The Ultimate Orson Welles Timeline

The Ultimate Orson Welles Timeline is a visual timeline (including photos and videos) about the works and life of the great Orson Welles (1915-1985). [Work in progress] You can change the way timeline is displayed with the option in the right corner at the bottom.

;xSTx;meta name="twitter:card" content="summary_large_image";xETx;;xNLx;;xSTx;meta name="twitter:site" content="@marcopierrard";xETx;;xNLx;;xSTx;meta name="twitter:creator" content="@marcopierrard";xETx;;xNLx;;xSTx;meta name="twitter:title" content="";xETx;;xNLx;;xSTx;meta property="og:title" content="The Ultimate Orson Welles Timeline";xETx;;xNLx;;xSTx;meta property="og:description" content="The Ultimate Orson Welles Timeline is a visual timeline (including photos and videos) about the works and life of the great Orson Welles (1915-1985).";xETx;;xNLx;;xSTx;meta property="og:image" content="";xETx;;xNLx;[Share this timeline on Twitter.](;xNLx;;xNLx;[Share this timeline on Facebook.](;xNLx;;xNLx;The timeline display the following information about Orson Welles :;xNLx;- Important dates in his life and about his family;xNLx;- his stage productions;xNLx;- his radio plays;xNLx;- movies he directed;xNLx;- movies he co-directed;xNLx;- movies he acted in or did the narration;xNLx;- books, plays and scripts he wrote;xNLx;- his projects for television;xNLx;- his interviews [list in progess];xNLx;- his public appearances;xNLx;- books on Orson Welles and his works (mostly in english and french);xNLx;- movies on Orson Welles or with Orson Welles as a character.;xNLx;- plays on Orson Welles or with Orson Welles as a character.;xNLx;- tributes to Orson Welles;xNLx;;xNLx;Information are mostly from Wikipedia, IMDb, books on Orson Welles and the fabulous [Wellesnet website](;xNLx;;xNLx;[More info about me here](;xNLx;[Follow me on Twitter, if you want.](;xNLx;[Présentation de cette timeline en français.](

1905-10-07 00:00:00

Birth of Richard I. Welles, Orson's brother

Birth of Richard Ives Welles, III, older brother of Orson Welles.

1915-05-06 00:00:00

Orson's birth

Birth of George Orson Welles in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.

1924-05-10 00:00:00

Death of Beatrice Ives Welles

Beatrice Ives Welles, a concert pianist and Orson's mother, died of hepatitis in a Chicago hospital at the age of 43, just after Welles's ninth birthday.

1930-12-28 00:00:00

Death of Richard H. Welles

Richard Hodgdon Head Welles, Orson's father, died at the age of 58, alone in a hotel in Chicago.

1931-10-13 00:00:00

Jew Suss

Welles made his stage debut at the Gate Theatre appearing in Ashley Dukes's adaptation of Jew Suss as Duke Karl Alexander of Württemberg.

1933-05-01 00:00:00

"Twelfth Night" footage

A short technicolor film made in 1933, notable as the very earliest surviving film directed by a seventeen-year-old Orson Welles.

1934-01-01 00:00:00

The American School of the Air

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.

1934-06-01 00:00:00

Hearts of Age

This 8 minute short film was co-directed with Orson's friend William Vance.

1934-07-12 00:00:00

Todd Theatre Festival at the Woodstock Opera House

The young Orson Welles (19 years old) directed his first play "Tribly" during this summer festival where he played Svengali. He also played in the two other plays of the festival Hamlet and Tsar Paul.

1934-09-01 00:00:00

Everybody's Shakespeare

Three volumes published by the 19-year-old Welles and his former school teacher & lifelong friend Roger Hill, by the Todd Press, the imprint of the Todd School for Boys where Welles was a pupil and Hill became Headmaster. The book contained "acting versions" (i.e. abridgments) of Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice.

1934-12-20 00:00:00

Romeo and Juliet

Katharine Cornell's company began a 36-week tour of Romeo and Juliet in the fall of 1934, with Welles playing Mercutio.

1934-12-23 00:00:00

Marriage of Orson Welles and Virginia Nicholson

Orson Welles marry Virginia Nicholson at 19.

