Orson Bean

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Orson Bean
Orson Bean 1965.JPG
Bean in 1965
Born Dallas Frederick Burrows
(1928-07-22) July 22, 1928 (age 86)
Burlington, Vermont, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1952–present
Spouse(s) Jacqueline deSibour (1956–1962), 1 child
Carolyn Maxwell (1965–1981),
3 children
Alley Mills (1993-present)

Orson Bean (born July 22, 1928) is an American film, television, and stage actor. He appeared frequently on televised game shows in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, and was a long-time panelist on the television game show To Tell the Truth.

Early life[edit]

Bean was born Dallas Frederick Burrows in Burlington, Vermont, the son of Marian Ainsworth (née Pollard) and George Frederick Burrows. His father was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a fund-raiser for the Scottsboro Boys' defense, and a 20-year member of the campus police of Harvard College.[1] Orson graduated from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. He is a first cousin twice removed of Calvin Coolidge, who was President of the United States at the time of Bean's birth.[2] Orson Bean is a founding member of The Sons of the Desert, the international Laurel and Hardy Society. Bean served for two years in the United States Army stationed in Japan (1946-1947).

Acting career[edit]

In 1952, Bean made a guest appearance on NBC Radio's weekly hot-jazz series The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street. His vocal mannerisms were ideal for the mock-serious tone of the show, and he became the show's master of ceremonies ("Dr. Orson Bean") for its final season. Bean guested on The Tonight Show (with both Jack Paar and Johnny Carson), and appeared on game shows originating from New York. He was a regular panelist on To Tell the Truth in versions from the late 1950s through 1991. During this time, his father appeared as a subject of the panel and he had to disqualify himself from participating. Apparently no one knew his real name was Burrows.[3] He appeared on Super Password and Match Game, among other game shows. He hosted a pilot for a revamped version of Concentration in 1985 which was picked up later on in 1987 as Classic Concentration with Alex Trebek.

He played the title character in the 1960 Twilight Zone episode "Mr. Bevis". In 1961, for the CBS anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson, he starred as John Monroe in "The Secret Life of James Thurber", based on the works of the American humorist James Thurber.

On Broadway, he was the star of the original cast of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1955), and was featured in Subways Are For Sleeping (1961), for which he received a Tony Award nomination as Best Featured Actor in a Musical, as well as Never Too Late (1962). He also starred in Illya Darling, the 1967 musical adaptation of the film Never on Sunday. In 1964 he produced the Obie Award winning Home Movies and appeared on Broadway in I Was Dancing.[citation needed]

He was a regular on both Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and its spin-off, Fernwood 2Nite, and also played 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. He played John Goodman's homophobic father on the sitcom Normal, Ohio. He played the main characters 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. He also played Dr. Lester in Spike Jonze's 1999 film, Being John Malkovich. Bean appeared in the last two episodes of Season 7 of 2003 in 7th Heaven as a patient. In 2005, Bean appeared in the sitcom Two and a Half Men, in an episode entitled "Does This Smell Funny to You?", playing a former playboy whose conquests included actresses Tuesday Weld and Anne Francis. He appeared in the 2007 How I Met Your Mother episode "Slapsgiving" as Robin Scherbatsky's 41-year-old boyfriend, Bob. In 2009, he was cast in the recurring role of Roy Bender, a steak salesman, who is Karen McCluskey's love interest on the ABC series Desperate Housewives.

Personal life[edit]

Bean has been married three times. His first wife was actress Jacqueline de Sibour (stage name: Rain Winslow),[4] whom he married in 1956 and divorced in 1962. She was the daughter of Vicomte Jacques J. de Sibour, a French nobleman and pilot, and his wife, Violette B. Selfridge (later Mrs. Frederick T. Bedford), daughter of British department-store magnate Harry Gordon Selfridge.[5][6] Jacqueline and Bean had one child, Michele.

His second wife was fashion designer Carolyn Maxwell.[7] They married in 1965 and divorced in 1981. They had three children: Max, Susannah, and Ezekiel. Susannah was married to conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart until his death; they had four children. Bean lives in Los Angeles with his third wife, actress Alley Mills, 23 years his junior; they married in 1993.

Bean left the US and lived in Australia during the turbulent sixties.

Since 2008, Bean has been a regular guest on the Dennis Miller radio show, stating that he is a Christian of orthodox beliefs and very thankful for the career success that he has had.

