Joseph Cotten

Joseph Cotten

Highest Rated: 100% The Farmer's Daughter (1947)

Lowest Rated: 14% Baron Blood (Gli Orrori del Castello di Norimberga) (1972)

Birthday: May 15, 1905

Birthplace: Petersburg, Virginia, USA

Born to a well-to-do Southern family, Joseph Cotten studied at the Hickman School of Expression in Washington D.C., and later sought out theater jobs in New York. He made his Broadway debut in 1930, and seven years later joined Orson Welles' progressive Mercury Theatre company, playing leads in such productions as Julius Caesar and Shoemaker's Holiday. He briefly left Welles in 1939 to co-star in Katharine Hepburn's Broadway comeback vehicle The Philadelphia Story. Cotten rejoinedWelles in Hollywood in 1940, making his feature-film debut as Jed Leland in Welles' Citizen Kane (1941). As a sort of private joke, Jed Leland was a dramatic critic, a profession which Cotten himself had briefly pursued on the Miami Herald in the late '20s. Cotten went on to play the kindly auto mogul Eugene Morgan in Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons in 1942, and both acted in and co-wrote Journey Into Fear, the film that Welles was working on when he was summarily fired by RKO. Cotten remained a close friend of Welles until the director's death in 1985; he co-starred with Welles in Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949) and played an unbilled cameo for old times' sake in the Welles-directed Touch of Evil (1958). A firmly established romantic lead by the early '40s, Cotten occasionally stepped outside his established screen image to play murderers (Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt [1943]) and surly drunkards (Under Capricorn [1949]). A longtime contractee of David O. Selznick, Cotten won a Venice Film Festival award for his performance in Selznick's Portrait of Jennie (1948). Cotten's screen career flagged during the 1950s and '60s, though he flourished on television as a guest performer on such anthologies as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Fireside Theatre, The Great Adventure, and as host of The 20th Century-Fox Hour (1955), The Joseph Cotten Show (1956), On Trial (1959), and Hollywood and the Stars (1963). He also appeared in several stage productions, often in the company of his second wife, actress Patricia Medina. In 1987, Cotten published his engagingly candid autobiography, Vanity Will Get You Somewhere. He died of pneumonia in 1994 at the age of 88.


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet A Whisper in the Dark Actor 2005
No Score Yet World's Greatest Movie Challenge Actor 1989
No Score Yet The House Where Evil Dwells Ivar 1982
No Score Yet The Survivor The Priest 1981
No Score Yet Churchill and the Generals Actor 1981
57% Heaven's Gate `The Reverend Doctor' 1980
No Score Yet Casino Ed Booker 1980
No Score Yet Guyana: Crime of the Century Richard Gable 1980
No Score Yet La Carroza Walter Pritchard 1980
No Score Yet L'Isola degli Uomini Pesce Prof. Marvin 1979
No Score Yet The Perfect Crime Sir Arthur Dundee 1978
63% The Wild Geese Actor 1978
No Score Yet Caravans Crandall 1978
No Score Yet Concorde Affair Actor 1978
33% Airport '77 Nicholas St. Downs III 1977
80% Twilight's Last Gleaming Renfrew 1977
No Score Yet Return to Fantasy Island Mr. Grant 1977
No Score Yet A Whisper in the Dark Actor 1976
No Score Yet The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case Dr. Condon 1976
No Score Yet Origins of the Mafia Envoy (Gli antenati) 1976
No Score Yet The Big Push Greedy sawmill mogul #2 1975
No Score Yet The AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards: Orson Welles Actor 1975
No Score Yet Syndicate Sadists Paterno 1975
88% F for Fake Guest 1974
71% Soylent Green William Simonson 1973
No Score Yet The Devil's Daughter Judge Weatherby 1973
75% A Delicate Balance Harry 1973
14% Baron Blood (Gli Orrori del Castello di Norimberga) Baron Otto von Kleist/Alfred Becker 1972
No Score Yet Lo Scopone scientifico (The Scientific Cardplayer) (The Scopone Game) George 1972
No Score Yet Doomsday Voyage Capt. Jason 1972
No Score Yet La Figlia di Frankenstein (Lady Frankenstein)(Daughter of Frankenstein) Baron Frankenstein 1971
86% The Abominable Dr. Phibes Dr. Vesalius 1971
No Score Yet City Beneath the Sea Actor 1971
55% Tora! Tora! Tora! Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson 1970
No Score Yet The Grasshopper Richard Morgan 1970
No Score Yet Latitude Zero (Atragon II) (Ido zero daisakusen) Capt. Craig McKenzie/Cdr. Glenn McKenzie 1969
No Score Yet White Commanche A Caucasoid 1968
86% Petulia Mr. Danner 1968
No Score Yet Jack of Diamonds, (Der Diamantenprinz) Ace of Diamonds 1968
No Score Yet Alexander the Great Actor 1968
No Score Yet The Hellbenders Col. Jonas 1967
No Score Yet Brighty of the Grand Canyon Jim Owen 1967
15% The Oscar Kenneth H. Regan 1966
No Score Yet The Money Trap Dr. Horace Van Tilden 1966
No Score Yet The Great Sioux Massacre Reno 1965
81% Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte Drew 1964
No Score Yet The Last Sunset John Breckenridge 1961
No Score Yet The Angel Wore Red Hawthorne 1960
38% From the Earth to the Moon Victor Barbicane 1958
96% Touch of Evil Detective 1958
No Score Yet The Halliday Brand Daniel Halliday 1957
No Score Yet The Bottom of the Bottle (Beyond the River) Pat 'P.M.' Martin 1956
60% The Killer Is Loose Sam Wagner 1956
89% Othello (The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice) Senator 1955
No Score Yet A Blueprint for Murder Whitney 'Cam' Cameron 1953
83% Niagara George Loomis 1953
No Score Yet Egypt by Three Narrator 1953
No Score Yet The Steel Trap Jim Osborne 1952
No Score Yet The Man with a Cloak Dupin 1952
No Score Yet Half Angel John Raymond Jr. 1951
No Score Yet Gone to Earth Narrator (US version) 1950
No Score Yet Walk Softly, Stranger Chris Hale aka Steve 1950
No Score Yet Two Flags West Col. Clay Tucker 1950
No Score Yet September Affair David Lawrence 1949
99% The Third Man Holly Martins 1949
No Score Yet Beyond the Forest Dr. Louis Moline 1949
60% Under Capricorn Sam Flusky 1949
83% Portrait of Jennie Eben Adams 1948
100% The Farmer's Daughter Glenn Morley 1947
80% Duel in the Sun Jesse McCanles 1946
No Score Yet Love Letters Allen Quinton 1945
No Score Yet I'll Be Seeing You Zachary Morgan 1945
83% Since You Went Away Lt. Anthony Willett 1944
87% Gaslight Cameron 1944
No Score Yet Hers to Hold Bill Morley 1943
75% Journey Into Fear Screenwriter Howard Graham 1943
100% Shadow of a Doubt Uncle Charlie 1943
90% The Magnificent Ambersons Eugene Morgan 1942
No Score Yet Lydia Actor 1941
100% Citizen Kane Jedediah Leland 1941
No Score Yet Too Much Johnson Actor 1938


