Saturday, May 15, 2010

Remembering Joseph Cotten

Joseph Cheshire Cotten was born on May 15, 1905 in Petersburg, Virginia where his father was an assistant postmaster. Joseph worked as an advertising agent before Hickman School of Speech and Expression in Washington D.C. Where he studied acting. Cotten took a job as a theater critic which inspired him to become involved in theater productions in Virginia and later New York City where he made his Broadway debut in 1930. He became a friend of Orson Welles and joined the Mercury Theater Co. His first film appearance was in “Too Much Johnson” in 1938. He then appeared in Welles' “Citizen Kane” (1940). He also appeared in Welles' “The Magnificent Ambersons” (1941) and wrote the screenplay for Orson's “Journey Into Fear” (1943) and “The Third Man” (1949). After a successful string of films in the 1940s his career cooled in the 1950s. In 1960 her married British actress Patricia Medina after his first wife Lenore Kipp died of leukemia. His marriage to Medina opened up film making in Europe. He made three Euro-westerns in the middle of the 1960s: “The Tramplers” with Gordon Scott and “The Hellbenders” both 1966 and “White Apache” with William Shatner (1968). One of his last films was another western “Heaven's Gate” (1980). He then retired with Medina to their home in Westwood, California. An autobiography 'Vanity Will Get You Somewhere” was released in 1987. Joseph developed throat cancer and died of pneumonia on February 6, 1994 at his Westwood, California home. Today we remember Joseph Cotten on what would have been his 105th birthday.

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