Orson Bean, who died last week in a tragic accident, was kind, charming, whip smart, and wonderfully witty, but what I found most admirable about him was that, for someone of his accomplishments, he was unfailingly humble. Many years ago now, at our housewarming party at our current residence, Orson’s lovely wife, Alley, insisted on taking care of our dog, Trixie, for an hour or so, to free us to more easily mingle with friends, and as she led Trixie around the party, Orson could be seen chatting up everyone who crossed his path, not as a celebrity basking in their attention, but because he took a genuine interest in everyone he met, though none of them were in the entertainment business. Everyone who met him called us later to say how special he was, how sweet. Indeed, he was. Not long ago, he sent us the video of a recent one-man show; time had bestowed a late-autumn grace on him, and he was as amusing as ever. Our lives didn’t cross much, and neither of us was an industrious correspondent, yet I have a file of notes and letters between us, which I read through after the news of his passing. He always signed off “love” or “xxx,” and there was no affectation in this, only true affection, for he was a lover of the world and of humanity, and it’s a darker world without him.