Joseph Cotten - Rotten Tomatoes

Joseph Cotten



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.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Caravans
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet A Whisper in the Dark
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet World's Greatest Movie Challenge
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet Big Push
  • 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
60% The Wild Geese
  • Actor
1978
No Score Yet Caravans
  • Crandall
1978
No Score Yet Perfect Crime
  • Actor
1978
No Score Yet Concorde Affair
  • Actor
1978
50% Airport '77
  • Nicholas St. Downs III
1977
88% 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
No Score Yet A Delicate Balance
  • Harry
1973
No Score Yet Timber Tramps
  • Actor
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
No Score Yet Vicious Vixens
  • Actor
1971
57% 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
91% 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
18% The Oscar
  • Kenneth H. Regan
1966
No Score Yet The Money Trap
  • Dr. Horace Van Tilden
1966
No Score Yet Tramplers
  • Actor
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
43% 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
92% 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 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
100% The Third Man
  • Holly Martins
1949
No Score Yet Beyond the Forest
  • Dr. Louis Moline
1949
58% Under Capricorn
  • Sam Flusky
1949
91% Portrait of Jennie
  • Eben Adams
1948
No Score Yet The Farmer's Daughter
  • Glenn Morley
1947
81% 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
75% Since You Went Away
  • Lt. Anthony Willett
1944
83% Gaslight
  • Cameron
1944
No Score Yet Hers to Hold
  • Bill Morley
1943
75% Journey Into Fear
  • Howard Graham
  • Screenwriter
1943
100% Shadow of a Doubt
  • Uncle Charlie
1943
91% 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

Quotes from Joseph Cotten's Characters