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William Alland
Born March 4, 1916(1916-03-04)
Delmar, Delaware, U.S.
Died November 11, 1997 (aged 81)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor, director, producer, writer
Years active 1941—1966

William Alland (March 4, 1916 – November 11, 1997) was an American actor, producer, writer and director of science fiction and western films. He is perhaps best known for his role as reporter Jerry Thompson, who investigates the life of newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane in Orson Welle's Citizen Kane. In his early 20's, he arrived in Manhattan and took courses at the Henry Street Settlement House, where he met Orson Welles. He also lent his voice to Welles' The War of the Worlds. Alland won a Peabody Award as producer of Doorway to Life.[1]

Alland's role as reporter Thompson in Citizen Kane is noted most importantly because the camera never closes up on his face; in fact, for the majority of his scenes in the film, his shows his back to the camera, and whenever his face can be seen, it is always in long-shot and almost always clouded in shadow. As noted by film critic Roger Ebert on the DVD commentary of Citizen Kane, Alland once reportedly told an entire audience of people that they would probably recognize him if he were to show his back to them.

Selected filmography

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