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Paola Mori; Widow of Actor Orson Welles

August 14, 1986

Paola Mori, who acted in Italian films before marrying Orson Welles, is dead of head injuries suffered in a Las Vegas automobile accident, authorities said. She was 57.

Mrs. Welles, the Italian-born Countess of Gerfalco, was a passenger in a car driven by family friend Bill Kurasz, 39, who was seriously injured in the Tuesday morning accident. A family spokesman said she was to meet later that day with a film crew working on a documentary of her late husband.

She was taken to Desert Springs Hospital near her Las Vegas home and died there after a few hours.

Police said the accident occurred when Kurasz's car pulled out into the path of another vehicle. No one in the second car was hurt, police said.

Welles, who died last October, was the director and star of 1941's "Citizen Kane," which many considered the finest film ever made. The couple were married in 1955 and they had a daughter, Beatrice, who was at her mother's bedside when she died. Welles had previously been married to Rita Hayworth, by whom he had a daughter, Rebecca. Welles and his first wife, Virginia Nicholson, had a son, Christopher.

The Welleses had lived in Las Vegas since 1970, but Welles also had a Hollywood residence, where he was found dead of apparent heart failure at 70.

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