Watch Orson Welles’ Final TV Interview, Recorded a Few Hours Before He Died

     March 30, 2012

The term “genius” is perhaps applied a bit too liberally when we, as fans of film and television, discuss the people we admire and their works.  But it’s a word that doesn’t do justice to Orson Welles. An unparalleled talent of stage, radio, and silver screen, the man left an indelible impression on each medium. In 1938, he conducted the most infamous radio broadcast of all time, an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds that, because of its ‘news bulletin’ format, led many listeners to believe an actual alien invasion was underway. A few years later, still in his mid-20s, he wrote, directed, and starred in Citizen Kane, often lauded as the greatest cinematic achievement of all time. And let’s not forget: he was the voice of Unicron in 1986’s The Transformers: The Movie. Hit the jump for more, and to watch the final interview of Welles’ life recorded hours before his death.

On October 10, 1985, at the age of 70, he gave his final television interview on The Merv Griffin Show mere hours before succumbing to a heart attack at his Los Angeles home. In the clip, which lasts 9:44, Welles is engaging and quick-witted as ever, but there’s a hint of the tragic at times as he’s compelled to discuss his lost youth, lost love and the “painful times” of his past. Of course, whenever a man like this speaks, we all do well to listen.

The clip below comes to us via via the Twitter account of director Craig Brewer.



  • Max

    That was wonderful. Thank you.

  • jimmer

    you guys need more articles like this

    • Mr. Me

      ^ This.

      I saw that clip a few days ago; Orson Welles was such an incredible man.

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    I saw this on YouTube a long time ago

    • Wockerdaw

      That’s very, very, very interesting.

  • cat farts

    But if he died in 1985 and the Transformers movie came out in 1986…

    • Gene

      Animation can take a great deal of time to finish, and the dialogue is frequently shot months and months beforehand. If Mr. Welles recorded the voice work in ’85, it wouldn’t be unusual to have the end product come out a year after his death.
      I must admit, however, that the skeptical, conspiratorial nature of your comment is amusing…

      • No Trespassing

        Cybertron was an inside job.

  • Papasteve

    Well done for putting up such an exciting clip – I too have seen it before as it’s up on Youtube, but nothing wrong with drawing attention to something worth seeing. How about a regular series of articles on rare interviews, clips etc? May I recommend Charlie Chaplin recieving an honorary oscar in the mid 70′s. There’s also a clip of a young Woody Allen and a middle-aged Gene Kelly performing together, saw it once on Youtube and never could find it again. Anyway, keep it up guys!

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