Orson Welles in Ronda

Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985). He is best known for his stage productions of Voodoo Macbeth, Cradle Will Rock and Caesar; the radio play The War of the Worlds; and the films Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Touch of Evil, Chimes at Midnight and The Other Side of the Wind .

Orson Welles was a phenomenon, a one man band, as one of his friends described him, a film director, actor, author, critic, all at the same time. He was a pioneer, a revolutionary and a visionary, driven by his unique personality but always behind the wind, driving and pushing forward.

“To me”, the French actor Jeanne Moreau once said, “Orson is so much like a destitute king. A destitute king — not because he was thrown away from the kingdom — but (because) on this earth, the way the world is, there is no kingdom good enough for Orson Welles.”

Welles (Don Orzon as he was called) loved Spain, to say the least; he travelled all over the country, lived there, and had friends there. His deep affection for Spain is most evident in the unfinished movie Don Quixote (one of his many unfinished works) and he filmed his favorite movie, Chimes at Midnight, in Spain.

There’s a monument today in Ronda which was unveiled in September 2015, 30 years after his death. But his tomb is elsewhere, not far from Ronda, though. The fountain which holds the ashes of Orson Welles and his wife Paola Mori is located five kilometers outside of Ronda on the A-367, towards Cuevas del Becerro. In May 1987, Beatrice Welles brought her father’s ashes to the Ronda ranch of his longtime friend, bullfighter Antonio Ordoñez. The legendary matador died in 1998 and some of his ashes were later interred in the same well as his late friend at El Recreo De San Cayetano ranch.

The view from the street to the estate where the fountain is located.

The view of the fountain in the garden of the finca. Note the swivel wheel above the fountain, which is also in the photo from 1987.

There is a wealth of information about Orson Welles in English here:

https://www.wellesnet.com/

Here is some information in the local press:

https://elpais.com/diario/1987/05/08/cultura/547423206_850215.html

https://www.eleconomista.es/status/noticias/10491894/04/20/por-que-las-cenizas-de-Orson-Welles-residen-en-la-finca-del-torero-Antonio-Ordonez-Una-historia-para-aprender-del-pasado.html

https://elpais.com/diario/1985/10/17/cultura/498351611_850215.html

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