Orson Welles: “Citizen Kane” make-up

Orson Welles

Boscutti - Orson Welles - Writer Producer Director Actor Orson Welles in the make-up chair on set on Citizen Kane

RKO wants the young Kane to look handsome and dashing.

Non-union make up artist Maurice Seiderman is hired to transform the already-overweight Welles, beginning with his nose. (Welles detests his nose because he thinks it makes him look infantile. In later years he carries with him an infamous case of putty noses.)

For the film, Welles is as made up as a young man as he is an old man.

For the old Kane, Seiderman creates a red plastic compound which he applies to Welles, allowing the wrinkles to move naturally. Kane’s mustache is made of several hair tufts.

Transforming Welles into the old Kane requires six to seven hours. He has to start at two in the morning to begin filming at nine, with conferences in the make-up chair and around-the-clock commitment.

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