Andrew Breitbart, founder of Breitbart News and the late son-in-law of Orson Bean, paid tribute to the great actor and comedian in the 2012 documentary film Hating Breitbart.
“Pretty much everything that I do, or have done, has somehow been polished and/or improved by having the tutelage of Orson,” Breitbart said, “but also having the psychological nurturing of Orson over the last 20 years.”
Bean, 91, was killed tragically in a traffic accident while crossing a street in Venice, California, to see his wife, Alley Mills, perform in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons at the Pacific Resident Theatre.
It was a tragic exit to a wonderful life, a man who radiated love, friendship, and humor.
Bean and Mills performed together at that same theater in 2018 in a joint autobiographical play, Alright Then, about their lives and love story.
After Andrew’s sudden passing in 2012, Bean delivered a eulogy at his son-in-law’s funeral that included a deliriously filthy joke (see “My Boy, Sweet Andrew,” below).
Bean continued to be a source of comfort and inspiration for the company and its employees. He would occasionally stop by the office to say hello, or sit down for an interview.
He also supported the site in the most direct possible way: he wrote for it.
These are several of Bean’s great articles — including a tribute to Andrew:
- “Blacklisted Again: Three Times Not The Charm”: “It isn’t called McCarthyism when it’s done by people on the left to people on the right. But it’s just as vicious as it was in the fifties and sixties. People are being deprived of the right to make a living because they contributed a few bucks to a political cause.”
- “An Emptiness Only the Holy Spirit Can Fill”: “I think God loves to hear little kids laugh at fart jokes. He didn’t just make sunsets and bluebirds, He made hot babes. And dirty old men like me. That’s the modest message I’ve set out to tell the world: you don’t have to be Ned Flanders to be a Christian.”
- “California: The View from Venice Beach”: “The one place in the Golden State where everybody gets along is Venice Beach; even the bums there are happy.”
- “Sgt. Curtis Massey Was 41”:”An extraordinary human being is wiped off the face of the earth in a split second and all over town we experience it as just one more annoyance in L.A.”
- “My Boy, Sweet Andrew”: “I know I’ll see him again, when my time on this earth is up. If I make it past the Pearly Gates, he’ll be waiting for me. ‘This is my friend God,’ he’ll say. ‘Tell him the joke.’”
Deeply mourned, fondly remembered. We pray for his family and will cherish him forever.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.