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1952 Broadway Television Theatre Erwin Throwbridge Episodes: Three Men on a Horse, Nothing but the Truth
1952 Westinghouse Studio One Harvey B. Hines Episode: The Square Peg
1954 The Blue Angel Host
1954 Robert Montgomery Presents unknown Episode: It Happened in Paris
1954 Westinghouse Studio One Joey Episode: Joey
1955 The Best of Broadway Mortimer Brewster Episode: Arsenic and Old Lace
1955 The Elgin Hour Arthur Episode: San Francisco Fracas
1955 How to Be Very, Very Popular Toby Marshall
1956 Showdown at Ulcer Gulch Llewelyn Throckmorton, III
1956 Omnibus (U.S. TV series) Episode: The Best Year in the Whole History of the World
1956 Westinghouse Studio One Charlie Digger Episode: A Christmas Surprise
1957 Kraft Television Theatre Episode: A Travel from Brussels
1957 Playhouse 90 Jack Chesney Episode: Charley's Aunt
1958 The Phil Silvers Show Episode: Bilko's Insurance Company
1958 The Millionaire Newman Johnson Episode: The Newman Johnson Story
1959 Anatomy of a Murder Dr. Matthew Smith
1959 Miracle on 34th Street Dr. William Sawyer
1960 The Twilight Zone James B.W. Bevis Episode: Mr. Bevis
1960 Play of the Week (TV series) Episodes 1960–1961: Two by Saroyan: 'Once Around the Block' and 'My Heart's in the Highlands', New York Scrapbook
1961 The DuPont Show with June Allyson John Monroe Episode: The Secret Life of James Turber
1962 Naked City (TV series) Arnold Platt Episode: To Walk Like a Lion
1963 The United States Steel Hour Lester, Eddie West, Dennis Kavanaugh Episodes 1954–1963: Good for You, The Fifth Wheel, Don't Shake the Family Tree
1964 Vacation Playhouse Episode: The Bean Show
1966 The Star Wagon Stephen Minch
1970 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Hank/Sir Boss
1970 Twinky Hal
1970 Love, American Style Episode: Love and the Co-ed Dorm/Love and the Optimist/Love and the Teacher
1970 NET Playhouse Multiple Roles Episode: Helen Hayes Remembers
1974 Wide World Mystery Bob Episode: The Spy Who Returned from the Dead
1975 Ellery Queen Warren Wright Episode: The Adventure of the Chinese Dog
1977 Forever Fernwood Reverend Brim
1977 The Hobbit Bilbo Baggins
1978 Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Reverend Brim Unknown episodes 1977–1978
1978 The Love Boat Artie D' Angelo Episode: Heads or Tails/Little People, The/Mona of the Movies
1980 The Return of the King Frodo Baggins/Bilbo Baggins
1982 Forty Deuce Mr. Roper
1982 One Life to Live Harrison Logan Unknown episodes
1984 Garfield in the Rough Billy Rabbit
1984 The Fall Guy Jason Klemer Episode: October the 31st
1986 Smart Alec Arthur Fitzgerald
1987 The Facts of Life Oliver Thompson Episodes 1986–1987: Fast Food, Cupid's Revenge, Ex Marks the Spot
1987 Innerspace Lydia's Editor
1989 Murder, She Wrote Ebeneezer McEnery Episodes 1986–1989: Keep the Home Fries Burning, Town Father
1990 Monsters Dr. Hubbard Episode: The Offering
1990 Instant Karma Dr. Berlin
1990 Tiny Toon Adventures Gepetto Episode: Fairy Tales for the 90's
1991 Chance of a Lifetime Fred
1992 Final Judgement Monsignor Corelli
1992 Just My Imagination Jeremy Stitcher
1997 California Loren Bray
1997 One of Those Nights Neighbor
1998 Diagnosis: Murder Lewis Sweeney Episode: Obsession part 1
1998 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Loren Bray 146 episodes, 1993–1998
1999 Thanks Burnaby Fitzhugh Episode: Spring
1999 Being John Malkovich Dr. Lester
1999 Unbowed Purdy
2000 Manhattan, AZ Lew Goldberg Episodes: The Voyage Home, Atticus Doesn't Live Here Anymore
2000 Ally McBeal Marty Episode: In Search of Pygmies
2000 The King of Queens Carl Tepper Episode: Surprise Artie
2000 Family Law Archbishop Phillips Episode: Possession Is Nine Tenths of the Law
2000 Will & Grace Professor Joseph Dudley Episode: There But for the Grace of Grace
2000 Normal, Ohio William 'Bill' Gamble, Sr. 7 episodes, 2000
2001 The Gristle Mr. Bowen
2001 Burning Down the House Sy
2002 Becker Mr. Bennet Episode: Piece Talks
2002 Frank McKlusky, C.I. Mr Gafty
2003 7th Heaven Patient Episodes: Life and Death, part 1 and 2
2003 Knee High P.I. Macintyre
2004 Myron's Movie Stanley
2004 Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Charlie's Angels' John Forsythe
2004 Soccer Dog: European Cup Mayor Milton Gallagher
2004 Cacophony Ferruccio
2004 Cold Case Harland Sealey Episode: Red Glare
2005 Yesterday's Dreams Tony Vicedomini
2005 Two and a Half Men Norman Episode: Does This Smell Funny to You?
2006 Alien Autopsy Homeless Man
2006 Commander in Chief Bill Harrison Episode: The Price You Pay
2006 The Lather Effect Jonathan 'God Damn' Iverson
2006 The Novice Father McIlhenny
2007 Mattie Fresno and the Holoflux Universe Raff Buddemeyer
2007 The Closer Donald Baxter Episode: The Round File
2007 The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman Chick Episode: Good Times and Great Oldies
2007 Women's Murder Club Harold Grant Episode: Grannies, Guns and Love Mints
2007 How I Met Your Mother Bob Episode: Slapsgiving
2009 The Hole Pizza Delivery Man Cameo: not listed in cast
2009 Oranges Dennis
2009 Safe Harbor Judge
2009 – 2012 Desperate Housewives Roy Bender Recurring

Books[edit]

Recordings[edit]

  • At the Hungry i (1959 Fantasy UFAN 7009), comedy
  • I Ate the Baloney (1969 Columbia CS 9743), comedy

References[edit]

  1. ^ "George Burrows, 89, an A.C.L.U. Founder". The New York Times. 1989-04-15. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  2. ^ Orson Bean at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ "To Tell the Truth - Orson's Dad". 
  4. ^ Grafic Magazine, The Chicago Sunday Tribune, January 25, 1953
  5. ^ "Actress Wed to Orson Bean", The New York Times, 21 August 1956
  6. ^ "Frederick T. Bedford Is Dead; Industrialist and Yachtsman, 85", The New York Times, May 9, 1963
  7. ^ "Designer Will Create Style to Suit Wearer", The New York Times, 22 April 1964

External links[edit]