Fans of Orson Welles‘ Touch of Evil never mention something that has always seemed odd and repugnant to me. Welles plays a cynical, unshaven and obese police captain named Hank Quinlan…but his appearance is a bit much. He looks like a 60 year-old homeless guy who’s been chain-smoking, guzzling straight whiskey and eating french fries and Haagen-Dazs his entire life, and yet Welles was only 42 when he directed Touch of Evil. 42!
I’ve never read anything about Welles inhaling pasta dishes for two or three months before shooting Evil in 1957 so he’d be as whale-sized as possible. He looks much fatter and saggier than 36 year-old Robert De Niro did when he packed it on for Raging Bull. It makes you wonder what kind of life Welles was living back then. What reasonably healthy 42 year-old today looks even half this gross? The only thing Welles didn’t do in Touch With Evil to make himself more Skid Row-ish was to sprinkle vomit traces on his shirt and tie.
(l.) Welles in Touch of Evil, age 42; (r.) Ten years earlier during filming of The Lady From Shanghai, age 32.
Wells to Lazarus, goodvibe61, reverent & free (update): The photos below dispute your “it was just a fatsuit and fat-face makeup” story. Welles was fairly Quinlan-sized in The Long Hot Summer, which came out in May 1958 also. He may have worn a slight fatsuit prosthetic for Evil, as you claim, but he clearly didn’t need much of one.
(l.) Welles in Evil (l.); in The Long Hot Summer (r.)