Obituary for Orson Bean
Here is the blog I wrote in July of 2018 about Orson Bean. He was tragically killed in his beloved Venice, California last week — two cars hit him as he was crossing a street.
I met Bean in the mid-70’s after having read his absorbing account of Reichian psychotherapy, “Me and the Orgone.” He was one of the wittiest, kindest and most intelligent people I have known.
He also had an incredible memory, particularly for a funny story. Seeing Barbra Streisand’s comments about him following his death, where she recalled that Bean put her on her first television show, reminded me of a story Orson told. He was guest hosting the Tonight Show in 1961 when he invited her to appear.
On the show, Bean remembered, she commented on the dress — not exactly stunning — she was wearing. She said it came from “Robinson’s Furniture Store in Detroit, Michigan.”
All of his books are worth reading, but his last work, “Safe at Home,” has a valedictory feeling to it.
He wrote: “I have discovered that what I want is quite frequently not what I need so I am learning gratefully to accept what I get.”
RIP, Orson Bean.