Orson Bean, the witty actor and comedian, was hit and killed by a car in Los Angeles, authorities said. He was 91, the AP reports. 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 local news outlets. A man was walking in the Venice neighborhood when he was clipped by a vehicle and fell, Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Brian Wendling initially 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 enlivened such TV game shows as To Tell the Truth and played a crotchety merchant on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. He appeared in a number of films—notably, Anatomy of a Murder and Being John Malkovich—and starred in several top Broadway productions. His career also took unexpected turns: He was blacklisted during the Cold War "because I had a cute communist girlfriend," he once said, took time off in the 1970s to live a hippie lifestyle in Australia, and later became a conservative commentator on Breitbart. Born in Burlington, Vermont, in 1928 as Dallas Frederick Burrows, he never lost the Yankee accent that proved a perfect complement to the dry, laconic storytelling that established him as popular humorist. He had picked the stage name Orson Bean "because it sounded funny."
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