buddy Bregman, American musical arranger (d. 2017)
July 11
Shafiqur Rahman Barq, Indian politician
Harold Bloom, American literary critic
Jack Alabaster, played 21 Tests for New Zealand
Ezra Vogel, American professor
July 12 – Irene Sutcliffe, English actress
July 13 – Richard D. Lewis, British polyglot, cross-cultural communication consultant, and author
July 14 – Polly Bergen, American actress (d. 2014)
July 15
Jacques Derrida, Algerian-born French literary critic (d. 2004)
Betty Wagoner, American professional baseball player (d. 2006)
July 16
Bert Rechichar, American football defensive back and kicker
Michael Bilirakis, American politician
Horst Rittner, German correspondence chess Grandmaster
July 17
Sue England, American actress
William Heseltine, Australian Private Secretary to Queen Elizabeth II
July 20
Sally Ann Howes, English actress and singer
Oleg Anofriyev, Soviet and Russian stage and screen actor, voice actor, singer, songwriter, film director, and poet
Bryan Conquest, Australian politician
July 22 – Jeremy Lloyd, British actor and screenwriter (d. 2014)
July 25
Murray Chapple, New Zealand cricketer (d. 1985)
Maureen Forrester, Canadian contralto (d. 2010)
July 27 – Andy White, Scottish drummer (d. 2015)
July 28
Firoza Begum, Bengali singer (d. 2014)
Jean Roba, Belgian comics author (d. 2006)

Neil Armstrong

Robert Culp

Princess Margaret

Sir Sean Connery
August 1
Pierre Bourdieu, French sociologist (d. 2002)
Lawrence Eagleburger, United States Secretary of State (d. 2011)
August 4 – Ali al-Sistani, Shia Ayatollah
August 5 – Neil Armstrong, astronaut, first human to set foot on the Moon, Commander of Apollo 11. He was also an aerospace engineer, naval aviator, test pilot, and university professor. (d. 2012)
August 6 – Abbey Lincoln, American singer (d. 2010)
August 9 – Jacques Parizeau, French-Canadian politician (d. 2015)
August 10 – Jorma Panula, Finnish conductor and composer
August 12
George Soros, Hungarian-born investor
Peter Weck, Austrian film director and actor
August 13 – Don Ho, Hawaiian singer & musician (d. 2007)
August 14 – Earl Weaver, American professional baseball player and manager (d. 2013)
August 15 – Selma James, American-born feminist writer
August 16
Robert Culp, American actor (d. 2010)
Frank Gifford, American football player (d. 2015)
August 17 – Ted Hughes, English poet (d. 1998)
August 18 – Rafael Pineda Ponce, Honduran educator and politician. (d. 2014)
August 19 – Frank McCourt, Irish-American writer (d. 2009)
August 21 – Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (d. 2002)
August 22 – Gylmar dos Santos Neves, Brazilian footballer (d. 2013)
August 23 – Mickey McMahan, American big band musician (d. 2008)
August 25 – Sir Sean Connery, Scottish actor
August 27 – Gholamreza Takhti, Iranian wrestler (d. 1968)
August 28 – Ben Gazzara, American actor (d. 2012)
August 30 – Warren Buffett, American billionaire entrepreneur

Baudouin I of Belgium

Ray Charles
September 1 – Charles Correa, Indian architect (d. 2015)
September 3 – Cherry Wilder, New Zealand author (d. 2002)
September 7
King Baudouin I of Belgium (d. 1993)
Sonny Rollins, American jazz saxophonist
September 8 – Mario Adorf, German actor
September 9 – Frank Lucas, African-American drug lord
September 11
Cathryn Damon, American actress (d. 1987)
Renzo Montagnani, Italian actor (d. 1997)
September 12 – Akira Suzuki, Japanese chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
September 13
Mary Baumgartner, American female professional baseball player
Bola Ige, Nigerian politician (d. 2001)
September 16 – Anne Francis, American actress (d. 2011)
September 17
Edgar Mitchell, American astronaut (d. 2016)
David Huddleston American actor The Big Lebowski (d. 2016)
September 20 – Kenneth Mopeli, Chief Minister of QwaQwa bantustan (d. 2014)
September 21 – Dawn Addams, British actress (d. 1985)
September 22 – T. S. Sinnathuray, Judge of the High Court of Singapore (d. 2016)
September 23
Colin Blakely, Northern Irish actor (d. 1987)
Ray Charles, American singer, musician, and actor (d. 2004)
September 24 – Angelo Muscat, Maltese actor (d. 1977)
September 25 – Shel Silverstein, American author, poet, and humorist (d. 1999)
September 26
Philip Bosco, American actor
Fritz Wunderlich, German tenor singer (d. 1966)

Hafez al-Assad

Michael Collins
October 1
Richard Harris, Irish actor and singer (d. 2002)
Philippe Noiret, French actor (d. 2006)
Rev. Dr. George F. Regas, American Episcopal priest and activist; rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, California (1967–95)
Erica Yohn, American actress
October 5
Pavel Popovich, Soviet cosmonaut (d. 2009)
Reinhard Selten, German economist, Nobel Prize laureate
October 6
Hafez al-Assad, President of Syria (d. 2000)
Richie Benaud, Australian cricketer and commentator (d. 2015)
October 8 – Tōru Takemitsu, Japanese composer (d. 1996)
October 10
Yves Chauvin, Belgian-born chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2015)
Harold Pinter, English playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2008)
October 11 – Sam Johnson, American politician
October 14
Schafik Handal, Salvadoran politician (d. 2006)
Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Democratic Republic of the Congo (d. 1997)
October 17
Robert Atkins, American nutritionist (d. 2003)
Jimmy Breslin, American newspaper columnist and author
October 19 – Jody Lawrance, American actress (d. 1986)
October 24 – The Big Bopper, American singer (d. 1959)
October 28 – Bernie Ecclestone, English auto racing tycoon
October 29
Bertha Brouwer, Dutch athlete (d. 2006)
Natalie Sleeth, American composer (d. 1992)
Omara Portuondo, Cuban singer and dancer
Niki de Saint Phalle, French artist (d. 2002)
October 30
Daniel Boone, American jazz trumpeter (d. 1956)
Timothy Findley, Canadian author (d. 2002)
October 31 – Michael Collins, American astronaut, second person to fly around the Moon solo, Command Module pilot on Apollo 11, the first human lunar landing

Mildred Dresselhaus

Bob Mathias
November 3 – D. James Kennedy, American evangelist (d. 2007)
November 5 – Hans Mommsen, German historian (d. 2015)
November 6 – Derrick Bell, law professor, Wilma Briggs, American female baseball player (d. 2011)
November 11
Stuart Briscoe, British-American pastor, motivational speaker and author
Mildred Dresselhaus, American scientist and educator (d. 2017)
November 12 – Bob Crewe, American singer, songwriter, manager, and producer (d. 2014)
November 14
Shirley Crabtree (“Big Daddy”), British professional wrestler (d. 1997)
Edward Higgins White, American astronaut (d. 1967)
November 15 – J. G. Ballard, English writer (d. 2009)
November 16
Chinua Achebe, Nigerian writer (d. 2013)
Salvatore Riina, Italian multiple murderer
November 17 – Bob Mathias, American athlete (d. 2006)
November 20 – Bernard Horsfall, British actor (d. 2013)
November 24 – Bob Friend, American baseball player
November 25 – Clarke Scholes, American freestyle swimmer (d. 2010)
November 27 – Rex Shelley, Singaporean author (d. 2009)
November 30 – G. Gordon Liddy, organizer of the Watergate burglaries

Jean-Luc Godard
December 1 – Joachim Hoffmann, German historian (d. 2002)
December 2 – Gary Becker, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2014)
December 3 – Jean-Luc Godard, French film director
December 4
Jim Hall, American jazz guitarist (d. 2013)
Ronnie Corbett, British comedian (d. 2016)
December 6 – Daniel Lisulo, Prime Minister of Zambia (d. 2000)
December 7 – Christopher Nicole, Guyanese-born British writer
December 8
Stan Richards, English actor (d. 2005)
Maximilian Schell, Swiss-Austrian actor (d. 2014)
December 9 – Edoardo Sanguineti, Italian writer (d. 2010)
December 11
Jean-Louis Trintignant, French actor
Jim Williams, American antique dealer and preservationist (d. 1990)
December 15 – Edna O’Brien, Irish writer

Armin Mueller-Stahl
December 17 – Armin Mueller-Stahl, German actor
December 21
Adebayo Adedeji, Nigerian UN official
Kalevi Sorsa, Prime Minister of Finland (d. 2004)
December 25 – Salah Jahin, Egyptian poet, lyricist, playwright and cartoonist (d. 1986)
December 27 – Wilfrid Sheed, English-born American writer (d. 2011)
December 28
Mariam A. Aleem, Egyptian artist (d. 2010)
Gladys Ambrose, English actress (d. 1998)
Franzl Lang, German yodeler (d. 2015)
December 29 – Frank Dezelan, American baseball umpire (d. 2011)
December 30 – Tu Youyou, Chinese pharmaceutical chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
December 31
Odetta, American singer (d. 2008)
Jaime Escalante, American teacher (d. 2010)
Date unknown Edit
Kevin Budden, Australian herpetologist (d. 1950)
Barney Glaser, American sociologist

January–June Edit

Thomas Mackenzie

Ahmad Shah Qajar

Martyr Saints of China

William Howard Taft

Arthur Balfour

Fridtjof Nansen
January 3 – Guglielmo Plüschow, German photographer (b. 1852)
January 9 – Edward Bok, American author (b. 1863)
January 13 – John Nathan Cobb, American author, naturalist, conservationist, fisheries researcher, and educator (b. 1868)
January 27 – Dewa Shigetō, Japanese admiral (b. 1856)
February 3 – Michele Bianchi, Italian fascist leader (b. 1883)
February 14 – Sir Thomas MacKenzie, New Zealand politician and explorer, 18th Prime Minister of New Zealand and High Commissioner (b. 1854)
February 15 – Giulio Douhet, Italian general and air power theorist (b. 1869)
February 21 – Ahmad Shah Qajar, Shah of Persia (b. 1898)
February 23
Mabel Normand, American actress (b. 1895)
Horst Wessel, Nazi ideologue and composer (b. 1907)
February 25 – Martyr Saints of China
February 28 – Sir Perceval Maitland Laurence, English classical scholar, South African judge and a benefactor of the University of Cambridge (b. 1854)
March 2 – D. H. Lawrence, English writer (Lady Chatterley’s Lover) (b. 1885)
March 6 – Alfred von Tirpitz, German politician and admiral (b. 1848)
March 8 – William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States, 10th Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1857)
March 12 – William George Barker, Canadian pilot (b. 1894)
March 16 – Miguel Primo de Rivera, Spanish military officer and former Prime Minister (b. 1870)
March 19 – Arthur Balfour, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1848)
March 24 – Eugeen Van Mieghem, Belgian painter (b. 1875)
April 2 – Empress Zewditu I of Ethiopia (b. 1876)
April 4 – Victoria of Baden, Queen consort of Sweden (b. 1862)
April 9 – Heinrich Ritter von Wittek, Austrian politician and statesman (b. 1844)
April 10 – Alfred Williams, British poet (b. 1877)
April 14
Vladimir Mayakovsky, Russian poet (b. 1893)
John B. Sheridan, Irish American sports journalist (b. 1870)
April 21 – Robert Bridges, English poet (b. 1844)
April 22 – Jeppe Aakjær, Danish poet and novelist (b. 1866)
May 13 – Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian explorer, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1861)
May 17 – Herbert Croly, American political author (b. 1869)
May 25 – Randall Davidson, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1848)
June 5 – Pascin, Bulgarian painter (b. 1885)
June 10 – Adolf von Harnack, German Lutheran theologian and church historian (b. 1851)
June 13 – Henry Segrave, British racer and speed record holder (b. 1896)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Joseph Ward

