How Alley Mills met her husband Orson Bean
From an interview in 1991

REGIS: Orson Bean is your guy...

ALLEY: He's my guy. (Smiles.) And we're actually -

REGIS: You're actually blushing!

(Alley turns away and laughs.)

REGIS: You're actually engaged.

ALLEY: I promised myself this wouldn't happen.

(Regis looks at the big ring on her finger.)

ALLEY: That's my engagement ring. (Audience applause.) Thank you.

REGIS: This is your very first engagement?

ALLEY: This is my, my very first engagement, my very first marriage, uh...

KATHIE LEE: You've been pretty kind of a matrimonial hold out, then.

ALLEY: I have. I think I'm typical of my generation. Most of my friends, still aren't married. It's sort of a strange...I went to college in '69, and everybody was...sort of that hippie era...(gestures)...where everybody "lived together"...and had "relationships" and all this kind of stuff, and I just...I sort of wanted to wait for the perfect situation - the perfect person...and I...

REGIS: You've been very patient.

(Alley turns away and laughs.)

ALLEY: My mother doesn't consider it patient - she goes (gestures) "How'd you let that one...?" - "What about that one?"

(Regis and Kathie Lee laugh.)

ALLEY: Ya know, "That one was great!", "That one's a doctor!"

(All laugh.)

KATHIE LEE: But you waited for the perfect person, and you have found him.

ALLEY: Right.

REGIS: How did you meet him?

ALLEY: I - my mother was visiting of all strange things. She was visiting me in L.A., I just moved into a big new house, she came out from Connecticut, she came out and we went to a reading of a play - the guy that plays my husband, Dan Lauria, produces these play readings - and Orson was in the reading. And 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!"

(Alley laughs.)

REGIS: Oh! Wow!

ALLEY: And then, he called the next morning - he'd given me his card, he was very gentlemanly - he had given me his card and said "do you like to go the theater?", and I still thought, well maybe, he's married...(shrugs)...he's just being like a theater friend - because he was so not flirtatious.

REGIS: You just wouldn't believe it, would you?

ALLEY: No...and my mother hears the phone ringing at nine in the morning - she heard it was Orson, and she goes (makes fist) "hotdog!" I guess she really -

REGIS: Mother was getting very anxious! Mother very happy about this!

ALLEY: Well, that's one way to look at this - she also actually really liked him, so...

REGIS: That's nice. So, is there a date set here?

ALLEY: There's a date. April - (chokes, then laughs) eight-eight-eight-eighteenth. (Laughs.)

REGIS: I think you're a little frightened, here. Are you?

ALLEY: I am. It's just so many years know...

KATHIE LEE: Waiting...

ALLEY: Waiting...It's just...

KATHIE LEE: An Orson, I understand, hasn't dated in...a long time...

ALLEY: Ten...years!

REGIS: Holy cow!

ALLEY: So he says. You know -

REGIS: You guys were meant for each other. You got a picture?

ALLEY: I do, I do.

REGIS: Quickly - let me see it!

(Alley pulls a 3x5 picture out.)

REGIS: Ah, there they are!

(Regis holds it up. Audience applauds.)

ALLEY: I brought it cuz he couldn't come.

Copyright © 1996-2000 of Peter Reynders.