The soap opera community is sending thoughts and prayers to Alley Mills (Pam Douglas, The Bold and the Beautiful), whose husband, One Life to Live alum Orson Bean (ex-Harrison Logan), was fatally struck by a car on Friday evening. He was 91.
According to KABC, Bean was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk when he was struck by a vehicle and fell, then was struck by a second vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene in front of the Pacific Resident Theatre, where he was meeting Mills, who was volunteering as an usher for a production of Arthur Miller's play All My Sons.
"We are so stunned and heartbroken," shared B&B actress Karla Mosley (Maya Avant) about the tragic news. "Words cannot express how special a man he was and how much Alley and Orson's love brought joy to all of us."
Said B&B actress Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke Logan), "This is just so devastating! I am shocked & sad to find out the terrible news about Orson, Alley's husband.. Alley, we are sending you so much love & so sorry about what happened. Orson was such an incredible man, brilliant actor, & kind person always with a smile."
We are so stunned and heartbroken. Words cannot express how special a man he was and how much Alley and Orson's love brought joy to all of us. You will remain in our hearts always. https://t.co/wzM0aIBjEv- Karla Mosley (@karlamosley) February 9, 2020
Born in Burlington, Vermont, Bean graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School before joining the United States Army, after which he was stationed in Japan for a year. After returning to the US, Bean began working in small venues as a stage magician before transitioning in the early 1950s to stand-up comedy. He frequently made appearances on The Tonight Show as well as on quiz and game shows like To Tell the Truth, Super Password, and Match Game.
Over the course of his decades-long career, Bean amassed a long list of television credits, including The Facts of Life, Murder, She Wrote, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, 7th Heaven, Desperate Housewives, and Grace and Frankie. His soap opera experience was short but memorable; he briefly appeared on One Life to Live as a character named Harrison Logan in 1982, and he made a couple of B&B appearances opposite his wife as a character named Howard in 2016.
Bean met Mills in the early '90s and, despite having already been married twice before, decided to propose to the Wonder Years actress. In a 1991 interview on Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, Mills revealed that it was actually her mother who set them up.
"My mother was visiting, of all strange things... and we went to a reading of a play," she shared. "Dan Lauria produces these play readings, and Orson was in the reading. And my mother says, 'Why don't we all... invite the whole company out for drinks?' So, she's walking, quietly, with Orson on the sidewalk... he then sits himself down next to me... and I'm walking home with Mom, and she said, 'I think he likes you!' I said, 'Mother, I'm sure he's married-- he was talking about his kids! I mean he was wonderful, funny, and I had a great night.' And she goes, 'By the way, he's not married. I asked him -- he's divorced!'"
Bean called to set up a date the next day, and the couple hit it off, marrying in 1993.
Bean's death has prompted an outpouring of grief in the Los Angeles community and, according to the Los Angeles Times, has also prompted new concerns about pedestrian safety. Despite the 2015 launch of Mayor Eric Garcetti's Zero Vision, an initiative to eliminate traffic deaths, the number of people killed in car crashes in Los Angeles remains stubbornly high. 244 people died in collisions in the city in 2019, including 134 pedestrians and 19 cyclists. The figure is a 33% increase since Garcetti's Vision Zero was launched.
Would you like to leave your condolences for Alley Mills and Orson Bean's family? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.