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  • Date of birth : 22/07/1928

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  • Bean Orson

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Orson Bean (1928)

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  Summary  

Orson Bean is an American film, television, and Broadway actor. He appeared frequently on televised game shows in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, including being a long-time panelist on the television game show To Tell the Truth.

  Biography  

 early life
Bean was born Dallas Frederick Burrows in Burlington, Vermont, the son of Marian Ainsworth (née Pollard) and George Frederick Burrows. His father was a co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, a fund-raiser for the Scottsboro Boys' defense, and a 20-year member of the campus police of Harvard College. Bean graduated from the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a first cousin twice removed of Calvin Coolidge, who was President of the United States at the time of Bean's birth.

 acting career
In 1952 Orson 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 , 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. He also appeared on Super Password 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.

Bean greatly admired movie comedians Laurel and Hardy and was one of the founding members of The Sons of the Desert, the international Laurel and Hardy Society.

On Broadway, he was the star of the original cast of Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? , and was featured in Subways Are For Sleeping , for which he received a Tony Award nomination as Best Featured Actor in a Musical, as well as Never Too Late . 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. Orson 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".

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
Bean was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios in the 1950s for attending two Communist Party meetings, but made numerous appearances on television and in the theater. A conservative Christian, he came out in support of the Proposition 8 ballot initiative in California. He is father-in-law to Andrew Breitbart and jokingly describes his own children, who are all married, as "little communists". He was once a proponent of Orgone therapy and published a book about it titled Me and the Orgone.

Bean has been married three times. His first wife was actress Jacqueline de Sibour , 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 , who was a 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.

He now lives in Los Angeles with his third wife, actress Alley Mills, who is twenty-three years his junior and whom he married in 1993.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Orson Bean", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.