A twentieth-century American actor and filmmaker. His masterpiece is Citizen Kane, the story of a newspaper tycoon (widely thought to be based on William Randolph Hearst), which he directed and in which he played the title role.
For Halloween of 1938, Welles wrote a famous radio dramatization of The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells, the story of an invasion of the Earth by warriors from Mars. Welles's play included several fictional radio news reports about the invasion. Many listeners who missed the beginning of the play thought that they were hearing about an actual Martian attack and panicked.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.