In My Father's Shadow: A Daughter Remembers Orson Welles

In My Father's Shadow: A Daughter Remembers Orson Welles

Chris Welles Feder

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 1565125991

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Out of all the many stars and celebrities Hollywood has produced, only a handful have achieved the fame―and, some would say, infamy―of Orson Welles, the creator and star of what is arguably the greatest American film, Citizen Kane. Many books have been written about him, detailing his achievements as an artist as well his foibles as a human being. None of them, however, has gotten so close to the real man as does Chris Welles Feder's beautifully realized portrait of her father. 

In My Father's Shadow is a classic story of a life lived in the public eye, told with affection and the wide-eyed wonder of a daughter who never stopped believing that someday she would truly know and understand her elusive and larger-than-life father. The result is a moving and insightful look at life in the shadow of a legendary figure and an immensely entertaining story of growing up in the unreal reality of Hollywood, enhanced by Welles Feder's collection of many never-before-seen family photographs.


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when Orson gets out of bed. Oja Kodar’s drawing of Orson holding a pet bird on his hand. Our rooftop apartment was spacious, charming, and flooded with light from two walls of sliding glass doors, one leading to a private terrace and the other to a walkway on the roof. One of Oja’s bold oil paintings hung over a round, king-size bed. We even had our own kitchenette. “I wanted you to have this apartment,” Oja was telling us, “because it has the best view.” She slid open the glass doors and the

Applying stage makeup. Orson directing the dancing girls in a scene from Citizen Kane (1941). Orson sharing a joke with his good friend Joseph Cotten on the set of Journey Into Fear (1943). Looking through the lens. With his assistant Dick Wilson standing by, Welles talks to actor Richard Bennett on the set of The Magnificent Ambersons (1942). Welles practicing a card trick for his magic act (1944). Welles and Gary Cooper celebrate their birthdays, which are one day apart,

very beautiful one, too.” “But Daddy, girls aren’t called Christopher.” “That’s right. You’re the only girl in the world who is, and that makes you unique as well as beautiful.” “What does unique mean?” “Different from everyone else.” “But Daddy, I don’t want to be different. The kids at school tease me about having a boy’s name.” “When you’re older, they’ll envy you. Wait and see, darling girl. The day will come when you’ll love your name and thank your old father for having christened you

in the chicken coop; but she lived on in his memory as tough, exciting, glamorous. The woman, real and invented, who had opened his ears to music, his eyes to art, and his mind and heart to the theater. His mother and his muse. TODD SCHOOL WAS a strong point of connection between my father and me. “You were the lucky one,” he laughed during one of our reminiscences in later years, “because when you went to Todd, Skipper was the headmaster and the place had become a paradise for boys.” I didn’t

in my father’s mind it had one purpose only. “My hope is that it won’t be an art house movie,” he told an interviewer after filming began off the Dalmatian coast near Primosten, the small village where Oja lived, and on the island of Hvar. “I felt it was high time to show the world I could make some money.” It was a hopeless quest that he had pursued since the days of The Lady from Shanghai, also intended to be a box office success. It would be like asking Leo Tolstoy to write pulp fiction.

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