One of Orson Welles’s biggest supporters during his early years was a man called Roger Hill. Hill was Welles’s teacher and later headmaster at Todd School for Boys in Woodstock, Illinois, and, having spotted the future filmmaker’s talents very early on, spent a great deal of time and effort adapting the curriculum to suit his skills. The following letter of recommendation, written by Hill to Cornell College when Welles was 16 years of age, is a perfect illustration of his desire to see him leave school on the best possible footing.
Despite Hill’s best efforts, Orson Welles turned down an offer to study at Cornell. He also disappointed those at Harvard, and indeed Boris Anisfeld, by instead travelling to Europe to begin his now celebrated career.
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