Luigi Facta
July 7 – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Scottish-born fiction writer (Sherlock Holmes) (b. 1859)
July 8 – Sir Joseph Ward, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand (b. 1856)
July 15
Leopold Auer, Hungarian violinist (b. 1845)
Rudolph Schildkraut, Istanbul born American actor (b. 1862)
July 19 – Oku Yasukata, Japanese field marshal and a leading figure in the early Imperial Japanese Army (b. 1847)
July 23 – Glenn Curtiss, American aviation pioneer (b. 1878)
July 26 – Pavlos Karolidis, Greek historian (b. 1849)
July 28 – Allvar Gullstrand, Swedish ophthalmologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1862)
July 30 – Joan Gamper, Swiss-born businessman and founder of FC Barcelona (b. 1877)
August 12 – Horace Smith-Dorrien, English general (b. 1858)
August 15 – Florian Cajori, Swiss-born historian of mathematics (b. 1859)
August 21 – Aston Webb, British architect (b. 1849)
August 24 – Tom Norman, English freak showman (b. 1860)
August 26 – Lon Chaney, American actor (b. 1883)
August 29 – William Archibald Spooner, English scholar and Anglican priest (b. 1844)
September 1 – Peeter Põld, Estonian pedagogical scientist and politician (b. 1878)
September 10 – Aubrey Faulkner, South African cricketer (b. 1881)
September 15 – Milton Sills, American actor (b. 1882)
September 20 – Gombojab Tsybikov, Russian explorer (b. 1873)
September 21 – John T. Dorrance, American chemist (b. 1873)
September 24 – William A. MacCorkle, American lawyer, Governor of West Virginia (b. 1857)
September 28 – Daniel Guggenheim, American mining magnate and philanthropist (b. 1856)
October 2 – Gordon Stewart Northcott, American serial killer (executed) (b. 1906)
October 15 – Herbert Dow, Canadian-born chemical industrialist (b. 1866)
October 20 – Valeriano Weyler, 1st Duke of Rubí, Spanish general (b. 1838)
October 26 – Harry Payne Whitney, American businessman and horse breeder (b. 1872)
October 28 – Mary Harrison McKee, de facto First Lady of the United States (b. 1858)
November 5
Christiaan Eijkman, Dutch physician and pathologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1858)
Luigi Facta, Italian politician, 26th Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1861)
November 8 – Alexander Bedward, Jamaican preacher (b. 1848)
November 9 – Tasker H. Bliss, American general (b. 1853)
November 20 – William B. Hanna, American sportswriter (b. 1866)
November 28 – Constantine VI, Turkish-born bishop, briefly Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (b. 1859)
November 30 – Mary Harris Jones, American labor leader (b. 1837)

Alfred Wegener
November – Alfred Wegener, German geophysicist and meteorologist (b. 1880)
December 9
Andrew “Rube” Foster, American Negro league baseball player (b. 1879)
Laura Muntz Lyall, Canadian painter (b. 1860)
December 12 – Nikolai Pokrovsky, Russian politician and the last foreign minister of the Russian Empire (b. 1865)
December 13 – Fritz Pregl, Austrian chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1869)
December 14 – F. Richard Jones, American director (b. 1893)
December 17 – Peter Warlock, Anglo-Welsh composer (b. 1894)
December 25 – Eugen Goldstein, German physicist (b. 1850)
Nobel Prizes

Nobel medal.png
Physics – Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman
Chemistry – Hans Fischer
Physiology or Medicine – Karl Landsteiner
Literature – Sinclair Lewis
Peace – Nathan Söderblom


Orson Wells

Orson Welles
Welles on March 1, 1937 (age 21), photographed by Carl Van Vechten
Born George Orson Welles
May 6, 1915
Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died October 10, 1985 (aged 70)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Heart attack
Resting place Ronda, Spain
Alma mater Todd School for Boys
Actor director writer producer
Years active 1931–1985
Virginia Nicolson
(married 1934–1940)
Rita Hayworth
(married 1943–1947)
Paola Mori
(married 1955–1985)
Partners Dolores del Río (1938–43)
Oja Kodar (1966–85)
Christopher Welles Feder
Rebecca Welles Manning
Beatrice Welles
Parents Richard Hodgdon Head Welles
Beatrice Lucy Ives Welles
Awards 1941 Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) for Citizen Kane
1970 Academy Honorary Award
George Orson Welles (/ˈwɛlz/; May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985) was an American actor, director, writer, and producer who worked in theatre, radio, and film. He is remembered for his innovative work in all three: in theatre, most notably Caesar (1937), a Broadway adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar; in radio, the legendary 1938 broadcast “The War of the Worlds”; and in film, Citizen Kane (1941), consistently ranked as one of the all-time greatest films.

Welles directed a number of high-profile stage productions for the Federal Theatre Project in his early twenties, including an adaptation of Macbeth with an entirely African American cast, and the political musical The Cradle Will Rock. In 1937 he and John Houseman founded the Mercury Theatre, an independent repertory theatre company that presented a series of productions on Broadway through 1941. Welles found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds performed for his radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It reportedly caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was actually occurring. Although some contemporary sources claim these reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

His first film was Citizen Kane (1941), which he co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in as Charles Foster Kane. Welles was an outsider to the studio system and directed only 13 full-length films in his career. He struggled for creative control on his projects early on with the major film studios and later in life with a variety of independent financiers, and his films were either heavily edited or remained unreleased. His distinctive directorial style featured layered and nonlinear narrative forms, uses of lighting such as chiaroscuro, unusual camera angles, sound techniques borrowed from radio, deep focus shots, and long takes. He has been praised as “the ultimate auteur”.:6

Welles followed up Citizen Kane with critically acclaimed films including The Magnificent Ambersons in 1942 and Touch of Evil in 1958. Although these three are his most acclaimed films, critics have argued other works of his, such as The Lady from Shanghai (1947) and Chimes at Midnight (1966), are underappreciated.

In 2002, Welles was voted the greatest film director of all time in two British Film Institute polls among directors and critics, and a survey of critical consensus, best-of lists, and historical retrospectives calls him the second most acclaimed director of all time (behind Alfred Hitchcock). Known for his baritone voice, Welles was an actor in radio and film, a Shakespearean stage actor, and a magician noted for presenting troop variety shows in the war years.

Early life


Welles’s birthplace in Kenosha, Wisconsin (2013)
George Orson Welles was born May 6, 1915, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, son of Richard Head Welles (b. Richard Hodgdon Wells, November 12, 1872, near St. Joseph, Missouri; d. December 28, 1930, Chicago, Illinois):26 and Beatrice Ives Welles (b. Beatrice Lucy Ives, September 1, 1883, Springfield, Illinois; d. May 10, 1924, Chicago).:9 He was named after his paternal great-grandfather, influential Kenosha attorney Orson S. Head, and his brother George Head.:37
Despite his family’s affluence, Welles encountered hardship in childhood. His parents separated and moved to Chicago in 1919. His father, who made a fortune as the inventor of a popular bicycle lamp, became an alcoholic and stopped working. Welles’s mother, a pianist, played during lectures by Dudley Crafts Watson at the Art Institute of Chicago to support her son and herself; the oldest Welles boy, “Dickie,” was institutionalized at an early age because he had learning difficulties. Beatrice died of hepatitis in a Chicago hospital:3–5 May 10, 1924, just after Welles’s ninth birthday.:326 The Gordon String Quartet, which had made its first appearance at her home in 1921, played at Beatrice’s funeral.
After his mother’s death Welles ceased pursuing music. It was decided that he would spend the summer with the Watson family at a private art colony in Wyoming, New York, established by Lydia Avery Coonley Ward.:8 There he played and became friends with the children of the Aga Khan, including the 12-year-old Prince Aly Khan. Then, in what Welles later described as “a hectic period” in his life, he lived in a Chicago apartment with both his father and Dr. Maurice Bernstein, a Chicago physician who had been a close friend of both his parents. Welles briefly attended public school:133 before his alcoholic father left business altogether and took him along on his travels to Jamaica and the Far East. When they returned they settled in a hotel in Grand Detour, Illinois, that was owned by his father. When the hotel burned down, Welles and his father took to the road again.:9
“During the three years that Orson lived with his father, some observers wondered who took care of whom”, wrote biographer Frank Brady.:9
“In some ways, he was never really a young boy, you know,” said Roger Hill, who became Welles’s teacher and lifelong friend.:24

Orson Welles in 1926: “Cartoonist, Actor, Poet and only 10”
Welles briefly attended public school in Madison, Wisconsin, enrolled in the fourth grade.:9 On September 15, 1926, he entered the Todd Seminary for Boys,:3 an expensive independent school in Woodstock, Illinois, that his older brother, Richard Ives Welles, had attended ten years before but was expelled from for misbehavior.:48 At Todd School Welles came under the influence of Roger Hill, a teacher who was later Todd’s headmaster. Hill provided Welles with an ad hoc educational environment that proved invaluable to his creative experience, allowing Welles to concentrate on subjects that interested him. Welles performed and staged theatrical experiments and productions there.
“Todd provided Welles with many valuable experiences”, wrote critic Richard France. “He was able to explore and experiment in an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement. In addition to a theater the school’s own radio station was at his disposal.”:27 Welles’s first radio performance was on the Todd station, an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes that he also wrote.:7
On December 28, 1930, when Welles was 15, his father died of heart and kidney failure at the age of 58, alone in a hotel in Chicago. Shortly before this, Welles had announced to his father that he would stop seeing him, believing it would prompt his father to refrain from drinking. As a result, Orson felt guilty because he believed his father had drunk himself to death because of him. His father’s will left it to Orson to name his guardian. When Roger Hill declined, Welles chose Maurice Bernstein.:71–72
Following graduation from Todd in May 1931,:3 Welles was awarded a scholarship to Harvard University, while his mentor Roger Hill advocated he attend Cornell College in Iowa. Rather than enrolling, he chose travel. He studied for a few weeks at the Art Institute of Chicago:117 with Boris Anisfeld, who encouraged him to pursue painting.:18
Welles would occasionally return to Woodstock, the place he eventually named when he was asked in a 1960 interview, “Where is home?” Welles replied, “I suppose it’s Woodstock, Illinois, if it’s anywhere. I went to school there for four years. If I try to think of a home, it’s that.”

Early career (1931–1935)


Playbill for Archibald MacLeish’s Panic (March 14–15, 1935), Welles’s first starring role on the U.S. stage
After his father’s death, Welles traveled to Europe using a small portion of his inheritance. Welles said that while on a walking and painting trip through Ireland, he strode into the Gate Theatre in Dublin and claimed he was a Broadway star. The manager of Gate, Hilton Edwards, later said he had not believed him but was impressed by his brashness and an impassioned audition he gave.:134 Welles made his stage debut at the Gate Theatre on October 13, 1931, appearing in Ashley Dukes’s adaptation of Jew Suss as Duke Karl Alexander of Württemberg. He performed small supporting roles in subsequent Gate productions, and he produced and designed productions of his own in Dublin. In March 1932 Welles performed in W. Somerset Maugham’s The Circle at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and travelled to London to find additional work in the theatre. Unable to obtain a work permit, he returned to the U.S.:327–330
Welles found his fame ephemeral and turned to a writing project at Todd School that would become the immensely successful, first entitled Everybody’s Shakespeare and subsequently, The Mercury Shakespeare. Welles traveled to North Africa while working on thousands of illustrations for the Everybody’s Shakespeare series of educational books, a series that remained in print for decades.
In 1933, Roger and Hortense Hill invited Welles to a party in Chicago, where Welles met Thornton Wilder. Wilder arranged for Welles to meet Alexander Woollcott in New York, in order that he be introduced to Katharine Cornell, who was assembling a repertory theatre company. Cornell’s husband, director Guthrie McClintic, immediately put Welles under contract and cast him in three plays.:46–49 Romeo and Juliet, The Barretts of Wimpole Street and Candida toured in repertory for 36 weeks beginning in November 1933, with the first of more than 200 performances taking place in Buffalo, New York.:330–331
In 1934, Welles got his first job on radio—on The American School of the Air—through actor-director Paul Stewart, who introduced him to director Knowles Entrikin.:331 That summer Welles staged a drama festival with the Todd School in Woodstock, Illinois, inviting Micheál Mac Liammóir and Hilton Edwards from Dublin’s Gate Theatre to appear along with New York stage luminaries in productions including Trilby, Hamlet, The Drunkard and Tsar Paul. At the old firehouse in Woodstock he also shot his first film, an eight-minute short titled The Hearts of Age.:330–331
On November 14, 1934, Welles married Chicago socialite and actress Virginia Nicolson[17]:332 (often misspelled “Nicholson”) in a civil ceremony in New York. To appease the Nicolsons, who were furious at the couple’s elopement, a formal ceremony took place December 23, 1934, at the New Jersey mansion of the bride’s godmother. Welles wore a cutaway borrowed from his friend George Macready.:182
A revised production of Katharine Cornell’s Romeo and Juliet opened December 20, 1934, at the Martin Beck Theatre in New York.:331–332 The Broadway production brought the 19-year-old Welles (now playing Tybalt) to the notice of John Houseman, a theatrical producer who was casting the lead role in the debut production of Archibald MacLeish’s verse play, Panic.:144–158 On March 22, 1935, Welles made his debut on the CBS Radio series The March of Time, performing a scene from Panic for a news report on the stage production:70–71
By 1935 Welles was supplementing his earnings in the theater as a radio actor in Manhattan, working with many actors who would later form the core of his Mercury Theatre on programs including America’s Hour, Cavalcade of America, Columbia Workshop and The March of Time.:331–332 “Within a year of his debut Welles could claim membership in that elite band of radio actors who commanded salaries second only to the highest paid movie stars,” wrote critic Richard France.:172

Theatre (1936–1938)



The Cradle Will Rock (1937)
Part of the Works Progress Administration, the Federal Theatre Project (1935–39) was a New Deal program to fund theatre and other live artistic performances and entertainment programs in the United States during the Great Depression. It was created as a relief measure to employ artists, writers, directors and theater workers. Under national director Hallie Flanagan it was shaped into a true national theatre that created relevant art, encouraged experimentation and innovation, and made it possible for millions of Americans to see live theatre for the first time.


