Actor Orson Bean, was hit and killed by a car in Los Angeles last night.
The Los Angeles County Coroner‘s office confirmed Bean’s Friday night death, saying it was being investigated as a “traffic-related” fatality. The coroner’s office provided the location where Bean was found, which matched reports from CBS Los Angeles.
A man was walking in the Venice neighborhood when he was clipped by a vehicle and fell, Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Brian Wendlinginitially told local stations. A second driver then struck him in what police say was the fatal collision. Both drivers remained on the scene. Police were investigating and didn’t identify the pedestrian to local outlets, which named Bean based on eyewitness accounts.
Bean appeared in a number of films like Anatomy of a Murder and Being John Malkovich and starred in Broadway productions, getting a Tony nom for Subways Are for Sleeping. But fans remembered him most for his many TV appearances from the 50s onward.
Bean’s quick wit and warm personality made him a favorite panelist for six years on To Tell the Truth. The game required the panelists to quiz three contestants to figure out which one was a real notable and which two were impostors. The outcome inspired a national catchphrase,
“Will the real (blank) please stand up?”
Bean’s style appealed to both Jack Paar and Johnny Carson, and he appeared on The Tonight Show over 200 times.
Bean took a break from his career for a time in the 70s when he dropped out and moved to Australia, where he lived a hippie lifestyle. But he returned to the U.S. and resumed his career.
In the 90s, he was on the long-running drama Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and remained active in recent years with guest shots in Desperate Housewives, How I Met Your Mother and Modern Family.”
His politics later turned more conservative. He became related to a leading right-wing commentator, Andrew Breitbart, when his daughter, Susannah, married him. Breitbart died in 2012 and Steve Bannon, later a top adviser to Trump, took over Breitbart’s eponymous website, for which Bean had penned occasional columns.
Orson Bean was 91.
(Photo, YouTube; via NBC News)