It’s a HISTORY MYSTERY!
The theme for this year’s column is “Famous People Born in Virginia.” You are invited to submit your guess as to the identity of the person pictured in each issue. Correct entries will be placed in a drawing and the winner announced in an upcoming issue. The winner will receive $25.00.
Deadline is October 19.
DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS?
HISTORY MYSTERY ENTRY FORM
Our August History Mystery subject was Joseph Cotten (1905 – 1994). Born to a well-to-do Petersburg family, Cotten spent childhood summers at an aunt’s home in Virginia Beach, where he discovered his passion for performing. After attending the Hickman School of Expression in Washington, D.C., he struggled to find acting opportunities and worked as a shipping clerk, advertising agent, lifeguard and drama critic for the Miami Herald. Through a connection at this newspaper, he broke into acting and made his Broadway debut in 1930 while performing on radio shows to augment his income. There, he met Orson Welles and joined his group, the Mercury Theatre players. After Welles landed a contract with RKO Pictures following his famous War of the Worlds radio broadcast in which Cotten played a role, he recruited Cotten for the role of college friend turned confidant in the 1941 movie, Citizen Kane. The friends continued to collaborate on Hollywood movies, with Cotten writing the screenplay for Journey into Fear. He became a leading Hollywood actor of the 1940s and ‘50s. One of Cotten’s final films was Heaven’s Gate, made in 1980. Several of our readers reported having known his family or met him in person during his visits to Virginia. Reader Gloria Flanders of Stephens City was our $25 winner.