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Orson Welles

One-of-a-Kind Photo Signed - c1940

One-of-a-kind vintage signed fan photograph of Orson Welles, famed Hollywood actor, writer, director and producer, circa late 1930s, early 1940s. Measures 2 3/4" x 4 1/2". Welles found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, performed for the radio anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It reportedly caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an invasion by extraterrestrial beings was occurring. Although some contemporary sources claim these reports of panic were mostly false and overstated, they rocketed Welles to notoriety.

This is not a common studio photograph; it was taken by a fan, who had it lab-processed and returned to find Welles so he could sign it. Though a consuming process by today's standards, this was a fairly common practice for the most diehard Hollywood fans, many of whom had amassed huge original collections.