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July 22 in Twilight Zone History: Wishing actor Orson Bean ('Mr. Bevis') a happy 90th birthday

Contributed by
Jul 22, 2018

Today, July 22nd, This Day in Twilight Zone History and The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia celebrate the birth of actor Orson Bean, who turns 90 today.

Orson portrayed the comical title character in "Mr. Bevis," one James. B. W. Bevis, a man who can't keep a job to save his life but will stop on a dime to play with children or share his mountain of keepsakes with baffled onlookers. This is one dude badly in need of a guardian angel — and, in typical TZ fashion, poof, here comes J. Hardy Hempstead (Henry Jones).

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James B. W. Bevis (Orson Bean) and his guardian angel (Henry Jones) - not the most comfortable fit. 

Actor, comedian, and raconteur Bean is still going strong, most recently appearing on stage with his wife. He joined me in Los Angeles when I introduced my book and he was absolutely delightful.

In his long and successful career, Bean has been in everything from Betty Grable's last film How to Be Very, Very Popular (1955) to Being John Malkovich 1999) to voicing Bilbo Baggins in the animated adaptation of The Hobbit (1977).

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James B.W. Bevis (Orson Bean), a man who can take a tumble on the pavement and look up to a concerned child with a smile. 

So let's hoist a tall one to a legendary talent who brought a touch of welcome comedy to one of the most serious places on Earth: The Twilight Zone.

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