Houseman (left) and Welles at a rehearsal of Horse Eats Hat (1936)
John Houseman, director of the Negro Theatre Unit in New York, invited Welles to join the Federal Theatre Project in 1935. Far from unemployed — “I was so employed I forgot how to sleep” — Welles put a large share of his $1,500-a-week radio earnings into his stage productions, bypassing administrative red tape and mounting the projects more quickly and professionally. “Roosevelt once said that I was the only operator in history who ever illegally siphoned money into a Washington project,” Welles said.:11–13
The Federal Theatre Project was the ideal environment in which Welles could develop his art. Its purpose was employment, so he was able to hire any number of artists, craftsmen and technicians, and he filled the stage with performers.:3 The company for the first production, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth with an entirely African-American cast, numbered 150. The production became known as the Voodoo Macbeth because Welles changed the setting to a mythical island suggesting the Haitian court of King Henri Christophe,:179–180 with Haitian vodou fulfilling the rôle of Scottish witchcraft.:86 The play opened April 14, 1936, at the Lafayette Theatre in Harlem and was received rapturously. At 20, Welles was hailed as a prodigy. The production then made a 4,000-mile national tour:333 that included two weeks at the Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas.
Next mounted was the farce Horse Eats Hat, an adaptation by Welles and Edwin Denby of The Italian Straw Hat, an 1851 five-act farce by Eugène Marin Labiche and Marc-Michel.:114 The play was presented September 26 – December 5, 1936, at Maxine Elliott’s Theatre, New York,:334 and featured Joseph Cotten in his first starring role.[41]:34 It was followed by an adaptation of Dr. Faustus that used light as a prime unifying scenic element in a nearly black stage, presented January 8 – May 9, 1937, at Maxine Elliott’s Theatre.:335
Outside the scope of the Federal Theatre Project,:100 American composer Aaron Copland chose Welles to direct The Second Hurricane (1937), an operetta with a libretto by Edwin Denby. Presented at the Henry Street Settlement Music School in New York for the benefit of high school students, the production opened April 21, 1937, and ran its scheduled three performances.:337
In 1937, Welles rehearsed Marc Blitzstein’s political operetta, The Cradle Will Rock. It was originally scheduled to open June 16, 1937, in its first public preview. Because of severe federal cutbacks in the Works Progress projects, the show’s premiere at the Maxine Elliott Theatre was canceled. The theater was locked and guarded to prevent any government-purchased materials from being used for a commercial production of the work. In a last-minute move, Welles announced to waiting ticket-holders that the show was being transferred to the Venice, 20 blocks away. Some cast, and some crew and audience, walked the distance on foot. The union musicians refused to perform in a commercial theater for lower non-union government wages. The actors’ union stated that the production belonged to the Federal Theater Project and could not be performed outside that context without permission. Lacking the participation of the union members, The Cradle Will Rock began with Blitzstein introducing the show and playing the piano accompaniment on stage with some cast members performing from the audience. This impromptu performance was well received by its audience.
Mercury Theatre

Welles as the octogenarian Captain Shotover in the Mercury Theatre production of Heartbreak House, on the cover of Time (May 9, 1938)

Breaking with the Federal Theatre Project in 1937, Welles and Houseman founded their own repertory company, which they called the Mercury Theatre. The name was inspired by the title of the iconoclastic magazine, The American Mercury.:119–120 Welles was executive producer, and the original company included such actors as Joseph Cotten, George Coulouris, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Arlene Francis, Martin Gabel, John Hoyt, Norman Lloyd, Vincent Price, Stefan Schnabel and Hiram Sherman.
“I think he was the greatest directorial talent we’ve ever had in the [American] theater,” Lloyd said of Welles in a 2014 interview. “When you saw a Welles production, you saw the text had been affected, the staging was remarkable, the sets were unusual, music, sound, lighting, a totality of everything. We had not had such a man in our theater. He was the first and remains the greatest.”
The Mercury Theatre opened November 11, 1937, with Caesar, Welles’s modern-dress adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy Julius Caesar — streamlined into an anti-fascist tour de force that Joseph Cotten later described as “so vigorous, so contemporary that it set Broadway on its ear.”[41]:108 The set was completely open with no curtain, and the brick stage wall was painted dark red. Scene changes were achieved by lighting alone.[43]:165 On the stage was a series of risers; squares were cut into one at intervals and lights were set beneath it, pointing straight up to evoke the “cathedral of light” at the Nuremberg Rallies. “He staged it like a political melodrama that happened the night before,” said Lloyd.
Beginning January 1, 1938, Caesar was performed in repertory with The Shoemaker’s Holiday; both productions moved to the larger National Theatre. They were followed by Heartbreak House (April 29, 1938) and Danton’s Death (November 5, 1938).:344 As well as being presented in a pared-down oratorio version at the Mercury Theatre on Sunday nights in December 1937, The Cradle Will Rock was at the Windsor Theatre for 13 weeks (January 4–April 2, 1938).:340 Such was the success of the Mercury Theatre that Welles appeared on the cover of Time magazine, in full makeup as Captain Shotover in Heartbreak House, in the issue dated May 9, 1938—three days after his 23rd birthday.

Radio (1936–1940)

Orson Welles radio credits
Simultaneously with his work in the theatre, Welles worked extensively in radio as an actor, writer, director and producer, often without credit.:77 Between 1935 and 1937 he was earning as much as $2,000 a week, shuttling between radio studios at such a pace that he would arrive barely in time for a quick scan of his lines before he was on the air. While he was directing the Voodoo Macbeth Welles was dashing between Harlem and midtown Manhattan three times a day to meet his radio commitments.:172
In addition to continuing as a repertory player on The March of Time, in the fall of 1936 Welles adapted and performed Hamlet in an early two-part episode of CBS Radio’s Columbia Workshop. His performance as the announcer in the series’ April 1937 presentation of Archibald MacLeish’s verse drama The Fall of the City was an important development in his radio career:78 and made the 21-year-old Welles an overnight star.:46
In July 1937, the Mutual Network gave Welles a seven-week series to adapt Les Misérables. It was his first job as a writer-director for radio,:338 the radio debut of the Mercury Theatre, and one of Welles’s earliest and finest achievements.:160 He invented the use of narration in radio.:88
“By making himself the center of the storytelling process, Welles fostered the impression of self-adulation that was to haunt his career to his dying day,” wrote critic Andrew Sarris. “For the most part, however, Welles was singularly generous to the other members of his cast and inspired loyalty from them above and beyond the call of professionalism.”:8
That September, Mutual chose Welles to play Lamont Cranston, also known as The Shadow. He performed the role anonymously through mid-September 1938.:83
The Mercury Theatre on the Air


Welles at the press conference after “The War of the Worlds” broadcast (October 31, 1938)
After the theatrical successes of the Mercury Theatre, CBS Radio invited Orson Welles to create a summer show for 13 weeks. The series began July 11, 1938, initially titled First Person Singular, with the formula that Welles would play the lead in each show. Some months later the show was called The Mercury Theatre on the Air.:12 The weekly hour-long show presented radio plays based on classic literary works, with original music composed and conducted by Bernard Herrmann.
The Mercury Theatre’s radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells October 30, 1938, brought Welles instant fame. The combination of the news bulletin form of the performance with the between-breaks dial spinning habits of listeners was later reported to have created widespread confusion among listeners who failed to hear the introduction, although the extent of this confusion has come into question. Panic was reportedly spread among listeners who believed the fictional news reports of a Martian invasion. The myth of the result created by the combination was reported as fact around the world and disparagingly mentioned by Adolf Hitler in a public speech.
Welles’s growing fame drew Hollywood offers, lures that the independent-minded Welles resisted at first. The Mercury Theatre on the Air, which had been a sustaining show (without sponsorship) was picked up by Campbell Soup and renamed The Campbell Playhouse. The Mercury Theatre on the Air made its last broadcast on December 4, 1938, and The Campbell Playhouse began five days later.
Welles began commuting from California to New York for the two Sunday broadcasts of The Campbell Playhouse after signing a film contract with RKO Pictures in August 1939. In November 1939, production of the show moved from New York to Los Angeles.:353
After 20 shows, Campbell began to exercise more creative control and had complete control over story selection. As his contract with Campbell came to an end, Welles chose not to sign on for another season. After the broadcast of March 31, 1940, Welles and Campbell parted amicably.[20]:221–226

Hollywood (1939–1948)

RKO Radio Pictures president George Schaefer eventually offered Welles what generally is considered the greatest contract offered to a filmmaker, much less to one who was untried. Engaging him to write, produce, direct and perform in two motion pictures, the contract subordinated the studio’s financial interests to Welles’s creative control, and broke all precedent by granting Welles the right of final cut.:1–2 After signing a summary agreement with RKO on July 22, Welles signed a full-length 63-page contract August 21, 1939.:353 The agreement was bitterly resented by the Hollywood studios and persistently mocked in the trade press.:2

Citizen Kane


Welles in Citizen Kane (1941)

RKO rejected Welles’s first two movie proposals, but agreed on the third offer—Citizen Kane. Welles co-wrote, produced and directed the film, and performed the lead role. Welles conceived the project with screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, who was writing radio plays for The Campbell Playhouse.:16 Mankiewicz based the original outline on the life of William Randolph Hearst, whom he knew socially and came to hate after being exiled from Hearst’s circle.:231
After agreeing on the storyline and character, Welles supplied Mankiewicz with 300 pages of notes and put him under contract to write the first draft screenplay under the supervision of John Houseman. Welles wrote his own draft,:54 then drastically condensed and rearranged both versions and added scenes of his own. The industry accused Welles of underplaying Mankiewicz’s contribution to the script, but Welles countered the attacks by saying, “At the end, naturally, I was the one making the picture, after all—who had to make the decisions. I used what I wanted of Mank’s and, rightly or wrongly, kept what I liked of my own.”:54
Welles’s project attracted some of Hollywood’s best technicians, including cinematographer Gregg Toland. For the cast, Welles primarily used actors from his Mercury Theatre. Filming Citizen Kane took ten weeks.
Hearst’s newspapers barred all reference to Citizen Kane and exerted enormous pressure on the Hollywood film community to force RKO to shelve the film.:111 RKO chief George Schaefer received a cash offer from MGM’s Louis B. Mayer and other major studio executives if he would destroy the negative and existing prints of the film.:112
While waiting for Citizen Kane to be released, Welles directed the original Broadway production of Native Son, a drama written by Paul Green and Richard Wright based on Wright’s novel. Starring Canada Lee, the show ran March 24 – June 28, 1941, at the St. James Theatre. The Mercury Production was the last time Welles and Houseman worked together.:12
Citizen Kane was given a limited release and the film received overwhelming critical praise. It was voted the best picture of 1941 by the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle. The film garnered nine Academy Award nominations but won only for Best Original Screenplay, shared by Mankiewicz and Welles. Variety reported that block voting by screen extras deprived Citizen Kane of Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor (Welles), and similar prejudices were likely to have been responsible for the film receiving no technical awards.:117
The delay in the film’s release and uneven distribution contributed to mediocre results at the box office. After it ran its course theatrically, Citizen Kane was retired to the vault in 1942. In postwar France, however, the film’s reputation grew after it was seen for the first time in 1946.:117–118 In the United States, it began to be re-evaluated after it began to appear on television in 1956. That year it was also re-released theatrically,:119 and film critic Andrew Sarris described it as “the great American film” and “the work that influenced the cinema more profoundly than any American film since Birth of a Nation.” Citizen Kane is now hailed as one of the greatest films ever made.
The Magnificent Ambersons

Orson Welles at work on The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

The Magnificent Ambersons (film)
Welles’s second film for RKO was The Magnificent Ambersons, adapted by Welles from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Booth Tarkington. Toland was not available, so Stanley Cortez was named cinematographer. The meticulous Cortez worked slowly and the film lagged behind schedule and over budget. Prior to production, Welles’s contract was renegotiated, revoking his right to control the final cut. The Magnificent Ambersons was in production October 28, 1941 – January 22, 1942.
Throughout the shooting of the film Welles was also producing a weekly half-hour radio series, The Orson Welles Show. Many of the Ambersons cast participated in the CBS Radio series, which ran September 15, 1941 – February 2, 1942.:525
Journey into Fear


Journey into Fear (1943 film)
At RKO’s request, Welles worked on an adaptation of Eric Ambler’s spy thriller, Journey into Fear, co-written with Joseph Cotten. In addition to acting in the film, Welles was the producer. Direction was credited to Norman Foster. Welles later said that they were in such a rush that the director of each scene was determined by whoever was closest to the camera.:165
Journey into Fear was in production January 6–March 12, 1942.

