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Robert Wise
Remembering Orson Welles at 100

The second child of inventor Richard and opera singer Beatrice Welles was born 100 years ago May 6 in Kenosha, Wis. They named him George Orson Welles, but it didn't take long before he shed George and Kenosha to become one of the best-known showmen in America. At 21, he shook up the dull, predictable Broadway theater world with an all-black production of "Macbeth," then followed it with a chilling modern-dress "Julius Caesar" in 1937 as fascism gripped Germany and Italy. His sonorous voice was heard on so many live radio dramas that he hired an ambulance, with siren wailing, to get him from job to job in Manhattan traffic. Kicked out of one theater when the...