Alley Mills, Orson Bean’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Getty Actor Orson Bean and his wife actress Alley Mills

Actor Orson Bean, who was born Dallas Frederick Burrows, was tragically hit by a car in Venice, California, and died on February 7, 2020, as confirmed by TMZ. He was 91 years old.

Police told the news outlet that Bean was allegedly jaywalking when he was clipped by one vehicle and then struck by another oncoming car. Police reported that he died at the scene. They are currently investigating whether or not the collision was criminal or accident. According to ABC 7, both drivers remained at the scene and were cooperative with the police.

Police were called about 7:35 p.m. local time to the 700 block of Venice Boulevard, between Shell Avenue and Pisani Place, which is located right in front of the Pacific Resident Theatre, where both Bean and his wife, Alley Mills, whom he married in 1993, were company members. Witnesses told ABC7 she was at the scene.

Bean was previously married to first wife, Jacqueline de Sibour, whose stage name was Rain Winslow, from 1956 to 1962. They had one child together named Michele. He then tied the knot with fashion designer Carolyn Maxwell in 1965, with whom he had three children: Max, Susannah, and Ezekiel. They divorced in 1981.

Here’s what you need to know about Orson Bean and his third wife Alley Mills:


1. Mills Is Best Known For Playing The Mom In ‘The Wonder Years’

The Wonder Years

While Bean racked up over 100 appearances in TV and film throughout his storied career, his third wife, Allie Mills, was also a successful actor. She was perhaps best known for her role in the hit TV series, The Wonder Years, where she played matriarch, Norma Arnold, from 1988 to 1993. The series also starred a young Fred Savage, Olivia d’Abo, and Jason Hervey, as her fictional children. Actor Dan Lauria played her husband.

Mills starred alongside Bean as Marjorie Quinn the TV series, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. She was a series regular on the sitcom Yes, Dear, and starred on the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, as Pamela Douglas from 2006 to 2019.


2. Bean & Mills Performed Together In A Play Run That Ended A Week Prior To His Death

Orson Bean and Alley Mills

Bean was doing what he loved, with the person he loved, just prior to his death. The couple both performed in the play, “Bad Habits,” at the Ruskin Theatre in Santa Monica, California.

In the Broadway World review of “Bad Habits” read, “Mills and Bean seem to know how to push each other’s buttons… Several scenes between these two are totally entertaining and no doubt will continue to be a real draw to bring audiences in to see them together on stage. But it their real affinity for their characters, as well as each other, that shines through during each of their dialogues and/or arguments.”

Bean and Mills also co-starred in the plays, “Candida,” “There’s One in Every Marriage,” and “Hogan’s Goat” at the Pacific Resident Theatre.


3. Bean Got Into Comedy After Serving In The U.S. Army

JOHNNY CARSON INTERVIEW ORSON BEAN Jul 03 19742017-07-02T15:40:50.000Z
Born on July 22, 1928, in Burlington, Vermont, after serving his country in occupied Japan from 1946 to 1947, Bean started touring comedy clubs in New York City, which propelled to a career in theatre. Bean appeared in numerous plays and received a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for “Subways Are for Sleeping.” His co-star, Phyliss Newman, also nabbed the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.

Between the 1950s and 1980s, he guest-starred on TV series such as The Twilight Zone, One Life to Live, The Facts of Life, and Murder, She Wrote. From the 90s up until the present day, Bean continued to rack up tons of credits including being a series regular on Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Normal, Ohio, and Desperate Housewives.

As a guest star, Bean made memorable appearances during the final season of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, NBC’s Superstore, and ABC’s Modern Family.


4. Bean Was Nominated For A SAG Award for Outstanding Performance By Cast In ‘Being John Malkovich’

‘Being John Malkovich’ cast

While Bean was mainly a TV and theatre guy, he appeared in a slew of films including 1959’s Miracle on 34th Street, and the cult classic, 1999’s Being John Malkovich. In the film, Bean starred as Dr. Lester alongside John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, John Malkovich, Mary Kay Place, and Charlie Sheen. In 2000, they were collectively nominated for SAG Award for Theatrical Motion Picture.

As for Mills, who’s originally from Chicago, Illinois. starred is a series of TV movies including Reluctant Nanny, Appetite for Love, and Young Lust.


5. Mills & Bean Shared A 23-Year Age Gap

GettyAlley Mills and husband Orson Bean

Despite their age gap, Mills proved that third time’s a charm after they tied the knot. In an interview with Regis & Kathie Lee in 1991, Mills said that it was actually her mother who set them up.

“Dan Lauria produces these play readings, and Orson was in the reading. My mother says, ‘why don’t we all… invite the whole company out for drinks?’ So she’s walking, quietly, with Orson, on the sidewalk… he then sits himself down next to me, and I’m walking home with mom, and she said ‘I think he likes you! I said, ‘Mother, I’m sure he’s married. He was talking about his kids. I mean he was a wonderful, funny, I had a great night’… And she goes ‘By the way, he’s not married. I asked him. He’s divorced!”

The next day, Bean called to set up a date, and the rest was history.

READ NEXT: Kevin Conway Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know