War work

Goodwill ambassador

Delia Garcés and Welles at an Argentine Film Critics Association awards reception for Citizen Kane (April 1942)
In late November 1941, Welles was appointed as a goodwill ambassador to Latin America by Nelson Rockefeller, U.S. Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs and a principal stockholder in RKO Radio Pictures.:244 The mission of the OCIAA was cultural diplomacy, promoting hemispheric solidarity and countering the growing influence of the Axis powers in Latin America.:10–11 John Hay Whitney, head of the agency’s Motion Picture Division, was asked by the Brazilian government to produce a documentary of the annual Rio Carnival celebration taking place in early February 1942.[62]:40–41 In a telegram December 20, 1941, Whitney wrote Welles, “Personally believe you would make great contribution to hemisphere solidarity with this project.”:65
The OCIAA sponsored cultural tours to Latin America and appointed goodwill ambassadors including George Balanchine and the American Ballet, Bing Crosby, Aaron Copland, Walt Disney, John Ford and Rita Hayworth. Welles was thoroughly briefed in Washington, D.C., immediately before his departure for Brazil, and film scholar Catherine L. Benamou, a specialist in Latin American affairs, finds it “not unlikely” that he was among the goodwill ambassadors who were asked to gather intelligence for the U.S. government in addition to their cultural duties. She concludes that Welles’s acceptance of Whitney’s request was “a logical and patently patriotic choice”.:245–247
In addition to working on his ill-fated film project, It’s All True, Welles was responsible for radio programs, lectures, interviews and informal talks as part of his OCIAA-sponsored cultural mission, which was regarded as a success.:192 He spoke on topics ranging from Shakespeare to visual art at gatherings of Brazil’s elite, and his two intercontinental radio broadcasts in April 1942 were particularly intended to tell U.S. audiences that President Vargas was a partner with the Allies. Welles’s ambassadorial mission was extended to permit his travel to other nations including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.:247–249, 328 Welles worked for more than half a year with no compensation.:41, 328:189
Welles’s own expectations for the film were modest. “It’s All True was not going to make any cinematic history, nor was it intended to,” he later said. “It was intended to be a perfectly honorable execution of my job as a goodwill ambassador, bringing entertainment to the Northern Hemisphere that showed them something about the Southern one.”:253
It’s All True

It’s All True (film)
In July 1941, Welles conceived It’s All True as an omnibus film mixing documentary and docufiction:221:27 in a project that emphasized the dignity of labor and celebrated the cultural and ethnic diversity of North America. It was to have been his third film for RKO, following Citizen Kane (1941) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942).:109 Duke Ellington was put under contract to score a segment with the working title, “The Story of Jazz”, drawn from Louis Armstrong’s 1936 autobiography, Swing That Music.:232–233 Armstrong was cast to play himself in the brief dramatization of the history of jazz performance, from its roots to its place in American culture in the 1940s.:109 “The Story of Jazz” was to go into production in December 1941.:119–120
Mercury Productions purchased the stories for two other segments—”My Friend Bonito” and “The Captain’s Chair”—from documentary filmmaker Robert J. Flaherty.:33, 326 Adapted by Norman Foster and John Fante, “My Friend Bonito” was the only segment of the original It’s All True to go into production.:109 Filming took place in Mexico September–December 1941, with Norman Foster directing under Welles’s supervision.:311
In December 1941, the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs asked Welles to make a film in Brazil that would showcase the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro.:65 With filming of “My Friend Bonito” about two-thirds complete, Welles decided he could shift the geography of It’s All True and incorporate Flaherty’s story into an omnibus film about Latin America—supporting the Roosevelt administration’s Good Neighbor policy, which Welles strongly advocated.:41, 246 In this revised concept, “The Story of Jazz” was replaced by the story of samba, a musical form with a comparable history and one that came to fascinate Welles. He also decided to do a ripped-from-the-headlines episode about the epic voyage of four poor Brazilian fishermen, the jangadeiros, who had become national heroes. Welles later said this was the most valuable story.:158–159:15
Required to film the Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro in early February 1942, Welles rushed to edit The Magnificent Ambersons and finish his acting scenes in Journey into Fear. He ended his lucrative CBS radio show:189 February 2, flew to Washington, D.C., for a briefing, and then lashed together a rough cut of Ambersons in Miami with editor Robert Wise.:369–370 Welles recorded the film’s narration the night before he left for South America: “I went to the projection room at about four in the morning, did the whole thing, and then got on the plane and off to Rio—and the end of civilization as we know it.”:115
Welles left for Brazil on February 4 and began filming in Rio February 8, 1942.:369–370 At the time it did not seem that Welles’s other film projects would be disrupted, but as film historian Catherine L. Benamou wrote, “the ambassadorial appointment would be the first in a series of turning points leading—in ‘zigs’ and ‘zags,’ rather than in a straight line—to Welles’s loss of complete directorial control over both The Magnificent Ambersons and It’s All True, the cancellation of his contract at RKO Radio Studio, the expulsion of his company Mercury Productions from the RKO lot, and, ultimately, the total suspension of It’s All True.:46
In 1942 RKO Pictures underwent major changes under new management. Nelson Rockefeller, the primary backer of the Brazil project, left its board of directors, and Welles’s principal sponsor at RKO, studio president George Schaefer, resigned. RKO took control of Ambersons and edited the film into what the studio considered a commercial format. Welles’s attempts to protect his version ultimately failed. In South America, Welles requested resources to finish It’s All True. Given a limited amount of black-and-white film stock and a silent camera, he was able to finish shooting the episode about the jangadeiros, but RKO refused to support further production on the film.
“So I was fired from RKO,” Welles later recalled. “And they made a great publicity point of the fact that I had gone to South America without a script and thrown all this money away. I never recovered from that attack.”:188 Later in 1942 when RKO Pictures began promoting its new corporate motto, “Showmanship In Place of Genius: A New Deal at RKO”,:29 Welles understood it as a reference to himself.:188

Radio (1942–43)
“Hello, suckers!” Orson the Magnificent welcomes the audience to The Mercury Wonder Show (August 1943).
Welles returned to the United States August 22, 1942, after more than six months in South America.:372 A week after his return he produced and emceed the first two hours of a seven-hour coast-to-coast War Bond drive broadcast titled I Pledge America. Airing August 29, 1942, on the Blue Network, the program was presented in cooperation with the United States Department of the Treasury, Western Union (which wired bond subscriptions free of charge) and the American Women’s Voluntary Services. Featuring 21 dance bands and a score of stage and screen and radio stars, the broadcast raised more than $10 million—more than $146 million today—for the war effort.
On October 12, 1942, Cavalcade of America presented Welles’s radio play, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, an entertaining and factual look at the legend of Christopher Columbus.
“It belongs to a period when hemispheric unity was a crucial matter and many programs were being devoted to the common heritage of the Americas,” wrote broadcasting historian Erik Barnouw. “Many such programs were being translated into Spanish and Portuguese and broadcast to Latin America, to counteract many years of successful Axis propaganda to that area. The Axis, trying to stir Latin America against Anglo-America, had constantly emphasized the differences between the two. It became the job of American radio to emphasize their common experience and essential unity.”:3
Admiral of the Ocean Sea, also known as Columbus Day, begins with the words, “Hello Americans”—the title Welles would choose for his own series five weeks later.:373
Hello Americans, a CBS Radio series broadcast November 15, 1942 – January 31, 1943, was produced, directed and hosted by Welles under the auspices of the Office of the Coordinator for Inter-American Affairs. The 30-minute weekly program promoted inter-American understanding and friendship, drawing upon the research amassed for the ill-fated film, It’s All True. The series was produced concurrently with Welles’s other CBS series, Ceiling Unlimited (November 9, 1942 – February 1, 1943), sponsored by the Lockheed-Vega Corporation. The program was conceived to glorify the aviation industry and dramatize its role in World War II. Welles’s shows were regarded as significant contributions to the war effort.:64
Throughout the war Welles worked on patriotic radio programs including Command Performance, G.I. Journal, Mail Call, Nazi Eyes on Canada, Stage Door Canteen and Treasury Star Parade.
The Mercury Wonder Show

Main article: The Mercury Wonder Show
In early 1943, the two concurrent radio series (Ceiling Unlimited, Hello Americans) that Orson Welles created for CBS to support the war effort had ended. Filming also had wrapped on the 1943 film adaptation of Jane Eyre and that fee, in addition to the income from his regular guest-star roles in radio, made it possible for Welles to fulfill a lifelong dream. He approached the War Assistance League of Southern California and proposed a show that evolved into a big-top spectacle, part circus and part magic show. He offered his services as magician and director,:40 and invested some $40,000 of his own money in an extravaganza he co-produced with his friend Joseph Cotten: The Mercury Wonder Show for Service Men. Members of the U.S. armed forces were admitted free of charge, while the general public had to pay.:26 The show entertained more than 1,000 service members each night, and proceeds went to the War Assistance League, a charity for military service personnel.
The development of the show coincided with the resolution of Welles’s oft-changing draft status in May 1943, when he was finally declared 4-F—unfit for military service—for a variety of medical reasons. “I felt guilty about the war,” Welles told biographer Barbara Leaming. “I was guilt-ridden about my civilian status.”:86 He had been publicly hounded about his patriotism since Citizen Kane, when the Hearst press began persistent inquiries about why Welles had not been drafted.:66–67
The Mercury Wonder Show ran August 3 – September 9, 1943, in an 80-by-120-foot tent located at 9000 Cahuenga Boulevard, in the heart of Hollywood.:377:26
At intermission September 7, 1943, KMPC radio interviewed audience and cast members of The Mercury Wonder Show—including Welles and Rita Hayworth, who were married earlier that day. Welles remarked that The Mercury Wonder Show had been performed for approximately 48,000 members of the U.S. armed forces.:378:129
Radio (1944–45)
Welles introduced Vice President Henry A. Wallace at a Madison Square Garden rally advocating a fourth term for President Franklin D. Roosevelt (September 21, 1944).[17]:385
The idea of doing a radio variety show occurred to Welles after his success as substitute host of four consecutive episodes (March 14 – April 4, 1943) of The Jack Benny Program, radio’s most popular show, when Benny contracted pneumonia on a performance tour of military bases.[20]:368[86] A half-hour variety show broadcast January 26 – July 19, 1944, on the Columbia Pacific Network, The Orson Welles Almanac presented sketch comedy, magic, mindreading, music and readings from classic works. Many of the shows originated on U.S. military camps, where Welles and his repertory company and guests entertained the troops with a reduced version of The Mercury Wonder Show.[45]:64[87][88] The performances of the all-star jazz group Welles brought together for the show were so popular that the band became a regular feature and was an important force in reviving interest in traditional New Orleans jazz.:85
Welles was placed on the U.S. Treasury payroll on May 15, 1944, as an expert consultant for the duration of the war, with a retainer of $1 a year. On the recommendation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau asked Welles to lead the Fifth War Loan Drive, which opened June 12 with a one-hour radio show on all four networks, broadcast from Texarkana, Texas. Including a statement by the President, the program defined the causes of the war and encouraged Americans to buy $16 billion in bonds to finance the Normandy landings and the most violent phase of World War II. Welles produced additional war loan drive broadcasts on June 14 from the Hollywood Bowl, and June 16 from Soldier Field, Chicago.:371–373 Americans purchased $20.6 billion in War Bonds during the Fifth War Loan Drive, which ended on July 8, 1944.
Welles campaigned ardently for Roosevelt in 1944. A longtime supporter and campaign speaker for FDR, he occasionally sent the president ideas and phrases that were sometimes incorporated into what Welles characterized as “less important speeches”.:372, 374 One of these ideas was the joke in what came to be called the Fala speech, Roosevelt’s nationally broadcast September 23 address to the International Teamsters Union which opened the 1944 presidential campaign.:292–293
Welles campaigned for the Roosevelt–Truman ticket almost full-time in the fall of 1944, traveling to nearly every state:373–374 to the detriment of his own health[22]:293–294 and at his own expense.:219 In addition to his radio addresses he filled in for Roosevelt, opposite Republican presidential nominee Thomas E. Dewey, at The New York Herald Tribune Forum broadcast October 18 on the Blue Network.:386:292 Welles accompanied FDR to his last campaign rally, speaking at an event November 4 at Boston’s Fenway Park before 40,000 people,:294 and took part in a historic election-eve campaign broadcast November 6 on all four radio networks.:387:166–167
On November 21, 1944, Welles began his association with This Is My Best, a CBS radio series he would briefly produce, direct, write and host (March 13 – April 24, 1945). He wrote a political column called Orson Welles’ Almanac (later titled Orson Welles Today) for The New York Post January–November 1945, and advocated the continuation of FDR’s New Deal policies and his international vision, particularly the establishment of the United Nations and the cause of world peace.:84
On April 12, 1945, the day Franklin D. Roosevelt died, the Blue-ABC network marshalled its entire executive staff and national leaders to pay homage to the late president. “Among the outstanding programs which attracted wide attention was a special tribute delivered by Orson Welles”, reported Broadcasting magazine. Welles spoke at 10:10 p.m Eastern War Time, from Hollywood, and stressed the importance of continuing FDR’s work: “He has no need for homage and we who loved him have no time for tears … Our fighting sons and brothers cannot pause tonight to mark the death of him whose name will be given to the age we live in.”
Welles presented another special broadcast on the death of Roosevelt the following evening: “We must move on beyond mere death to that free world which was the hope and labor of his life.”:390:242
He dedicated the April 17 episode of This Is My Best to Roosevelt and the future of America on the eve of the United Nations Conference on International Organization.:390 Welles was an advisor and correspondent for the Blue-ABC radio network’s coverage of the San Francisco conference that formed the UN, taking place April 24 – June 23, 1945. He presented a half-hour dramatic program written by Ben Hecht on the opening day of the conference, and on Sunday afternoons (April 29 – June 10) he led a weekly discussion from the San Francisco Civic Auditorium.
The Stranger
Director and star Orson Welles at work on The Stranger (October 1945)
In the fall of 1945 Welles began work on The Stranger (1946), a film noir drama about a war crimes investigator who tracks a high-ranking Nazi fugitive to an idyllic New England town. Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young and Welles star.
Producer Sam Spiegel initially planned to hire director John Huston, who had rewritten the screenplay by Anthony Veiller. When Huston entered the military, Welles was given the chance to direct and prove himself able to make a film on schedule and under budget:19—something he was so eager to do that he accepted a disadvantageous contract. One of its concessions was that he would defer to the studio in any creative dispute.:379:309–310
The Stranger was Welles’s first job as a film director in four years.:391 He was told that if the film was successful he could sign a four-picture deal with International Pictures, making films of his own choosing.:379 Welles was given some degree of creative control,:19 and he endeavored to personalize the film and develop a nightmarish tone.:2:30 He worked on the general rewrite of the script and wrote scenes at the beginning of the picture that were shot but subsequently cut by the producers.:186 He filmed in long takes that largely thwarted the control given to editor Ernest J. Nims under the terms of the contract.:15:45
The Stranger was the first commercial film to use documentary footage from the Nazi concentration camps.:189 Welles had seen the footage in early May 1945:102:03 in San Francisco,:56 as a correspondent and discussion moderator at the UN Conference on International Organization.[22]:304 He wrote of the Holocaust footage in his syndicated New York Post column May 7, 1945.:56–57
Completed a day ahead of schedule and under budget,[20]:379–380 The Stranger was the only film made by Welles to have been a bona fide box office success upon its release. Its cost was $1.034 million; 15 months after its release it had grossed $3.216 million. Within weeks of the completion of the film, International Pictures backed out of its promised four-picture deal with Welles. No reason was given, but the impression was left that The Stranger would not make money.:381
Around the World

