A genius of radio, film and theater, Orson Welles, is dead. There was, as with so many innovators, a meteoric quality to his career, but the dazzling energy survives, illuminating the arts in which he engaged.
His extraordinary originality set him apart.
The 1938 radio production, "The War of the Worlds," brought to the emerging medium a stark realism that, 47 years later, still influences every serious practitioner.
His 1940 film production, "Citizen Kane," remains in the judgment of many critics the greatest film ever made, its highest accolade the utilization of his innovations in two generations of films that followed.
He was also the man who adapted "Julius Caesar" in contemporary attire to the era of European fascism, who produced a black "Macbeth," who acted, wrote, directed, produced-- astride screen and stage, sometimes shocking, never neutral, always influential.