The Oscar trophy that was awarded to actor and director Orson Welles was sold at auction today, fetching almost $900,000.
The award was presented to the super-talented Welles for Best Original Screenplay in 1941 for the classic film Citizen Kane, widely regarded by critics as the greatest movie of all time. Welles was only twenty-five-years-old when he achieved amazing success with his very first feature film, which was loosely based on the life and exploits of multi-millionaire publisher William Randolph Hearst. The powerful tycoon refused to mention the film in any of his newspapers around the world and successfully managed to blacklist the actor, which harmed his career for many decades.
The Academy of Motion Pictures has always frowned upon anyone selling their award, and fought to ensure that Welles' Oscar was not sold. However, a judge ruled in 2004 that Welles had never signed the Academy's stringent agreement never to sell the trophy, which allowed for today's sale to take place. The auction house responsible for the sale declined to reveal any more information about who purchased the trophy.