(written from a Production point of view)
George Orson Welles (6 May 1915 – 10 October 1985; age 70) was a legendary Hollywood actor and filmmaker who provided the narration for the teaser trailer and television advertisements for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Among his many works, he is perhaps best remembered for the acclaimed 1941 classic Citizen Kane. Robert Wise, the director of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, was the editor of this film. He is also remembered for his October 1938 radio presentation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, depicting a Martian invasion of Earth, delivered with such authenticity that many believed it to be an actual newscast of an alien landing.
In a deleted scene from the Star Trek: Enterprise fourth season episode "Storm Front", Sal, guessing that the Na'kuhl seen by Archer at the end of "Zero Hour" was not an alien but the subject of a Dr. Mengele-type experiment, also mentioned stories he had heard about the Nazis developing futuristic weapons and said it sounds like something "that guy Orson Welles" would tell. When Archer correctly guessed that he was referring to The War of the Worlds, Sal admitted that he was one of the people who fled in terror, believing it to be real – though in light of what has happened since, he sometimes wished Martians had landed.
Welles won an Academy Award in the Best Original Screenplay category for Citizen Kane, shared with Herman J. Mankiewicz, the father of Star Trek: The Original Series writer Don M. Mankiewicz. Welles also received Academy Award nominations as Best Director and, as the film's producer, received the film's nomination as Best Picture. Citizen Kane was nominated for five additional Academy Awards, including a Best Film Editing nomination for Robert Wise.
Welles' next film, 1942's The Magnificent Ambersons, was also edited by Robert Wise and was nominated for Best Picture, among three other nominations. Welles' subsequent directorial efforts include The Stranger (1946), Mr. Arkardin (1955), and Touch of Evil (1958). He also starred or appeared in films like the 1944 adaptation of Jane Eyre (which he produced, and which featured John Abbott), the acclaimed 1949 film-noir The Third Man (which he co-wrote), the 1956 adaptation of Moby Dick, the 1957 thriller Man in the Shadow (written by Gene L. Coon, featuring Paul Fix and William Schallert) the 1958 drama The Long, Hot Summer (with Sarah Marshall), the 1959 crime thriller Compulsion (with Dean Stockwell and Peter Brocco), and the 1966 biographical drama A Man for All Seasons. In addition, he narrated a number of films, including 1961's King of Kings, which starred Jeffrey Hunter.
Later in his career, he had roles in such films as Waterloo (1970, co-starring Christopher Plummer), Voyage of the Damned (1976, co-starring Malcolm McDowell and Nehemiah Persoff), The Muppet Movie (1979, also featuring Paul Williams), and Butterfly (1982, with Edward Laurence Albert). His last two projects featured a number of other Star Trek performers: in The Transformers: The Movie (1986), Welles provided the voice of the evil, all-consuming planet Unicron while the likes of Michael Bell, Roger C. Carmel, Walker Edmiston, Clive Revill, Frank Welker, and Spock actor Leonard Nimoy voiced other characters; and in Someone to Love (1987), Welles made his final screen appearance opposite Star Trek: The Original Series guest star Sally Kellerman.
Welles died of a heart attack in Hollywood in 1985. He left behind a legacy of acclaimed films, as well as a number of unfinished projects.