Growing up, as I did, in front of the television in the seventies, I was pretty familiar with Orson Welles. If he wasn’t extolling the virtues of the vintages of Ernest and Julio he was performing impossible feats of magic a la Kreskin. So ubiquitous a television personality was Mr. Welles that it was years before I discovered he had been an actor, director, genius, etc. It was not until I first saw Citizen Kane that I realized he was several notches above a Charles Nelson Reilly or Paul Lynde in the pecking order of the rich and famous.
Although Mr Welles’ fall from grace with Hollywood is pretty well documented, two things still bother me: How did he get into doing magic tricks? and Why would he choose the Merv Griffin Show as his forum?
Any theories or data?