Cotten, Joseph

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Cotten, Joseph Gender: M
Joseph Cheshire Cotten
born on 15 May 1905 at 07:00 (= 07:00 AM )
Place Petersburg, Virginia, 37n14, 77w24
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 23°58' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 06°36 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 24°46'

Joseph Cotten


American stage, radio and film actor. He became a box-office hit with the classic 1941 film "Citizen Kane." This led to four decades of working in nearly 60 motion pictures. Cotten began on stage and gained public acclaim for his role in the "Philadelphia Story" on Broadway. In 1939, he moved to Hollywood. In 1950, he won the Venice Film Festival Prize for Best Actor in "Portrait of Jenny," establishing his position as a romantic lead.

Cotten got his first job working for his father, the city mail superintendent, to distribute special delivery mail on his bicycle. After dropping out of high school, he set out to become an actor. He borrowed $150 from his uncle to study acting for a year at the Robert Nugent Hickman School of Expression in Washington, DC. During these lean times, he worked as a vacuum cleaner salesman and played semi-professional football to support himself. He took a job as an advertising salesman for the Miami Herald while working at the Miami Civic Theater during the evenings.

Tall and elegant, always known as a gracious and gallant gentleman, Cotten had a weakness for travel, women, clothes, parties and elaborate homes of which he owned several. His love of food led to his invention and marketing of a mayonnaise recipe which the health authorities put out of business when he neglected the business of obtaining a license.

In the fall of 1931, he married divorcee Leonore La Mont. The marriage failed as she was claustrophobic and had a fear of traveling. Cotten's career took him throughout USA and Europe and it was all too easy to became an unfaithful husband with the temptations that waited in every port. La Mont died in Rome of leukemia in 1960. That fall, he married British actress Patricia Medina. Together they performed in "The Calculated Risk" which hit Broadway in 1962.

In 1981, he suffered a debilitating stroke and fought for years to regain use of his well-known baritone voice. In 1987, his autobiography, "Joseph Cotten; Vanity Will Get You Somewhere," was poorly received.

Cotten was intermittently troubled by throat nodules and had his larynx removed in 1990. His last film, "Heaven's Gate," 1982 was a huge failure. Cotten died on 2/6/1994 from pneumonia at his home in Los Angeles with his wife at his bedside.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Family : Change residence 1939 (Moved to Hollywood)
  • Work : Gain social status 1941 (Noted films began, release of Citizen Kane)
  • Work : Prize 1950 (Venice Film Festival Best Actor)
  • Death of Mate 1960 (First wife died)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1960 (Second marriage Patricia Medina)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1987 (Release of autobiography, not well received)
  • Health : Medical procedure 1990 (Larynx removed due to nodules)

Source Notes

Storme quotes him in AQR Fall/54. Same in Sabian Symbols No.224. Dana Holliday same from him at a book signing 6/87 of his autobiography.


  • Traits : Body : Appearance gorgeous (Elegant)
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (34 years)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Two)
  • Family : Relationship : Widowed (1960)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids none
  • Lifestyle : Home : Expatriate (England and U.S.)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 88)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress (Film)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Live Stage (Legitimate theater before film)
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Venice Film Festival Best Actor award)
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession