Lenore Cotten was born in 1905 and was the wife of the famous actor Joseph Cotten. She was known in Rome and Hollywood as a devoted wife, and the couple had been married for 28 years before her passing in 1960. Lenore was admitted to the Salvador Mundi International Hospital in January 1960 with no prior indication that she was suffering from leukemia and died at the age of 55 in a Rome clinic on Thursday. The couple had one child, Judith, who is married and has a child of her own.

Her Husband, Joseph Cotton

Joseph Cotten was born in 1905 in Petersburg, Virginia to parents Joseph Cheshire Cotten Sr. and Sally Willson Cotten. He was the first of three boys and grew up in the Tidewater region. After studying acting at the Hickman School of Expression in Washington, D.C., Cotten worked as an advertising agent. He then moved to New York and worked as a shipping clerk before leaving with friends for Miami, where he found various jobs and eventually worked as a drama critic for the Miami Herald. He also appeared in plays at the Miami Civic Theater. Cotten got an assistant stage manager job in New York and was then engaged for a season at the Copley Theatre in Boston, where he appeared in 30 plays in a wide variety of parts. He made his Broadway debut in 1930 and married Lenore LaMont (Kipp) in 1931.

In the mid-1930s during one of these auditions he met Orson Welles, and the two found a kindred spirit in each other. Cotten starred in Welles’s Mercury productions of “Julius Caesar” and “Shoemaker’s Holiday”, and made his film debut in the Welles-directed short Too Much Johnson (1938). In 1939, he returned to Broadway to star in the original production of Philip Barry’s “The Philadelphia Story”. Citizen Kane (1941) followed, with Cotten making his Hollywood debut as Jed Leland, a college friend and theater critic. However, due to William Randolph Hearst owning most of the country’s press outlets, it was largely ignored by the Academy and only won Best Screenplay for Welles and Mankiewicz.

Joseph Cotten had a successful Hollywood career, starring in films such as The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) and Journey Into Fear (1943). He was most remembered for his performance as Holly Martins in The Third Man (1949), Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943), and Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “Breakdown” (1955). He also collaborated with Orson Welles on several films, such as Othello (1951) and Touch of Evil (1958). He went on to appear in various foreign productions, TV movies, and The Ed Sullivan Show. In the 1980s, he made one final appearance in Heaven’s Gate (1980) before retiring and writing his autobiography, Vanity Will Get You Somewhere (1987). Though he was never nominated for an Academy Award, he was awarded the Venice Film Festival Award for Best Actor for his favorite role in Portrait of Jennie.

In 1990, Cotten had his larynx removed due to cancer, and passed away from pneumonia on February 6, 1994, at the age of 88. He was buried at Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg, Virginia.