In the summer of 1946, Welles moved to New York to direct the Broadway musical Around the World, a stage adaptation of the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days with a book by Welles and music by Cole Porter. Producer Mike Todd, who would later produce the successful 1956 film adaptation, pulled out from the lavish and expensive production, leaving Welles to support the finances. When Welles ran out of money he convinced Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn to send enough money to continue the show, and in exchange Welles promised to write, produce, direct and star in a film for Cohn for no further fee. The stage show soon failed due to poor box-office, with Welles unable to claim the losses on his taxes.
Radio (1946)

In 1946, Welles began two new radio series—The Mercury Summer Theatre on the Air for CBS, and Orson Welles Commentaries for ABC. While Mercury Summer Theatre featured half-hour adaptations of some classic Mercury radio shows from the 1930s, the first episode was a condensation of his Around the World stage play, and is the only record of Cole Porter’s music for the project. Several original Mercury actors returned for the series, as well as Bernard Herrmann. Welles invested his earnings into his failing stage play. Commentaries was a political vehicle for him, continuing the themes from his New York Post column. Again, Welles lacked a clear focus, until the NAACP brought to his attention the case of Isaac Woodard. Welles brought significant attention to Woodard’s cause.
The last broadcast of Orson Welles Commentaries on October 6, 1946, marked the end of Welles’s own radio shows.:401
The Lady from Shanghai
The film that Welles was obliged to make in exchange for Harry Cohn’s help in financing the stage production Around the World was The Lady from Shanghai, filmed in 1947 for Columbia Pictures. Intended as a modest thriller, the budget skyrocketed after Cohn suggested that Welles’s then-estranged second wife Rita Hayworth co-star.
Orson Welles in The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Cohn disliked Welles’s rough cut, particularly the confusing plot and lack of close-ups, and was not in sympathy with Welles’s Brechtian use of irony and black comedy, especially in a farcical courtroom scene. Cohn ordered extensive editing and re-shoots. After heavy editing by the studio, approximately one hour of Welles’s first cut was removed, including much of a climactic confrontation scene in an amusement park funhouse. While expressing displeasure at the cuts, Welles was appalled particularly with the musical score. The film was considered a disaster in America at the time of release, though the closing shootout in a hall of mirrors has since become a touchstone of film noir. Not long after release, Welles and Hayworth finalized their divorce.
Although The Lady From Shanghai was acclaimed in Europe, it was not embraced in the U.S. until decades later. A similar difference in reception on opposite sides of the Atlantic followed by greater American acceptance befell the Welles-inspired Chaplin film Monsieur Verdoux, originally to be directed by Welles starring Chaplin, then directed by Chaplin with the idea credited to Welles.

Prior to 1948, Welles convinced Republic Pictures to let him direct a low-budget version of Macbeth, which featured highly stylized sets and costumes, and a cast of actors lip-syncing to a pre-recorded soundtrack, one of many innovative cost-cutting techniques Welles deployed in an attempt to make an epic film from B-movie resources. The script, adapted by Welles, is a violent reworking of Shakespeare’s original, freely cutting and pasting lines into new contexts via a collage technique and recasting Macbeth as a clash of pagan and proto-Christian ideologies. Some voodoo trappings of the famous Welles/Houseman Negro Theatre stage adaptation are visible, especially in the film’s characterization of the Weird Sisters, who create an effigy of Macbeth as a charm to enchant him. Of all Welles’s post-Kane Hollywood productions, Macbeth is stylistically closest to Citizen Kane in its long takes and deep focus photography.
Republic initially trumpeted the film as an important work but decided it did not care for the Scottish accents and held up general release for almost a year after early negative press reaction, including Life’s comment that Welles’s film “doth foully slaughter Shakespeare.” Welles left for Europe, while co-producer and lifelong supporter Richard Wilson reworked the soundtrack. Welles returned and cut 20 minutes from the film at Republic’s request and recorded narration to cover some gaps. The film was decried as a disaster. Macbeth had influential fans in Europe, especially the French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau, who hailed the film’s “crude, irreverent power” and careful shot design, and described the characters as haunting “the corridors of some dreamlike subway, an abandoned coal mine, and ruined cellars oozing with water.”

Europe (1948–1956)

In Italy he starred as Cagliostro in the 1948 film Black Magic. His co-star, Akim Tamiroff, impressed Welles so much that Tamiroff would appear in four of Welles’s productions during the 1950s and 1960s.
The following year, Welles starred as Harry Lime in Carol Reed’s The Third Man, alongside Joseph Cotten, his friend and co-star from Citizen Kane, with a script by Graham Greene and a memorable score by Anton Karas.
A few years later, British radio producer Harry Alan Towers would resurrect the Lime character in the radio series The Adventures of Harry Lime.
Welles appeared as Cesare Borgia in the 1949 Italian film Prince of Foxes, with Tyrone Power and Mercury Theatre alumnus Everett Sloane, and as the Mongol warrior Bayan in the 1950 film version of the novel The Black Rose (again with Tyrone Power).
During this time, Welles was channeling his money from acting jobs into a self-financed film version of Shakespeare’s play Othello. From 1949 to 1951, Welles worked on Othello, filming on location in Europe and Morocco. The film featured Welles’s friends, Micheál Mac Liammóir as Iago and Hilton Edwards as Desdemona’s father Brabantio. Suzanne Cloutier starred as Desdemona and Campbell Playhouse alumnus Robert Coote appeared as Iago’s associate Roderigo.
Filming was suspended several times as Welles ran out of funds and left for acting jobs, accounted in detail in MacLiammóir’s published memoir Put Money in Thy Purse. The American release prints had a technically flawed soundtrack, suffering from a drop-out of sound at every quiet moment. Welles’s daughter, Beatrice Welles-Smith, restored Othello in 1992 for a wide re-release. The restoration included reconstructing Angelo Francesco Lavagnino’s original musical score, which was originally inaudible, and adding ambient stereo sound effects, which were not in the original film. The restoration went on to a successful theatrical run in America.
In 1952, Welles continued finding work in England after the success of the Harry Lime radio show. Harry Alan Towers offered Welles another series, The Black Museum, which ran for 52 weeks with Welles as host and narrator. Director Herbert Wilcox offered Welles the part of the murdered victim in Trent’s Last Case, based on the novel by E. C. Bentley. In 1953, the BBC hired Welles to read an hour of selections from Walt Whitman’s epic poem Song of Myself. Towers hired Welles again, to play Professor Moriarty in the radio series, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.
Welles briefly returned to America to make his first appearance on television, starring in the Omnibus presentation of King Lear, broadcast live on CBS October 18, 1953. Directed by Peter Brook, the production costarred Natasha Parry, Beatrice Straight and Arnold Moss.
In 1954, director George More O’Ferrall offered Welles the title role in the ‘Lord Mountdrago’ segment of Three Cases of Murder, co-starring Alan Badel. Herbert Wilcox cast Welles as the antagonist in Trouble in the Glen opposite Margaret Lockwood, Forrest Tucker and Victor McLaglen. Old friend John Huston cast him as Father Mapple in his 1956 film adaptation of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, starring Gregory Peck.
Mr. Arkadin
Welles in Madrid during the filming of Mr. Arkadin in 1954
Welles’s next turn as director was the film Mr. Arkadin (1955), which was produced by his political mentor from the 1940s, Louis Dolivet. It was filmed in France, Germany, Spain and Italy on a very limited budget. Based loosely on several episodes of the Harry Lime radio show, it stars Welles as a billionaire who hires a man to delve into the secrets of his past. The film stars Robert Arden, who had worked on the Harry Lime series; Welles’s third wife, Paola Mori, whose voice was dubbed by actress Billie Whitelaw; and guest stars Akim Tamiroff, Michael Redgrave, Katina Paxinou and Mischa Auer. Frustrated by his slow progress in the editing room, producer Dolivet removed Welles from the project and finished the film without him. Eventually five different versions of the film would be released, two in Spanish and three in English. The version that Dolivet completed was retitled Confidential Report. In 2005 Stefan Droessler of the Munich Film Museum oversaw a reconstruction of the surviving film elements.

Television projects

In 1955, Welles also directed two television series for the BBC. The first was Orson Welles’ Sketch Book, a series of six 15-minute shows featuring Welles drawing in a sketchbook to illustrate his reminiscences for the camera (including such topics as the filming of It’s All True and the Isaac Woodard case), and the second was Around the World with Orson Welles, a series of six travelogues set in different locations around Europe (such as Venice, the Basque Country between France and Spain, and England). Welles served as host and interviewer, his commentary including documentary facts and his own personal observations (a technique he would continue to explore in later works).
In 1956, Welles completed Portrait of Gina. The film cans would remain in a lost-and-found locker at the hotel for several decades, where they were discovered after Welles’s death.

Return to Hollywood (1956–1959)
Welles the magician with Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy (October 15, 1956)
In 1956, Welles returned to Hollywood.
He began filming a projected pilot for Desilu, owned by Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz, who had recently purchased the former RKO studios. The film was The Fountain of Youth, based on a story by John Collier. Originally deemed not viable as a pilot, the film was not aired until 1958—and won the Peabody Award for excellence.
Welles guest starred on television shows including I Love Lucy. On radio, he was narrator of Tomorrow (October 17, 1956), a nuclear holocaust drama produced and syndicated by ABC and the Federal Civil Defense Administration.
Welles’s next feature film role was in Man in the Shadow for Universal Pictures in 1957, starring Jeff Chandler.
Touch of Evil
Welles as corrupt police captain Hank Quinlan in Touch of Evil (1958)
Welles stayed on at Universal to direct (and co-star with) Charlton Heston in the 1958 film Touch of Evil, based on Whit Masterson’s novel Badge of Evil. Originally only hired as an actor, Welles was promoted to director by Universal Studios at the insistence of Charlton Heston.:154 The film reunited many actors and technicians with whom Welles had worked in Hollywood in the 1940s, including cameraman Russell Metty (The Stranger), makeup artist Maurice Seiderman (Citizen Kane), and actors Joseph Cotten, Marlene Dietrich and Akim Tamiroff. Filming proceeded smoothly, with Welles finishing on schedule and on budget, and the studio bosses praising the daily rushes. Nevertheless, after the end of production, the studio re-edited the film, re-shot scenes, and shot new exposition scenes to clarify the plot.:175–176 Welles wrote a 58-page memo outlining suggestions and objections, stating that the film was no longer his version—it was the studio’s, but as such, he was still prepared to help with it.:175–176
In 1978, a longer preview version of the film was discovered and released.
As Universal reworked Touch of Evil, Welles began filming his adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote in Mexico, starring Mischa Auer as Quixote and Akim Tamiroff as Sancho Panza.

