Produced in Petersburg, Virginia, Joseph Cotten was a part of Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater radio ensemble starting in 1937. Cotten’s many other movies contain Gaslight (1944), The Third Man (1949), The Oscar (1966) and Heaven’s Gate (1980). He expired on February 6, 1994 in la.
Joseph Cotten was born on May 15, 1905, in Petersburg, Virginia into a wealthy Southern family. Getting onto the nyc stage was more demanding than Cotten believed it might be, and he ended up working as a shipping clerk for a year before changing routes and heading south to Miami with buddies.
In Florida, Cotten supported himself with an unusual variety of occupations, including lifeguard, potato salad merchandiser and, more suitably, an advertising salesman/drama critic for the Miami Herald. What most probably interested Cotten more than any of his occupations was the time he spent playing in plays in the Miami Civic Theater. That work led himself back to the Big Apple, when a connection he made in the Herald helped Cotten get employment as an assistant stage manager.
Joseph Cotten made his Broadway debut in 1930 and he started working on radio shows shortly after. Himself also wed in this era, and he’d be with Lenore La Mont from 1931 until her 1960 departure. Frequently auditioning and playing at this juncture, Cotten met a young man at one audition who’d alter the length of his career: Orson Welles.
The epic, focusing on the life span of a paper mogul, was composed and directed by and starred Welles (at age 25), who went on to become among the very honored movies in Hollywood history. Cotten would locate his finest characters in Welles’ movies, as well as the pair followed Citizen Kane with another masterpiece, The Magnificent Ambersons, in 1942, and Journey Into Fear, which was co-composed by Cotten and Welles, in 1943.
Himself also appeared in an extended variety of TV and movie jobs on the ensuing decades, including The Money Trap (1965), City Beneath the Sea (1971), Soylent Green (1973) and Heaven’s Gate (1980). An on and off writer, Cotten released his autobiography, Vanity Will Get You Somewhere, in 1987, just a couple of years after suffering a stroke as well as heart attack. Joseph Cotten died of pneumonia in la, California on February 6, 1994. Himself was survived by his second wife, fellow performer Patricia Medina.