Orson Welles's Oscar Finds Home on Some Guy's Mantel

December 21, 2011

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The Academy Awards statuette Orson Welles won for his Citizen Kane screenplay has at last found a home with someone who can gesture to it when guests come over and say, "See that little golden fucker? Orson Welles won that fer writin' them words that Rosebud was a goddamn SLED!" The Oscar sold at auction last night for a bid of $861,542 by an undisclosed buyer, but the sale comes only after years of litigation, failed auction attempts, and use of the statue as an alternative to cash. As Deadline explained:

For a long time the Oscar was lost but it resurfaced when a cinematographer who said Welles had given it to him as payment. Welles' daughter Beatrice sued and won custody of the statuette. Then the Academy sued her when she tried to auction it in 2003. She won the right to dispense of the Oscar and sold it to a nonprofit that tried unsuccessfully to sell it auction. Sotheby's also was unsuccessful when it tried to auction the golden guy in 2007 but failed to meet the undisclosed reserve price.

Though we may never know the identity of the buyer--forcing us to forever imagine it being voice actor Maurice LaMarche, who maybe bought the Oscar as a visual aid for when he does his impression at parties--we do know of one failed bidder: illusionist David Copperfield. Welles was reportedly a bit of a magician, and Copperfield apparently collects Welles-related items now as an alternative to accumulating something so trite as Houdini shit. Oh well, Dave. There's still the hope you could one day get the actual Paul Masson wine bottle Welles chugged from before recording this commercial:

I suppose it would be too optimistic to imagine the Dark Tower board game Welles famously recounted playing still exists...

Read More: orson welles, oscar
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