1935-03-01 21:30:00

The March of Time

An American radio news series broadcast from 1931 to 1945, and a companion newsreel series shown in movie theaters from 1935 to 1951.

1936-04-14 00:00:00

Voodoo Macbeth

Premiere of The Voodoo Macbeth, a common nickname for the Federal Theatre Project's 1936 New York production of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, featuring an all-African American cast.

1936-09-17 00:00:00

Columbia Workshop

A radio series that aired on the Columbia Broadcasting System from 1936 to 1943, returning in 1946-47. Welles directed Hamlet, Macbeth and Twelfth Night for this program.

1936-09-26 00:00:00

Horse Eats Hat

A farce play co-written and directed by the 21-year-old Orson Welles, and presented under the auspices of the Federal Theatre Project. It was Welles's second WPA production, after his highly successful Voodoo Macbeth.

1937-01-01 21:00:00

Orson Welles screentest for Warner Bros.

Orson Welles screentest for Warner Bros.

1937-01-08 21:00:00

Doctor Faustus

The play directed by Welles was presented at Maxine Elliott's Theatre, New York. Orson Welles played Faust.

1937-04-11 00:00:00

The Fall of the City

The Fall of the City by Archibald MacLeish is the first American verse play written for radio. The 30-minute play was first broadcast April 11, 1937, at 7 p.m. ET over the Columbia Broadcasting System (today CBS) as part of the Columbia Workshop radio series. The cast featured Orson Welles and Burgess Meredith. Music was composed and directed by Bernard Herrmann. It is an allegory on the rise of Fascism.

1937-04-21 00:00:00

The Second Hurricane

In 1937 American composer Aaron Copland chose Welles to direct The Second Hurricane, an operetta with a libretto by Edwin Denby, and one of Copland's least known works.

1937-06-16 00:00:00

The Cradle Will Rock

First staging of The Cradle Will Rock a musical by Marc Blitzstein, directed by Orson Welles, and produced by John Houseman.

1937-07-23 22:00:00

Les Misérables

Les Misérables was a seven-part radio series broadcast (Fridays at 10 p.m. ET), on the Mutual Network. Orson Welles adapted Victor Hugo's novel, directed the series and starred as Jean Valjean. The 22-year-old Welles developed the idea of telling stories with first-person narration on the series, which was his first job as a writer-director for radio.

1937-09-26 00:00:00

The Shadow

The Shadow returned to network airwaves on September 26, 1937, over the new Mutual Broadcasting System. Thus began the "official" radio drama, with 22-year-old Orson Welles starring as Lamont Cranston, a "wealthy young man about town."

1937-11-11 00:00:00


Premiere on Broadway of Caesar, adaption of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar that evoked comparison to contemporary Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

1938-01-01 00:00:00

The Shoemaker's Holiday

The Mercury Theatre's second production. A staging of Thomas Dekker's Elizabethan comedy The Shoemaker's Holiday.

1938-02-01 00:00:00

Bright Lucifer

Starting at 17, Orson Welles worked on "Bright Lucifer" for six years. It's a lurid and macabre melodrama about an evil youth who destructively manipulates his elders at an isolated forest lake cabin.

1938-03-27 00:00:00

Birth of Christopher Welles

Virginia Nicholson, Orson's first wife gave birth to a baby girl named Christopher, first daughter of Orson Welles.

1938-04-29 00:00:00

Heartbreak House

The third Mercury Theatre play. An adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Heartbreak House.

1938-07-11 00:00:00

The Mercury Theatre on the Air (1937-1938)

The Mercury Theatre on the Air (first known as First Person Singular) is a radio series of live radio dramas created by Orson Welles. The weekly hour-long show presented classic literary works performed by Welles's celebrated Mercury Theatre repertory company, with music composed or arranged by Bernard Herrmann.

1938-08-15 00:00:00

Too Much Johnson

This 34 min short film was not intended to stand by itself, but was designed as the cinematic aspect of Welles's Mercury Theatre stage presentation of William Gillette's 1894 comedy.

