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Close-Up: Orson Welles, part 2

It tackled difficult subjects like divorce, drug addiction and racism. CBC-TV's program Close-Up was never one to shy away from controversy. But Close-Up also mixed it up with lighthearted topics, like Parisian dancers or holiday camps; the program had its fair share of big-name celebrity interviews too. Running from 1957 until 1963, Close-Up was created by producer Ross McLean and hosted by J. Frank Willis. Its wide roster of interviewers included Elaine Grand, Percy Saltzman, Pierre Berton and Jack Webster. We feature five complete episodes from the year 1960.

American actors aren't good at period pieces. Television is a second-rate medium. Friendship is more important than art. These are just a few of the assertions made by Orson Welles this 1960 episode of Close-Up, the second of a two-part interview with the renowned filmmaker and actor. While chatting with CBC's Bernard Braden, Welles also discusses what he thinks was his best acting role ever (Harry Lime in the film The Third Man), and sings the praises of his cameraman on Citizen Kane.
The Third Man was a critically acclaimed 1949 film noir. British novelist Graham Greene wrote the screenplay.

• The cameraman for Citizen Kane was Gregg Tolland. His other notable film credits include 1939's Wuthering Heights (for which he won a Best Cinematography Academy Award), and 1940's The Grapes of Wrath. His career was cut short, however, when he passed away in 1948 after a coronary thrombosis at the age of 44.

• Orson Welles died of a heart attack at the age of 70 in 1985.

Medium: Television
Program: Close-Up
Broadcast Date: March 3, 1960
Guest(s): Orson Welles
Interviewer: Bernard Braden
Duration: 27:31

Last updated: August 30, 2013

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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