Orson Bean: July 22, 1928-February 7, 2020 (Image via video still)
Orson Bean, the impishly witty humorist and actor best remembered for countless talk show and game show appearances from the '50s through the '90s, was hit and killed by two cars while walking in L.A. Friday night. He was 91.
Bean was an interesting man — his dad was an ACLU founder, and Bean was blacklisted for a spell in the '50s after dating a woman who was a Communist. Even in the '70s, I recall him saying on a talk show that his second wife, Carolyn Maxwell, had been to the right of Attila the Hun before they met, and yet by then, he had become a Nixon supporter. He became steadily more conservative, and his daughter, Susannah, is actually the widow of Andrew Breitbart.
Bean nonetheless appeared on a slew of episodic TV shows, including many with obvious liberal slants, like Ellen and Will & Grace.
I had the opportunity to conduct a long phone interview with him in August 2019 when I was attempting to put together an oral history of Tattletales, which is still a passion project of mine if anyone wants to hire me to do it for a legit site. I wound up speaking to him and several others, but Bert Convy's daughter wouldn't reply to me, and I see her as invaluable. Deciding what to do with his interview; he really gave me a couple of hilarious and fascinating stories and in spite of mixing up Match Game and Tattletales here and there, was still very sharp at 91.
Please check out this full obit of Bean here.