George Orson Welles was an American actor, director, screenwriter and producer who is remembered for his innovative work in radio, theatre and film. He is considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.
But by the time he was 30, the man had become the myth. He often behaved in extravagant, bewildering, self-defeating ways, but equally often with magnificent, inspiring generosity. He was funny, terrifying, creative, destructive, kind, cruel, and all on the largest scale. A stubborn lack of self-knowledge condemned him to repeat his errors. His successes and his failures were equally titanic; he created some of the most memorable films and striking theatre of the 20th century. His tiny body of TV work pointed to possibilities for the medium that nobody bothered to take up. He was fearless in his experiments, and he never did any of it for the money, just for the sheer joy of making films. Because of this, he has inspired more directors than any other film-maker, but he leaves no legacy: he really was a one-off.
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