Return to Europe (1959–1970)
In Crack in the Mirror (1960)
He continued shooting Don Quixote in Spain and Italy, but replaced Mischa Auer with Francisco Reiguera, and resumed acting jobs. In Italy in 1959, Welles directed his own scenes as King Saul in Richard Pottier’s film David and Goliath. In Hong Kong he co-starred with Curt Jürgens in Lewis Gilbert’s film Ferry to Hong Kong. In 1960, in Paris he co-starred in Richard Fleischer’s film Crack in the Mirror. In Yugoslavia he starred in Richard Thorpe’s film The Tartars and Veljko Bulajić’s Battle of Neretva.
Throughout the 1960s, filming continued on Quixote on-and-off until the decade, as Welles evolved the concept, tone and ending several times. Although he had a complete version of the film shot and edited at least once, he would continue toying with the editing well into the 1980s, he never completed a version film he was fully satisfied with, and would junk existing footage and shoot new footage. (In one case, he had a complete cut ready in which Quixote and Sancho Panza end up going to the moon, but he felt the ending was rendered obsolete by the 1969 moon landings, and burned 10 reels of this version.) As the process went on, Welles gradually voiced all of the characters himself and provided narration. In 1992, the director Jesús Franco constructed a film out of the portions of Quixote left behind by Welles. Some of the film stock had decayed badly. While the Welles footage was greeted with interest, the post-production by Franco was met with harsh criticism.
Welles being interviewed in 1960
In 1961, Welles directed In the Land of Don Quixote, a series of eight half-hour episodes for the Italian television network RAI. Similar to the Around the World with Orson Welles series, they presented travelogues of Spain and included Welles’s wife, Paola, and their daughter, Beatrice. Though Welles was fluent in Italian, the network was not interested in him providing Italian narration because of his accent, and the series sat unreleased until 1964, by which time the network had added Italian narration of its own. Ultimately, versions of the episodes were released with the original musical score Welles had approved, but without the narration.
The Trial
In 1962, Welles directed his adaptation of The Trial, based on the novel by Franz Kafka and produced by Michael and Alexander Salkind. The cast included Anthony Perkins as Josef K, Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider, Paola Mori and Akim Tamiroff. While filming exteriors in Zagreb, Welles was informed that the Salkinds had run out of money, meaning that there could be no set construction. No stranger to shooting on found locations, Welles soon filmed the interiors in the Gare d’Orsay, at that time an abandoned railway station in Paris. Welles thought the location possessed a “Jules Verne modernism” and a melancholy sense of “waiting”, both suitable for Kafka. To remain in the spirit of Kafka Welles set up the cutting room together with the Film Editor, Frederick Muller (as Fritz Muller), in the old un-used, cold, depressing, station master office. The film failed at the box-office. Peter Bogdanovich would later observe that Welles found the film riotously funny. Welles also told a BBC interviewer that it was his best film.[114] While filming The Trial Welles met Oja Kodar, who later became his mistress and collaborator for the last 20 years of his life.[17]:428
Welles played a film director in La Ricotta (1963)—Pier Paolo Pasolini’s segment of the Ro.Go.Pa.G. movie, although his renowned voice was dubbed by Italian writer Giorgio Bassani.[17]:516 He continued taking what work he could find acting, narrating or hosting other people’s work, and began filming Chimes at Midnight, which was completed in 1966.

Chimes at Midnight
Chimes at Midnight (1965)
Filmed in Spain, Chimes at Midnight was based on Welles’s play, Five Kings, in which he drew material from six Shakespeare plays to tell the story of Sir John Falstaff (Welles) and his relationship with Prince Hal (Keith Baxter). The cast includes John Gielgud, Jeanne Moreau, Fernando Rey and Margaret Rutherford; the film’s narration, spoken by Ralph Richardson, is taken from the chronicler Raphael Holinshed.:249 Welles held the film in high regard: “It’s my favorite picture, yes. If I wanted to get into heaven on the basis of one movie, that’s the one I would offer up.”:203
In 1966, Welles directed a film for French television, an adaptation of The Immortal Story, by Karen Blixen. Released in 1968, it stars Jeanne Moreau, Roger Coggio and Norman Eshley. The film had a successful run in French theaters. At this time Welles met Oja Kodar again, and gave her a letter he had written to her and had been keeping for four years; they would not be parted again. They immediately began a collaboration both personal and professional. The first of these was an adaptation of Blixen’s The Heroine, meant to be a companion piece to The Immortal Story and starring Kodar. Unfortunately, funding disappeared after one day’s shooting. After completing this film, he appeared in a brief cameo as Cardinal Wolsey in Fred Zinnemann’s adaptation of A Man for All Seasons—a role for which he won considerable acclaim.
Sergei Bondarchuk and Orson Welles at the premiere of The Battle of Neretva in Sarajevo (November 1969)
In 1967, Welles began directing The Deep, based on the novel Dead Calm by Charles Williams and filmed off the shore of Yugoslavia. The cast included Jeanne Moreau, Laurence Harvey and Kodar. Personally financed by Welles and Kodar, they could not obtain the funds to complete the project, and it was abandoned a few years later after the death of Harvey. The surviving footage was eventually edited and released by the Filmmuseum München. In 1968 Welles began filming a TV special for CBS under the title Orson’s Bag, combining travelogue, comedy skits and a condensation of Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice with Welles as Shylock. In 1969 Welles called again the Film Editor Frederick Muller to work with him re-editing the material and they set up cutting rooms at the Safa Palatino Studios in Rome. Funding for the show sent by CBS to Welles in Switzerland was seized by the IRS. Without funding, the show was not completed. The surviving film clips portions were eventually released by the Filmmuseum München.
In 1969, Welles authorized the use of his name for a cinema in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Orson Welles Cinema remained in operation until 1986, with Welles making a personal appearance there in 1977. Also in 1969 he played a supporting role in John Huston’s The Kremlin Letter. Drawn by the numerous offers he received to work in television and films, and upset by a tabloid scandal reporting his affair with Kodar, Welles abandoned the editing of Don Quixote and moved back to America in 1970.

Later career (1970–1985)

Welles returned to Hollywood, where he continued to self-finance his film and television projects. While offers to act, narrate and host continued, Welles also found himself in great demand on television talk shows. He made frequent appearances for Dick Cavett, Johnny Carson, Dean Martin and Merv Griffin.
Welles’s primary focus during his final years was The Other Side of the Wind, an unfinished project that was filmed intermittently between 1970 and 1976. Written by Welles, it is the story of an aging film director (John Huston) looking for funds to complete his final film. The cast includes Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg, Norman Foster, Edmond O’Brien, Cameron Mitchell and Dennis Hopper. Financed by Iranian backers, ownership of the film fell into a legal quagmire after the Shah of Iran was deposed. While there have been several reports of all the legal disputes concerning ownership of the film being settled, enough disputes still exist to prevent its release.
Play media
Welles often invokes “The War of the Worlds” as host of Who’s Out There? (1973), an award-winning NASA documentary short film by Robert Drew about the likelihood of life on other planets[115][116]
Welles portrayed Louis XVIII of France in the 1970 film Waterloo, and narrated the beginning and ending scenes of the historical comedy Start the Revolution Without Me (1970).
In 1971, Welles directed a short adaptation of Moby-Dick, a one-man performance on a bare stage, reminiscent of his 1955 stage production Moby Dick—Rehearsed. Never completed, it was eventually released by the Filmmuseum München. He also appeared in Ten Days’ Wonder, co-starring with Anthony Perkins and directed by Claude Chabrol, based on a detective novel by Ellery Queen. That same year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave him an honorary award “For superlative artistry and versatility in the creation of motion pictures”. Welles pretended to be out of town and sent John Huston to claim the award, thanking the Academy on film. Huston criticized the Academy for awarding Welles, even while they refused to give Welles any work.
In 1972, Welles acted as on-screen narrator for the film documentary version of Alvin Toffler’s 1970 book Future Shock. Working again for a British producer, Welles played Long John Silver in director John Hough’s Treasure Island (1972), an adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, which had been the second story broadcast by The Mercury Theatre on the Air in 1938. This was the last time he played the lead role in a major film. Welles also contributed to the script, his writing credit was attributed to the pseudonym ‘O. W. Jeeves’. In some versions of the film Welles’s original recorded dialog was redubbed by Robert Rietty.

Orson Welles in F for Fake (1974), a film essay and the last film he completed.
In 1973, Welles completed F for Fake, a personal essay film about art forger Elmyr de Hory and the biographer Clifford Irving. Based on an existing documentary by François Reichenbach, it included new material with Oja Kodar, Joseph Cotten, Paul Stewart and William Alland. An excerpt of Welles’s 1930s War of the Worlds broadcast was recreated for this film; however, none of the dialogue heard in the film actually matches what was originally broadcast. Welles filmed a five-minute trailer, rejected in the U.S., that featured several shots of a topless Kodar.
Welles hosted a British syndicated anthology series, Orson Welles’s Great Mysteries, during the 1973–74 television season. His brief introductions to the 26 half-hour episodes were shot in July 1973 by Gary Graver.:443 The year 1974 also saw Welles lending his voice for that year’s remake of Agatha Christie’s classic thriller Ten Little Indians produced by his former associate, Harry Alan Towers and starring an international cast that included Oliver Reed, Elke Sommer and Herbert Lom.
In 1975, Welles narrated the documentary Bugs Bunny: Superstar, focusing on Warner Bros. cartoons from the 1940s. Also in 1975, the American Film Institute presented Welles with its third Lifetime Achievement Award (the first two going to director John Ford and actor James Cagney). At the ceremony, Welles screened two scenes from the nearly finished The Other Side of the Wind.
In 1976, Paramount Television purchased the rights for the entire set of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe stories for Orson Welles. Welles had once wanted to make a series of Nero Wolfe movies, but Rex Stout—who was leery of Hollywood adaptations during his lifetime after two disappointing 1930s films—turned him down. Paramount planned to begin with an ABC-TV movie and hoped to persuade Welles to continue the role in a mini-series.[118] Frank D. Gilroy was signed to write the television script and direct the TV movie on the assurance that Welles would star, but by April 1977 Welles had bowed out. In 1980 the Associated Press reported “the distinct possibility” that Welles would star in a Nero Wolfe TV series for NBC television. Again, Welles bowed out of the project due to creative differences and William Conrad was cast in the role.:87–88
In 1979, Welles completed his documentary Filming Othello, which featured Michael MacLiammoir and Hilton Edwards. Made for West German television, it was also released in theaters. That same year, Welles completed his self-produced pilot for The Orson Welles Show television series, featuring interviews with Burt Reynolds, Jim Henson and Frank Oz and guest-starring the Muppets and Angie Dickinson. Unable to find network interest, the pilot was never broadcast. Also in 1979, Welles appeared in the biopic The Secret of Nikola Tesla, and a cameo in The Muppet Movie as Lew Lord.
Beginning in the late 1970s, Welles participated in a series of famous television commercial advertisements. For two years he was on-camera spokesman for the Paul Masson Vineyards, and sales grew by one third during the time Welles intoned what became a popular catchphrase: “We will sell no wine before its time.” He was also the voice behind the long-running Carlsberg “Probably the best lager in the world” campaign, promoted Domecq sherry on British television and provided narration on adverts for Findus, though the actual adverts have been overshadowed by a famous blooper reel of voice recordings, known as the Frozen Peas reel. He also did commercials for the Preview Subscription Television Service seen on stations around the country including WCLQ/Cleveland, KNDL/St. Louis and WSMW/Boston.
In 1981, Welles hosted the documentary The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, about Renaissance-era prophet Nostradamus. In 1982, the BBC broadcast The Orson Welles Story in the Arena series. Interviewed by Leslie Megahey, Welles examined his past in great detail, and several people from his professional past were interviewed as well. It was reissued in 1990 as With Orson Welles: Stories of a Life in Film. Welles provided narration for the tracks “Defender” from Manowar’s 1987 album Fighting the World and “Dark Avenger” on their 1982 album, Battle Hymns. His name was misspelled on the latter album, as he was credited as “Orson Wells”.
During the 1980s, Welles worked on such film projects as The Dreamers, based on two stories by Isak Dinesen and starring Oja Kodar, and Orson Welles’ Magic Show, which reused material from his failed TV pilot. Another project he worked on was Filming The Trial, the second in a proposed series of documentaries examining his feature films. While much was shot for these projects, none of them was completed. All of them were eventually released by the Filmmuseum München.
In 1984, Welles narrated the short-lived television series Scene of the Crime. During the early years of Magnum, P.I., Welles was the voice of the unseen character Robin Masters, a famous writer and playboy. Welles’s death forced this minor character to largely be written out of the series. In an oblique homage to Welles, the Magnum, P.I. producers ambiguously concluded that story arc by having one character accuse another of having hired an actor to portray Robin Masters. He also, in this penultimate year released a music single, titled “I Know What It Is To Be Young (But You Don’t Know What It Is To Be Old)”, which he recorded under Italian label Compagnia Generale del Disco. The song was performed with the Nick Perito Orchestra and the Ray Charles Singers and produced by Jerry Abbott who was father to famed metal guitarist Dimebag Darrell.
The last film roles before Welles’s death included voice work in the animated films Enchanted Journey (1984) and The Transformers: The Movie (1986), in which he played the planet-eating robot Unicron. His last film appearance was in Henry Jaglom’s 1987 independent film Someone to Love, released after his death but produced before his voice-over in Transformers: The Movie. His last television appearance was on the television show Moonlighting. He recorded an introduction to an episode entitled “The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice”, which was partially filmed in black and white. The episode aired five days after his death and was dedicated to his memory.
In the mid-1980s, Henry Jaglom taped lunch conversations with Welles at Los Angeles’s Ma Maison as well as in New York. Edited transcripts of these sessions appear in Peter Biskind’s 2013 book My Lunches With Orson: Conversations Between Henry Jaglom and Orson Welles.[132]

