Bean in 1965
|Born||Dallas Frederick Burrows
July 22, 1928
Burlington, Vermont, United States
|Spouse(s)||Jacqueline deSibour (m. 1956; div. 1962)
Carolyn Maxwell (m. 1965; div. 1981)
Alley Mills (m. 1993)
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.
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. 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. Orson Bean is a founding member of The Sons of the Desert, the international Laurel and Hardy Society. Bean served for 18 months (1946-1947) in the United States Army stationed in Japan, where he worked on his magic act.
Following this, he worked in small venues as a stage magician. He then transitioned to standup comedy, changing his name by combining a pompous first name (Orson Welles) with a silly last name.
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 was a frequent guest 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. On July 5th, 1965 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 as Kitty Carlisle humorously admitted in her questioning. 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.
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. And in 2016, at age 87, Bean appeared in the American TV sitcom Modern Family, in an episode entitled "Playdates".
Bean wrote an autobiographical account about his life-changing experience with the orgone therapy developed by Austrian-born psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957). It was entitled Me and the Orgone: The True Story of One Man's Sexual Awakening (1971).
He has been married three times.
His first wife was actress Jacqueline de Sibour (stage name: Rain Winslow), 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. Jacqueline and Bean had one child, Michele.
His second wife was fashion designer Carolyn Maxwell. 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.
His third wife is actress Alley Mills, 23 years his junior; they married in 1993 and live in Los Angeles.
Bean left the United States and lived in Australia in the 1960s.
In the 1970s Bean was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. 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.
|1952||Broadway Television Theatre||Erwin Trowbridge||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||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||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|
|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||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|
|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||Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Charlie's Angels'||John Forsythe|
|2004||Soccer Dog: European Cup||Mayor Milton Gallagher|
|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||Desperate Housewives||Roy Bender||Recurring|
|2011||Hot In Cleveland||Dan||Episode: "Funeral Crashers"|
|2016||The Guest Book||Edgar||Episode s: Chapter 4, 5|
- Me and the Orgone (1972) ISBN 0-9679670-1-5
- Too Much Is Not Enough (1988) ISBN 0-8184-0465-5
- 25 Ways to Cook a Mouse for the Gourmet Cat (1994) ISBN 1-55972-199-5
- M@il for Mikey (2007)
- At the Hungry i (1959 Fantasy UFAN 7009), comedy
- I Ate the Baloney (1969 Columbia CS 9743), comedy
- "George Burrows, 89, an A.C.L.U. Founder". The New York Times. 1989-04-15. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
- Orson Bean on IMDb
- "To Tell the Truth - Orson's Dad".
- Grafic Magazine, The Chicago Sunday Tribune, January 25, 1953
- "Actress Wed to Orson Bean", The New York Times, 21 August 1956
- "Frederick T. Bedford Is Dead; Industrialist and Yachtsman, 85", The New York Times, May 9, 1963
- "Designer Will Create Style to Suit Wearer", The New York Times, 22 April 1964