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Actor, comedian, author and long-time supporter of the American College of Orgonomy, Orson Bean, (1928-2020) was hit and killed by a car in Venice, California at age 91 on Friday night, February 7, 2020.

Orson had a long history of support of the ACO. Most recently he made possible our first west coast event since the 1980s, generously making arrangements with his Pacific Resident Theater for my “Are You Satisfied with Your Work Life?” presentation in Venice on December 8, 2018.

After the run-through the day before my presentation, Orson invited my wife, Hilary, and me to his home on one of the Venice canals. The image of him making a late lunch for us is as vivid as if it were yesterday. In the light of the California sun streaming through the kitchen window, and amid repeated breaks to tell a joke or funny story, Orson sliced leftover pork loin and struggled with a table knife to separate slices of frozen, gluten-free bread to toast for sandwiches. He then sat with us on his patio facing the canal as we reminisced about Dr. Baker and talked about the old days of the ACO, people we’d both known, our families, politics and life. I took that opportunity to tell him that before leaving for California, four of our medical orgonomists asked me to tell him that his book, Me and the Orgone, had been instrumental in their becoming orgonomists. He stopped talking for a few moments, a rarity for him, and gave me a serious look. “I had no idea.” Tears filled his eyes and then in his inimitable way, he laughed it off with a joke. Orson was so vital when we saw him a little over a year ago in Venice. He described several projects he was working on. Returning to our hotel, I remarked to Hilary that I’d never met a 90-year-old whose mind was so active.

Me and the Orgone details Orson’s story of his experience in orgone therapy with Dr. Elsworth Baker. That book helped many people become aware of our unique approach to emotional problems. In recognition of his contribution, Dr. Baker invited Orson to participate as an honorary member of the ACO. In the picture of the founding dinner of the College in November 1968, you will see him standing behind Dr. Baker as the only one with a hint of a smile among a group of very serious people. Over the years he continued to be supportive of our work. More recently he donated his rights to Me and the Orgone to the College. A perennial favorite among the books in our on-line bookstore, it continues to be in print, now under the ACO Press imprint. Orson also served as master of ceremonies for the premiere of our film Room for Happiness at the Ritz-Carton in NYC in 2002.

Orson, we are deeply indebted to you. Your influence has rippled out through many people and particularly through those who became orgonomists because of you. In that way alone, you changed hundreds if not thousands of people’s lives for the better.

There will never be another like you.

A sad day. We lost one of the good guys.

Peter A. Crist, M.D. .