Personal life
Virginia Nicolson in Welles’s lap outside the Connecticut venue for the Mercury stage production Too Much Johnson (August 1938)
Welles and Dolores del Río (1941)
Wedding of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth, with best man Joseph Cotten (September 7, 1943)
Paola Mori and Orson Welles, days before their marriage (May 1955)
Orson Welles and Chicago-born actress and socialite Virginia Nicolson (1916–1996) were married on November 14, 1934.:332 The couple separated in December 1939,:226 and were divorced on February 1, 1940. After bearing with Welles’s romances in New York, Virginia had learned that Welles had fallen in love with Mexican actress Dolores del Río.:227
Infatuated with her since adolescence, Welles met del Río at Darryl Zanuck’s ranch:206 soon after he moved to Hollywood in 1939.:227:168 Their relationship was kept secret until 1941, when del Río filed for divorce from her second husband. They openly appeared together in New York while Welles was directing the Mercury stage production, Native Son.:212 They acted together in the movie Journey into Fear (1943). Their relationship came to an end, among other things, due to the infidelities of Welles. Del Río returned to México in 1943, shortly before Welles married Rita Hayworth.
Welles married Rita Hayworth on September 7, 1943.:278 They were divorced on November 10, 1947.:142 During his last interview, recorded for The Merv Griffin Show on the evening before his death, Welles called Hayworth “one of the dearest and sweetest women that ever lived … and we were a long time together—I was lucky enough to have been with her longer than any of the other men in her life.”
In 1955, Welles married actress Paola Mori (née Countess Paola di Girifalco), an Italian aristocrat who starred as Raina Arkadin in his 1955 film, Mr. Arkadin. The couple had embarked on a passionate affair, and they were married at her parents’ insistence.:168 They were wed in London May 8, 1955,:417, 419 and never divorced.
Croatian-born artist and actress Oja Kodar became Welles’s longtime companion both personally and professionally from 1966 onwards, and they lived together for some of the last 20 years of his life.:255–258
Welles had three daughters from his marriages: Christopher Welles Feder (born March 27, 1938, with Virginia Nicolson);:148 Rebecca Welles Manning (December 17, 1944 – October 17, 2004, with Rita Hayworth); and Beatrice Welles (born November 13, 1955, with Paola Mori).:419
Welles is thought to have had a son, British director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (born May 5, 1940), with Irish actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, then the wife of Sir Edward Lindsay-Hogg, 4th baronet. When Lindsay-Hogg was 16 his mother reluctantly divulged that there were pervasive rumors that his father was Welles, and she denied them—but in such detail that he doubted her veracity.:15 Fitzgerald evaded the subject for the rest of her life. Lindsay-Hogg knew Welles, worked with him in the theatre and met him at intervals throughout Welles’s life. After he learned that Welles’s oldest daughter Chris, his childhood playmate, had long suspected that he was her brother, Lindsay-Hogg initiated a DNA test that proved inconclusive. In his 2011 autobiography Lindsay-Hogg reported that his questions were resolved by his mother’s close friend Gloria Vanderbilt, who wrote that Fitzgerald had told her that Welles was his father.:265–267 A 2015 Welles biography by Patrick McGilligan, however, reports the impossibility of Welles’s paternity: Fitzgerald left the U.S. for Ireland in May 1939 and her son was conceived before her return in late October, while Welles did not travel overseas during that period.:602
After the death of Rebecca Welles Manning, a man named Marc McKerrow was revealed to be her son, and therefore the direct descendant of Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. McKerrow’s reactions to the revelation and his meeting with Oja Kodar are documented in the 2008 film Prodigal Sons. McKerrow died on June 18, 2010.
Despite an urban legend promoted by Welles himself, he was not related to Abraham Lincoln’s wartime Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles. The myth dates back to the first newspaper feature ever written about Welles—”Cartoonist, Actor, Poet and only 10″—in the February 19, 1926, issue of The Capital Times. The article falsely states that he was descended from “Gideon Welles, who was a member of President Lincoln’s cabinet”.:47–48[63]:311 As presented by Charles Higham in a genealogical chart that introduces his 1985 biography of Welles, Orson Welles’s father was Richard Head Welles (born Wells), son of Richard Jones Wells, son of Henry Hill Wells (who had an uncle named Gideon Wells), son of William Hill Wells, son of Richard Wells (1734–1801).
Physical characteristics

Peter Noble’s 1956 biography describes Welles as “a magnificent figure of a man, over six feet tall, handsome, with flashing eyes and a gloriously resonant speaking-voice”.:19 Welles said that a voice specialist once told him he was born to be a heldentenor, a heroic tenor, but that when he was young and working at the Gate Theatre in Dublin he forced his voice down into a bass-baritone.:144
Even as a baby Welles was prone to illness, including diphtheria, measles, whooping cough and malaria. From infancy he suffered from asthma, sinus headaches, and backache:8 that was later found to be caused by congenital anomalies of the spine. Foot and ankle trouble throughout his life was the result of flat feet.:560 “As he grew older,” Brady wrote, “his ill health was exacerbated by the late hours he was allowed to keep [and] an early penchant for alcohol and tobacco”.:8
In 1928, at age 13, Welles was already more than six feet tall and weighed over 180 pounds.:50 His passport recorded his height as six feet three inches, with brown hair and green eyes.:229
“Crash diets, drugs, and corsets had slimmed him for his early film roles,” wrote biographer Barton Whaley. “Then always back to gargantuan consumption of high-caloric food and booze. By summer 1949, when he was 34, his weight had crept up to a stout 230 pounds. In 1953 he ballooned from 250 to 275 pounds. After 1960 he remained permanently obese.”:329
Religious beliefs

When Peter Bogdanovich once asked him about his religion, Orson Welles gruffly replied that it was none of his business, then misinformed him that he was raised Catholic.:xxx:12
Although the Welles family was no longer devout, it was fourth-generation Protestant Episcopalian and, before that, Quaker and Puritan.:12 Welles’s earliest paternal forebear in America, Richard Wells, was a leader of the Quaker community in Pennsylvania. His earliest maternal ancestor in America was John Alden, a crew member on the Pilgrim ship Mayflower.:5
The funeral of Welles’s father Richard H. Welles was Episcopalian.:12
In April 1982, when interviewer Merv Griffin asked him about his religious beliefs, Welles replied, “I try to be a Christian. I don’t pray really, because I don’t want to bore God.”:576 Near the end of his life Welles was dining at Ma Maison, his favorite restaurant in Los Angeles, when proprietor Patrick Terrail conveyed an invitation from the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, who asked Welles to be his guest of honor at divine liturgy at Saint Sophia Cathedral. Welles replied, “Please tell him I really appreciate that offer, but I am an atheist.”:104–105
“Orson never joked or teased about the religious beliefs of others,” wrote biographer Barton Whaley. “He accepted it as a cultural artifact, suitable for the births, deaths, and marriages of strangers and even some friends—but without emotional or intellectual meaning for himself.”:12


Welles was politically active from the beginning of his career. He remained aligned with the left throughout his life, and always defined his political orientation as “progressive”. He was a strong supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, and often spoke out on radio in support of progressive politics. He campaigned heavily for Roosevelt in the 1944 election.
“During a White House dinner,” Welles recalled in a 1983 conversation with his friend Roger Hill, “when I was campaigning for Roosevelt, in a toast, with considerable tongue in cheek, he said, ‘Orson, you and I are the two greatest actors alive today’. In private that evening, and on several other occasions, he urged me to run for a Senate seat either in California or Wisconsin. He wasn’t alone.”:115
For several years, he wrote a newspaper column on political issues and considered running for the U.S. Senate in 1946, representing his home state of Wisconsin (a seat that was ultimately won by Joseph McCarthy).
Welles’s name and political activities are reported on pages 155–157 of Red Channels, the anti-Communist publication that, in part, fueled the already flourishing Hollywood Blacklist. He was in Europe during the height of the Red Scare, thereby adding one more reason for the Hollywood establishment to ostracize him.
In 1970, Welles narrated (but did not write) a satirical political record on the administration of President Richard Nixon titled The Begatting of the President.
He was also an early and outspoken critic of American racism and the practice of segregation.


Death and tributes

On the evening of October 9, 1985, Welles recorded his final interview on the syndicated TV program, The Merv Griffin Show, appearing with biographer Barbara Leaming. “Both Welles and Leaming talked of Welles’s life and the segment was a nostalgic interlude,” wrote biographer Frank Brady.[20]:590–591 Welles returned to his house in Hollywood and worked into the early hours typing stage directions for the project he and Gary Graver were planning to shoot at UCLA the following day. Welles died sometime on the morning of October 10, following a heart attack.:453 He was found by his chauffeur at around 10 a.m.; the first of Welles’s friends to arrive was Paul Stewart.:295–297
Welles was cremated by prior agreement with the executor of his estate, Greg Garrison,:592 whose advice about making lucrative TV appearances in the 1970s made it possible for Welles to pay off a portion of the taxes he owed the IRS.:549–550 A brief private funeral was attended by Paola Mori and Welles’s three daughters—the first time they had ever been together. Only a few close friends were invited: Garrison, Graver, Roger Hill[63]:298 and Prince Alessandro Tasca di Cuto. Chris Welles Feder later described the funeral as an awful experience.:1–9
A public memorial tribute:593 took place November 2, 1985, at the Directors Guild of America Theater in Los Angeles. Host Peter Bogdanovich introduced speakers including Charles Champlin, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Greg Garrison, Charlton Heston, Roger Hill, Henry Jaglom, Arthur Knight, Oja Kodar, Barbara Leaming, Janet Leigh, Norman Lloyd, Dan O’Herlihy, Patrick Terrail and Robert Wise.:594:299–300
“I know what his feelings were regarding his death,” Joseph Cotten later wrote. “He did not want a funeral; he wanted to be buried quietly in a little place in Spain. He wanted no memorial services …” Cotten declined to attend the memorial program; instead he sent a short message, ending with the last two lines of a Shakespeare sonnet that Welles had sent him on his most recent birthday::216
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.:217
In 1987 the ashes of Welles and Mori (killed in a 1986 car crash) were taken to Ronda, Spain, and buried in an old well covered by flowers on the rural estate of a longtime friend, bullfighter Antonio Ordóñez.:298–299

Unfinished projects

Welles’s reliance on self-production meant that many of his later projects were filmed piecemeal or were not completed. Welles financed his later projects through his own fundraising activities. He often also took on other work to obtain money to fund his own films.
Don Quixote
In the mid-1950s, Welles began work on Don Quixote, initially a commission from CBS television. Welles expanded the film to feature length, developing the screenplay to take Quixote and Sancho Panza into the modern age. Filming stopped with the death of Francisco Reiguera, the actor playing Quixote, in 1969. Orson Welles continued editing the film into the early 1970s. At the time of his death, the film remained largely a collection of footage in various states of editing. The project and more importantly Welles’s conception of the project changed radically over time. A version of the film was created from available fragments in 1992 and released to a very negative reception. A version Oja Kodar supervised, with help from Jess Franco, assistant director during production, was released in 2008 to mixed reactions. Frederick Muller – the film editor for The Trial, Chimes at Midnight and the CBS Special “Orson Bag” was fortunate to work on editing three reels of the original, unadulterated version – was asked for his opinion in 2013 from a journalist of Time Out, his reply was he felt that if released without image re-editing but with the addition of ad hoc sound and music it probably would have been rather successful.

