Friends, loved ones gather at Venice site where veteran actor Orson Bean was killed by vehicle

VENICE, Calif. (KABC) -- A small makeshift memorial was set up in Venice near the site where veteran actor Orson Bean was struck by two cars and died Friday night.

The 91-year-old was well known in the area as well as in the theater community, in which he was very active. Friends and loved ones continued to gather Saturday next to a small pile of flowers on the sidewalk.

"Orson just had a joyful and exuberant spirit that his charisma just oozed when you were around him," said friend Jeanne LeBlanc. "He valued every day of his life. He was youthful."

Bean was on his way to the Pacific Resident Theater, where he and his wife were company members, when he was hit. Police say Bean had come from between two vehicles when he was crossing the street and was not seen by the drivers. Both drivers stayed at the scene.

"I can't even imagine that it would exist if it hadn't been for Orson Bean and Alley. It wouldn't and Venice is going to be a little more empty without him," said friend Jeannette Boller.

Veteran actor Orson Bean, 91, struck and killed by vehicle in Venice, California
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Veteran actor Orson Bean was struck and killed by a car in the Friday night in Venice, California, authorities said. He was 91.

Bean had been married for 27 years to actress Alley Mills, best known as the mother in "The Wonder Years." A tribute to their love was set up in the theater's lobby as the community mourns the loss.

"He overcame so much in his life and just brought so much to everyone through his art, through his theater and skill and talent," said friend Jeremy Alcock.

Bean made more than 100 appearances in television and film in an acting career that spanned back to the 1950s.

His credits include films such as "Being John Malkovich" and "Miracle on 34th Street" and TV shows like "Modern Family" and "The Bold and the Beautiful." He had a recurring role in "Desperate Housewives" from 2009 to 2012.

Bean continued to perform into his 90s, appearing in the show "Superstore" and the film "The Equalizer 2" in 2018.

Most recently, Bean and Mills had been performing in a play called "Bad Habits" at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica, which just ended its scheduled run last week.
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