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Obituaries

Stage and Screen Actor Orson Bean Dies at 91

Stage and Screen Actor Orson Bean Dies at 91

BroadwayWorld is saddened to report that stage and screen actor Orson Bean has died at age 91. According to The New York Times, his cause of death was a "traffic accident" in Venice, CA. Capt. Brian Wendling of the Los Angeles Police Department said that Bean was struck and killed by a car on Friday while crossing the street.

Bean was a well-known stage and screen actor, as well as television game show host.

He appeared on Broadway in multiple productions in the 1950s and 60s, including Illya Darling, I Was Dancing, Never Too Late, Subways Are for Sleeping, Nature's Way, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, John Murray Anderson's Almanac, and Men of Distinction. He also voiced and sang the role of Charlie Brown on MGM's original 1966 concept album of the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Getting his start as a television comic, he went on to appear in many films and television shows, as well as game shows such as To Tell the Truth.

Bean had an extensive film career with over 100 acting credits, which two of his most notable films being Anatomy of a Murder and Being John Malkovich.

He was placed on the Hollywood blacklist during the Cold War, but he continued to work through the 1950s and 60s, playing the title character in the Twilight Zone episode "Mr. Bevis," appearing in The DuPont Show with June Allyson, and more.

Bean was a regular in both Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and its spin-off Fernwood 2Nite. He also portrayed the shrewd businessman and storekeeper Loren Bray on the television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman throughout its six-year run on CBS in the 1990s. Other notable roles were Bilbo and Frodo Baggins in the 1977 and 1980 Rankin/Bass animated adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, and The Return of the King.

Some of Bean's more recent television appearances included guest shots in such shows as Desperate Housewives, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and Modern Family. One of his final film roles was portraying a Holocaust survivor in The Equalizer 2 in 2018.


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