Orson Bean
(1928 - )

Born Dallas Frederick Burrows in Burlington. His father, George Frederick Burrows, was, among other things, a co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union. Burrows/Bean was a first cousin twice removed of Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States at the time of Bean's birth.

OBeanHe was too young to see military service during World War II, but he did serve in the Army in occupied Japan.

Borrowing his stage name from Orson Welles, Bean launched into standup comedy, the momentum from which gained him access to Broadway in such shows as Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, Nature's Way, Never Too Late and Subways Are For Sleeping (which earned him a Tony Award nomination). It was good Bean established himself on the stage, because he found himself blacklisted from film in the Fifties due to his outspoken political views.

He found his way into TV dramas and comedies (from Kraft Television Theatre, Playhouse 90, The Twilight Zone, and The Millionaire through The Love Boat, Love American Style and The Facts of Life to Ally McBeal, Becker, Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother, The Closer and Desperate Housewives), game shows (panelist on To Tell The Truth and The Match Game; host of Super Password and a revamped version of Concentraion), and movies (including Anatomy of a Murder, Miracle on 34th Street and Being John Malkovich), as well as voicing cartoon characters (Gepetto in Tiny Toon Adventures; both Frodo and Bilbo in a Rankin/Bass production of The Return of the King). He made frequent guest appearances on The Tonight Show with both Jack Paar and Johnny Carson.

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October 14, 2013