The Merchant of Venice
In 1969, Welles was given another TV commission to film a condensed adaptation of The Merchant of Venice.:XXXIV Although Welles had actually completed the film by 1970 the finished negative was later mysteriously stolen from his Rome production office.:234 A restored and reconstructed version of the film, made by using the original script and composer’s notes, premiered at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival alongside Othello as part of the pre-opening ceremonies.

The Other Side of the Wind
In 1970, Welles began shooting The Other Side of the Wind. The film relates the efforts of a film director (played by John Huston) to complete his last Hollywood picture and is largely set at a lavish party. By 1972 the filming was reported by Welles as being “96% complete”,:546 though it is likely that Welles had only edited about 40 minutes of the film by 1979.:320 In that year, legal complications over the ownership of the film forced the negative into a Paris vault. In 2004 director Peter Bogdanovich, who acted in the film, announced his intention to complete the production. As of 2009, legal complications over the Welles estate had kept the film from being finished or released.
On October 28, 2014, the Los Angeles-based production company Royal Road Entertainment announced that it had negotiated an agreement, with the assistance of producer Frank Marshall, and would purchase the rights to complete and release The Other Side of the Wind. Bogdanovich and Marshall will complete Welles’s nearly finished film in Los Angeles, aiming to have it ready for screening May 6, 2015 — the 100th anniversary of Welles’s birth. Royal Road Entertainment and German producer Jens Koethner Kaul acquired the rights held by Les Films de l’Astrophore and the late Mehdi Boushehri. They reached an agreement with Oja Kodar, who inherited Welles’s ownership of the film, and Beatrice Welles, manager of the Welles estate; but at the end of 2015, efforts to complete the film were at an impasse.
Some footage is included in the documentaries Working with Orson Welles (1993) and Orson Welles: One Man Band (1995).

Other unfinished films and unfilmed screenplays

* Too Much Johnson, a 1938 comedy film written and directed by Welles. Designed as the cinematic aspect of Welles’s Mercury Theatre stage presentation of William Gillette’s 1894 comedy, the film was not completely edited or publicly screened. Too Much Johnson was considered a lost film until August 2013 news reports that a pristine print was discovered in Italy in 2008. A copy restored by the George Eastman House museum was scheduled to premiere October 9, 2013, at the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, with a U.S. premiere to follow. A single performance of Too Much Johnson, on 2/2/15, at the Film Forum in NYC, was a great success. Produced by Bruce Goldstein and adapted and directed by Allen Lewis Rickman, it featured the Film Forum Players with live piano.
* Heart of Darkness: Welles’s projected first film in 1940, planned in extreme detail and with some test shots filmed. (The footage is now lost.) It was planned to be entirely shot in long takes from the point of view of the narrator, Marlow, who would be played by Welles; his reflection would occasionally be seen in the window as his boat sailed down river. The project was abandoned because it could not be delivered on budget, and Citizen Kane was made instead.:30–33, 355–356
* Santa: In 1941, Welles planned a film to his then partner, the Mexican actress Dolores del Río. The film was adapted from the novel by Mexican writer Federico Gamboa. The film which marked the debut of Dolores del Río in the Mexican Cinema. Welles made a correction of the script in thirteen extraordinary sequences. Unfortunately, the high salary demanded by Del Río threw overboard the project. In 1943, the film finally done with the settings of Welles, led by Norman Foster and starring Mexican actress Esther Fernández.
* The Way to Santiago: In 1941 Welles also planned a Mexican drama with Dolores del Río, which he gave to RKO to be budgeted. The film would a movie version of the same name novel by Calder Marshall. In the story, Dolores del Río would play Elena Medina, “the most beautiful girl in the world”, with Welles playing an American who becomes entangled in a mission to disrupt a Nazi plot to overthrow the Mexican government. Welles planned to shoot in Mexico, but the Mexican government had to approve the story, and this never occurred.[160]
* The Life of Christ: In 1941, Welles received the support of Bishop Fulton Sheen for a retelling of the life of Christ to be set in the American West in the 1890s. After filming of Citizen Kane was complete,[161] Welles, Perry Ferguson and Gregg Toland scouted locations in Baja California and Mexico. Welles wrote a screenplay with dialogue from the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. “Every word in the film was to be from the Bible — no original dialogue, but done as a sort of American primitive,” Welles said, “set in the frontier country in the last century.” The unrealized project was revisited by Welles in the 1950s when he wrote a second unfilmed screenplay, to be shot in Egypt.:361–362
* It’s All True: Welles did not originally want to direct this 1942 documentary on South America, but after its abandonment by RKO, he spent much of the 1940s attempting to buy the negative of his material from RKO, so that he could edit and release it in some form. The footage remained unseen in vaults for decades, and was assumed lost. Over 50 years later, some (but not all) of the surviving material saw release in the 1993 documentary It’s All True: Based on an Unfinished Film by Orson Welles.
* Monsieur Verdoux: In 1944, Welles wrote the first-draft script of this film, which he also intended to direct. Charlie Chaplin initially agreed to star in it, but later changed his mind, citing never having been directed by someone else in a feature before. Chaplin bought the film rights and made the film himself in 1947, with some changes (Welles said the gallows scenes were written by Chaplin, but that much of the film was unchanged from his own script). The final film credits Chaplin with the script, “based on an idea by Orson Welles”.
* Cyrano de Bergerac: Welles spent around nine months c. 1947-8 co-writing the screenplay for this along with Ben Hecht, a project Welles was assigned to direct for Alexander Korda. He began scouting for locations in Europe whilst filming Black Magic, but Korda was short of money, so sold the rights to Columbia pictures, who eventually dismissed Welles from the project, and then sold the rights on to United Artists, who in turn made a film version in 1950, which was not based on Welles’s script.:106–108
* Around the World in Eighty Days: After Welles’s elaborate musical stageshow of this Jules Verne novel, encompassing 38 different sets, he began shooting some test footage in Morocco for a film version in 1947. The footage was never edited, funding never came through, and Welles abandoned the project. Nine years later, the stage show’s producer Mike Todd made his own award-winning film version of the book.:402
* Moby Dick—Rehearsed: a film version of Welles’s 1955 London meta-play, starring Gordon Jackson, Christopher Lee, Patrick McGoohan, and with Welles as Ahab. Using bare, minimalist sets, Welles alternated between a cast of nineteenth-century actors rehearsing a production of Moby Dick, with scenes from Moby Dick itself. Kenneth Williams, a cast member who was apprehensive about the entire project, recorded in his autobiography that Welles’s dim, atmospheric stage lighting made some of the footage so dark as to be unwatchable. The entire play was filmed, but is now presumed lost. This was made during one weekend at the Hackney Empire theatre.
* Histoires extraordinaires: The producers of this 1968 anthology film, based on short stories by Edgar Allan Poe, announced in June 1967 that Welles would direct one segment based on both “Masque of the Red Death” and “The Cask of Amontillado” for the omnibus film. Welles withdrew in September 1967 and was replaced. The script, written in English by Welles and Oja Kodar, is in the Filmmuseum Munchen collection.
* One-Man Band: This Monty Python-esque spoof in which Welles plays all but one of the characters (including two characters in drag), was made around 1968-9. Welles intended this completed sketch to be one of several items in a television special on London. Other items filmed for this special – all included in the “One Man Band” documentary by his partner Oja Kodar – comprised a sketch on Winston Churchill (played in silhouette by Welles), a sketch on peers in a stately home, a feature on London gentlemen’s clubs, and a sketch featuring Welles being mocked by his snide Savile Row tailor (played by Charles Gray).
* Treasure Island: Welles wrote two screenplays for this in the 1960s, and was eager to seek financial backing to direct it. Eventually, his own screenplay (under the pseudonym of O.W. Jeeves) was further rewritten, and formed the basis of the 1972 film version directed by John Hough, in which Welles played Long John Silver.
* The Deep: An adaptation of Charles Williams’ Dead Calm. The picture was entirely set on two boats and shot mostly in close-ups, and was filmed off the coasts of Yugoslavia and the Bahamas, between 1966 and 1969, with all but one scene completed. Originally planned as commercially viable thriller, to show that Welles could make a popular, successful film. It was put on hold in 1970 when Welles worried that critics would not respond favourably to this film as his theatrical follow-up to the much-lauded Chimes at Midnight, and Welles focused instead on F for Fake. It was abandoned altogether in 1973 due to the death of its star Laurence Harvey.
* Dune: An early attempt at adapting Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel Dune by Chilean film director Alejandro Jodorowsky was to star Welles as the evil Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, whom Jodorowsky had personally chosen for the role. However, the planned film never advanced past pre-production.
* Saint Jack. In 1978 Welles was lined up by his long-time protégé Peter Bogdanovich (who was then acting as Welles’s de facto agent) to direct this adaptation of the 1973 Paul Theroux novel about an American pimp in Singapore. Hugh Hefner and Bogdanovich’s then-partner Cybill Shepherd were both attached to the project as producers, with Hefner providing finance through his Playboy productions. However, both Hefner and Shepherd became convinced that Bogdanovich himself would be a more commercially viable director than Welles, and insisted that Bogdanovich take over. Since Bogdanovich was also in need of work after a series of box office flops, he agreed. When the film was finally made in 1979 by Bogdanovich and Hefner (but without Welles or Shepherd’s participation), Welles felt betrayed and according to Bogdanovich the two “drifted apart a bit”.
* Filming The Trial: After the success of his 1978 film Filming Othello made for West German television, and mostly consisting of a monologue to the camera, Welles began shooting scenes for this follow-up film, but never completed it.:253 What Welles did film was an 80-minute question-and-answer session in 1981 with film students asking about the film. The footage was kept by Welles’s cinematographer Gary Graver, who donated it to the Munich Film Museum, which then pieced it together with Welles’s trailer for the film, into an 83-minute film which is occasionally screened at film festivals.
* The Big Brass Ring: This 1982 screenplay, written by Welles with Oja Kodar was adapted and filmed by director George Hickenlooper in partnership with writer F.X. Feeney. Both the Welles script and the 1999 film center on a U.S. Presidential hopeful in his 40s, his elderly mentor—a former candidate for the Presidency, brought low by homosexual scandal—and the Italian journalist probing for the truth of the relationship between these men. During the last years of his life, Welles struggled to get financing for the planned film; however, his efforts at casting Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds and Paul Newman as the main character were unsuccessful. All of the actors turned down the role for various reasons.
* Cradle Will Rock: Welles planned on writing and directing a film about the 1937 staging of The Cradle Will Rock. Rupert Everett was slated to play the young Welles. However, Welles was unable to acquire funding. Tim Robbins later directed a similar film, but it was not based on Welles’s script.
* King Lear: At the time of his death, Welles was in talks with a French production company to direct a film version of the Shakespeare play, in which he would also play the title role.
* An adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Ada for which Welles flew to Paris to discuss the project personally with the Russian author.
* 1979: Welles was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.
* 1981: Welles received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Recording for his role on Donovan’s Brain.
* 1982: In Paris on February 23, 1982, President François Mitterrand presented Welles with the Order of Commander of the Légion d’honneur, the highest civilian decoration in France.:449:207
* 1982: Welles was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture at the Golden Globe Awards for his role in Butterfly, the same role that had him nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor, won by Ed McMahon in the same film, which also won the award for Worst Picture.
* 1983: Welles was made a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts.:508
* 1983: Welles was awarded a Fellowship of the British Film Institute in 1983.
* 1984: In 1984 the Directors Guild of America presented Welles with its greatest honor, the D. W. Griffith Award.
* 1985: Welles received the Career Achievement Award from the National Board of Review.
* 1993: The 1992 audiobook version of This is Orson Welles by Welles and Peter Bogdanovich was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Album.
* 1998: In 1998 and 2007, the American Film Institute ranked Citizen Kane as the greatest American movie. These other Welles films were nominated for the AFI list: The Magnificent Ambersons (1942, director/producer/screenwriter); The Third Man (1949, actor); Touch of Evil (1958, actor/director/screenwriter); and A Man for All Seasons (1966, actor).
* 1999: The American Film Institute acknowledged Welles as one of the top 25 male motion picture stars of Classic Hollywood cinema in its survey, AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Stars.
* 2002: A highly divergent genus of Hawaiian spiders Orsonwelles is named in his honor.
* 2007: A statue of Welles sculpted by Oja Kodar was installed in the city of Split, Croatia.:256
* 2013: On February 10, 2013, the Woodstock Opera House in Woodstock, Illinois, dedicated its stage to Welles, honoring the site of his American debut as a professional theatre director.
* 2015: Throughout 2015, numerous festivals and events observed the 100th anniversary of Welles’s birth.



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