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Actor, comedian Orson Bean dies

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 2/10/20, 11:38 am

Two vehicles hit actor and comedian Orson Bean on Friday in Los Angeles, leading to his death. He was 91. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said it is investigating the accident as a “traffic-related” fatality.

Who was Bean? Born in Burlington, Vt., as Dallas Frederick Burrows in 1928. He picked the stage name Orson Bean while working gigs as a comedian and magician in clubs. Hollywood blacklisted him for a time in the 1950s because he dated a known communist, but it had minimal effect on his career. Bean later became well-known for his appearances on game show panels, most notably To Tell the Truth, beginning in the late 1950s. He played shopkeeper Loren Bray on the CBS drama series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman in the 1990s. Bean married his third wife, actress Alley Mills, who also appeared on Dr. Quinn, in 1993. He had two daughters and two sons from previous marriages.

In the early 1980s, Bean overcame alcohol and drug addiction with the help of a 12-step program, where someone suggested he pray. In 2014, he told his son-in-law Andrew Breitbart he had read C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and decided, “I’ll buy that Jesus is the son of God. … And my life has gotten better and better. That little prayer was what did it for me.”

Dig deeper: Read Bean’s obituary from the Los Angeles Times and his interview with Breitbart in which he discussed his faith and patriotism.


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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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