Joseph Cotten

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Joseph Cheshire Cotten (May 15, 1905 – February 6, 1994) was an American actor of stage and film. Cotten achieved prominence on Broadway, starring in the original productions of The Philadelphia Story and Sabrina Fair. He is associated with Orson Welles, leading to appearances in Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), Journey into Fear (1943), for which Cotten was also credited with the screenplay, and The Third Man (1949). He was a star in his own right with films such as Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Love Letters (1945) and Portrait of Jennie (1948).


Biography and career

—Joseph Cotton,  

Early life and career

Cotten was born in Petersburg, Virginia, the son of Sallie Bartlett (née Willson) and Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Sr., who was an assistant postmaster.[1][2][3] Cotten worked as an advertising agent after attending the Washington, D.C., Hickman School of Speech and Expression, where he studied acting. His work as a theatre critic inspired him to become more involved in theatre productions, first in Virginia, and later in New York. Cotten made his Broadway debut in 1930, and soon befriended Orson Welles. In 1937, he joined Welles' Mercury Theatre Company, starring in productions of Julius Caesar and Shoemaker's Holiday.

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