1938-10-30 20:00:00

The War of the Worlds

Orson Welles's adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds (1898) that panicked America.

1938-10-31 00:00:00

'The War of the Worlds' press conference

Orson Welles speaking at press conference the day after "The War of the Worlds" radio broadcast.

1938-11-02 00:00:00

Danton's Death

A production of Georg Büchner 1835 play Danton's Death, about the French Revolution.

1938-12-09 00:00:00

The Campbell Playhouse (1938-1940)

A live CBS radio drama series directed by and starring Orson Welles. Produced by John Houseman, it was a sponsored continuation of The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The series offered 60-minute adaptations of classic plays and novels, plus some adaptations of popular motion pictures.

1939-01-01 00:00:00

The Mercury Shakespeare

A revised omnibus version edited by Harper & Row of three volumes released in 1934 under the umbrella title of Everybody's Shakespeare.

1939-02-27 20:00:00

Five Kings (Part One)

An entirely original play by Welles about Sir John Falstaff, which was created by mixing and re-arranging dialogue from five different Shakespeare plays (primarily taken from Henry IV, Part I, Henry IV, Part II, and Henry V, but also using elements of Richard II and The Merry Wives of Windsor), to form a wholly new narrative.

1939-07-01 00:00:00

The Green Goddess

In July and August 1939, after having signed a contract with the RKO film studio, the Mercury Theatre toured the RKO Vaudeville Theatre circuit with an abbreviated, twenty-minute production of the William Archer melodrama The Green Goddess, five minutes of which took the form of a film insert.

1939-12-10 00:00:00

Heart of Darkness

Welles toyed with various ideas for his first project for RKO Radio Pictures, settling on an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's 1899 novella Heart of Darkness, which he worked on in detail.

1940-02-01 00:00:00

Orson Welles and Virginia Nicholson divorce

Virginia Nicholson divorced Orson Welles.

1940-02-08 00:00:00

Swiss Family Robinson

Orson Welles is the opening narrator (uncredited) of this film about a family setting out for a new life across the sea and shipwrecked on a deserted island.

1940-05-05 00:00:00

Birth of Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Michael Lindsay-Hogg is a british director. He is assumed to be the only son of Orson Welles from Welles's affair with Irish actress Geraldine Fitzgerald, then the wife of Sir Edward Lindsay-Hogg.

1940-06-05 00:00:00

Batman #1 comic book

In this first issue of the Batman comic book, the Joker hijacks a radio program to predict that the millionaire Henry Claridge will be killed at midnight and the Claridge diamond stolen. One listener is less than impressed, laughing it off as a hoax like, "that fellow who scared everybody with that story about Mars the last time." reffering to The War of the Worlds broadcast by Orson Welles.

1941-03-24 00:00:00

Native Son

A stage adaptation of Richard Wright's anti-racism novel Native Son.

1941-03-25 00:00:00

The Way to Santiago / Mexican Melodrama

The Way to Santiago a.k.a. Mexican Melodrama in which Welles was to have starred as well as direct and produce is an action thriller about a man who wakes up with amnesia in a foreign country where many people want him dead.

1941-04-06 00:00:00

His Honor, The Mayor

Script of a radio play written by Orson Welles broadcast April 6, 1941. Published by The Free Company.

1941-05-01 00:00:00

Citizen Kane

Premiere of Citizen Kane in New York City.

1941-09-15 22:00:00

Orson Welles Show

Also known as The Orson Welles Theater, Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater and the Lady Esther Show (after its sponsor), Orson Welles Show is a live CBS Radio series produced, directed and hosted by Orson Welles.

1942-07-10 00:00:00

The Magnificent Ambersons

Release of The Magnificent Ambersons in the USA.

1942-11-09 19:15:00

Ceiling Unlimited

Later known as America — Ceiling Unlimited this CBS radio series created by Orson Welles and sponsored by the Lockheed-Vega Corporation was conceived to glorify the aviation industry and dramatize its role in World War II.

1942-11-15 00:00:00

Hello Americans

A CBS Radio series produced, directed and hosted by Orson Welles, created to promote inter-American understanding and friendship during World War II.

The Ultimate Orson Welles Timeline

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