Today is Saturday, April 19, 2014

3 actors have squeaked as Winnie the Pooh

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Dear Ken: Who was the original voice of Winnie the Pooh in the Disney cartoons?

That would have been the marvelous character actor Sterling Holloway, who did many voices over the years for Disney animated films. A native of Georgia, he often portrayed country bumpkins on film. He died in 1992 at the age of 87. Later, Hal Smith, who played Otis the town drunk on “The Andy Griffith Show,” supplied the voice of Pooh, and for many years now, Jim Cummings has spoken for Pooh Bear of the Hundred Acre Woods.

Dear Ken: How old is Linda Evans who starred as Audra Barkley on TV’s “The Big Valley”? Wasn’t she married to a man who went through a series of beautiful, blonde wives?

Evans is 66. She was the wife of actor John Derek from 1968 to 1974 and dated musician Yanni from 1989 to 1998. The late Derek had four wives. Mates two through four were blondes Ursula Andress, Evans and Bo Derek. He photographed those three for “Playboy” magazine. As for “The Big Valley,” there have been recent reports that it will be remade into a feature film.

Dear Ken: Is Sean Astin, the guy who starred as Rudy in the movie “Rudy,” the son of the man who starred in “The Addams Family” TV series? I know he was in the “Lord of the Rings” movies. What other films has Sean been in?  

Sean, 38, is the son of actors Patty Duke and John Astin, who played Gomez on “The Addams Family.”  Sean has been making films since he was a youth, including the wonderful “The Goonies.” His other movie credits include “Toy Soldiers,” “Memphis Belle,” “50 First Dates” and “The Final Season,” a great baseball flick about a small town in Iowa where the high school team was known for its winning tradition on the diamond. Astin also played Lynn McGill on several episodes of the TV series “24.”    

Dear Ken: How long ago did country music star Marty Robbins pass away? Where was he born?

“Grand Ole Opry” legend Robbins has been gone nearly 27 years. He died in December 1982 at age 57. He was  born in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, Ariz., and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. The singer-songwriter had hits in pop, country and western music genres, including “I’ll Go on Alone,” “Singing the Blues,” “A White Sport Coat,” “The Story of My Life,” “Just Married,” “Big Iron,” “Don’t Worry,” “Devil Woman,” “Ruby Ann,” “Ribbon of Darkness,” “Tonight Carmen,” “I Walk Alone,” “My Woman, My Woman, My Wife,” “Among My Souvenirs” and “El Paso.”    If you have a trivia question about actors, singers, movies, TV shows or pop culture, e-mail your query to Ken Beck via www.sherlocksbooks.com where you can also find classic films and TV shows on DVD or visit Sherlock’s Book Emporium in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Ask Ken Beck

Journalist Ken Beck, a longtime resident of Wilson  County, has recently become a contributing writer for Main Street Media and its local newspaper, "The Wilson Post."

Earlier this year Beck concluded a 31-year career with "The Tennessean" where he edited the Nashville paper’s “Sunday Showcase” entertainment magazine for 25 years. Besides interviewing stars of film and television, Beck wrote Tennessee travel and feature stories and a popular Q&A entertainment column.

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