Conservative radio star Rush Limbaugh paid tribute to the life and legacy of Orson Bean on Tuesday, according to Breitbart, days after the actor died suddenly after being struck by two vehicles while walking in Los Angeles.
Bean was 91, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Leaving his mark
According to Breitbart, Limbaugh was in the hospital over the weekend undergoing treatment for lung cancer. The radio host revealed earlier this month that he had been diagnosed with an “advanced” stage of the disease, according to Fox News.
“I was in the hospital over the weekend, and I got a note, ‘I’m sure you’ve heard about Orson Bean.’ I hadn’t heard about anything because I’ve had been out of it,” Limbaugh recalled Tuesday, according to Breitbart. “So that is when I learn what happened to Orson.
“Orson Bean was a healthy, vibrant 91 years old living in California, and he was hit by a car over the weekend and killed,” Limbaugh said. “He was a legendary television and movie performer. And he was a conservative. He oftentimes spoke of the Hollywood that existed when he was coming up. It was a Hollywood that loved God and a Hollywood [that] love[d] America, and he lamented its demise.”
The host went on to credit Bean with “converting…one of the most prominent conservative, cultural, pop-culture activists the movement has ever had.” He was speaking of the late Andrew Breitbart, Bean’s son-in-law who went on to create Breitbart News.
One day at Orson Bean’s home Breitbart saw a copy of my first book on the shelf, The Way Things Ought to Be. And he started chiding, “What the hell are you doing with that? Why you know in the world would you have a book written by some fascist, right-winger on your bookshelf where anybody could see?”
The story goes that Orson Bean said, “Andrew take that book and read it, just read it.” … And Breitbart did.
According to Limbaugh, the conservative news outlet would never have existed “had it not been for Orson Bean.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Bean is best known for “bringing his wit and sophistication” to shows like What’s My Line? and I’ve Got a Secret. He also appeared on more recent programs like Desperate Housewives, Two and a Half Men, and How I Met Your Mother.
In an interview with the Times prior to his death, Bean said people shouldn’t try getting “into show business” for the money.
“Make a living doing commercials or soap operas or tending bar — and then do theater,” he told the paper. “People shouldn’t get into show business because they want to become stars or become rich; they should get into it because they can’t help but put on a show.”
He is survived by his wife, Alley Mills, and his four children.