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Acting great Sidney Poitier grew up in The Bahamas

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Dear Ken: We think that Sidney Poitier is the greatest African-American actor of all time. Where was he born and how old is he? What are his best films?

Born in Miami, Poitier is 82, but he grew up on Cat Island in The Bahamas. At 15 his parents sent him to live with his brother in Miami. At 18 he went to New York City where he later became a member of the American Negro Theatre, and the rest is history.

Among his top movies would be “No Way Out,” “The Defiant Ones,” “Porgy and Bess,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” “A Patch of Blue,” To Sir, With Love,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “Lilies of the Field,” which earned him the 1963 Oscar for best actor. But I still think his greatest role was opposite Rod Steiger in “In the Heat of the Night.” Set in a small Mississippi town in the late 1960s, the film delivers unforgettable performances. from Steiger and Poitier.

Dear Ken: What stars of “Hee Haw” are still with us?

Let me list some of those who are gone first but still remembered: Buck Owens, Junior Samples, Grandpa Jones, Minnie Pearl, Jim and Jon Hager, Archie Campbell, Stringbean, Kenny Price and Jimmy Riddle.

Among those still living are Roy Clark, Gunilla Hutton, Misty Rowe, Lisa Todd, Jeannine Riley, Gordie Tapp, Lulu Roman, Donald Harron, George Lindsey, Charlie McCoy, Roni Stoneman, Gailard Sartain, Marianne Gordon and Cathy Baker.

Dear Ken: How old is Reba McEntire? Where was she born in Oklahoma and how many children does she have?

McEntire, 54, was born in McAlester, Okla. Her son Shelby Steven McEntire Blackstock is 19.

Dear Ken: I love the music of the Brothers Gibb, also known as the Bee Gees. Are they natives of Australia or England and how many siblings were in their family?

I’ve gotta give a message to you, but they’re only words cause words are all I have.Barry, Robin and Maurice began their music career in Australia but were born on the Isle of Man, which is in the Irish Sea.

Their family emigrated to Australia in 1958 right after little brother Andy was born. After their career began to take off in the late 1960s, the trio returned to England, and the pop hits followed. Their were five children in the Gibb family. The oldest child, Lesley, was a girl, who was followed by the four boys. Andy and Maurice are deceased.

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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