The Bend Theater Wall of Fame


Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin May 6, 1915, Orson Welles was a legend of the stage, screen, and radio. In the 1930s, he directed an all-black stage adaptation of MacBeth and gained notoriety for the politically charged play “The Cradle Will Rock”. On radio, Welles voiced the 1938 Mercury Theater of the Air’s adaptation of “War of the Worlds”. It was met with a mix of awe, bewilderment, and panic as some listeners took the invasion by aliens as fact. The notoriety amplified by the press landed Welles a two-picture deal at RKO studios in Hollywood.

Many of the Mercury players starred in his first feature film, Citizen Kane in 1941. The film was, in part, an indictment of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. It remains among one of the best ever produced. Welles also made “The Lady from Shanghai” in 1947, starring his then-wife Rita Hayworth, “Touch of Evil” in 1958, “The Trial” in 1962, and “Chimes at Midnight” in 1966.