Reaction to “A Life of Generosity: Venice remembers Orson Bean 1928 – 2020,” Cover Story, Feb. 13:
Above All, the Love
I’ve been away from Venice for a few months helping out my mom in Minnesota, and have been very sad about people and places that Venice has lost while I’ve been gone. None made me sadder than the heartbreaking news about the death of our Orson Bean. I lived across the street from Pacific Resident Theater for over a decade and would see him coming and going, almost always on his bike or in his cute little VW bug. We frequented the same spots (we loved the French Market Café!), and his friendly smile and wave could always be counted on to brighten your day.
I visited the home Bean shared with his beautiful wife, Alley Mills, during one of the Venice Garden Tours, and there was not a lovelier place to be in Venice. Their garden, the flowers, the charm, the coziness and, above all, the LOVE you could feel in their sanctuary on the canals was something to behold, and I feel so lucky that I ever got to be in this wonderful man’s Earthly orbit.
My deepest heartfelt condolences to Mills, and love to all who share in the deep loss of this irreplaceable Venice treasure.
A Certain Twinkle
As a longtime Pacific Resident Theatre subscriber, I had the occasion to meet Orson Bean and Alley Mills several times after shows. Both were happy to chat with their audience as long as we liked. I saw Orson’s one-man show twice because I liked it so much — his story was interesting and so well told. He had a certain twinkle in his eye. Orson and Alley’s love story was beautiful, and being married to a man much older than me I understand it. My heart aches for Alley and all those who loved him.
Gracious and Kind
When I met him at Vons supermarket in Mar Vista, Orson was gracious and kind to this fan. He will be sorely missed.
How Great He Made You Feel
A great piece on a great human being. My favorite thing about Orson was how great he made you feel about yourself. I’m just another actor in the company at PRT, and Orson was, well, Orson Bean. He never made me feel small or insignificant though. In fact, he made me feel quite the opposite. He came to shows I was in and congratulated and complimented me afterwards. For years after I played Henry V, he would greet me with, “My Liege…” He was always quick with a joke, a story, a smile. He was a friend to everyone who ever met him.