No Score Yet The Rockford Files
Warner 1974
No Score Yet The Streets of San Francisco
John R. James 1973
No Score Yet It Takes a Thief
Heinrich Jack 1970
No Score Yet Ironside
Stern 1968
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
William Callew Tony Gould Courtney Masterson 1959
No Score Yet Tales of the Unexpected
Edward Lionel


Charlie Oakley says: Everybody was sweet and pretty then Charlie, the whole world, wonderful world. Not like the world today, not like the world now.

Jedediah Leland says: He married for love. Love. That's why he did everything. That's why he went into politics. It seems we weren't enough, he wanted all the voters to love him too. Guess all he really wanted out of life was love. That's Charlie's story, how he lost it. You see, he just didn't have any to give. Well, he loved Charlie Kane of course, very dearly, and his mother, I guess he always loved her.

Charlie Oakley says: You wake up every morning of your life and you know perfectly well that there's nothing in the world to trouble you. You go through your ordinary little day, and at night you sleep your untroubled ordinary little sleep, filled with peaceful stupid dreams. And I brought you nightmares.

Charlie Oakley says: The cities are full of women, middle-aged widows, husbands, dead, husbands who've spent their lives making fortunes, working and working. And then they die and leave their money to their wives, their silly wives. And what do the wives do, these useless women?You see them in the hotels, the best hotels, every day by the thousands, drinking the money, eating the money, losing the money at bridge, playing all day and all night, smelling of money, proud of their jewelry but of nothing else, horrible, faded, fat, greedy women.

Young Charlie Newton says: But they're alive,they're human beings!

Charlie Oakley says: Are they?

Jedediah Leland says: That's all he ever wanted out of life...was love. That's the tragedy of Charles Foster Kane. You see, he just didn't have any to give.

Jennie Appleton says: Eben . . . I want always to sit and watch you paint.

Jennie Appleton says: Eben... I want always to sit and watch you paint.

Eben Adams says: Now that I've found the perfect model, I'll paint her again and again.

Jennie Appleton says: No, I . . . I didn't mean that . . . I mean I want you to paint all the beautiful things in the world.

Jennie Appleton says: No, I... I didn't mean that... I mean I want you to paint all the beautiful things in the world.

Eben Adams says: [smiles, holds her tight.] You're the most beautiful thing in the world.

Jedediah Leland says: That's all he ever wanted out of life...was love. That's the tragedy of Charles Foster Kane. You see, he just didn't have any to give.

Charles Foster Kane says: Are we going to declare war on Spain, or are we not?

Jedediah Leland says: The Inquirer already has.

Charles Foster Kane says: You long-faced, overdressed anarchist!

Jedediah Leland says: I am not overdressed!

Charles Foster Kane says: You are too! Mr. Bernstein, look at his necktie.

Charlie Oakley says: Are they?