Today is Friday, April 18, 2014

Coppola can make Nicolas Cage holler Uncle!

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Dear Ken: Nicolas Cage, who stars in “Knowing,” I’ve heard he is related to Francis Ford Coppola. True or false?

True. Cage, 45, was born Nicolas Kim Coppola. Francis Ford Coppola is his uncle, and Talia Shire is his aunt. And Lisa Marie Presley is one of his ex-wives.

Nic changed his name because he wanted his success to be based on his own talents and not because of nepotism.  

Dear Ken: What are the ages of the actors who starred as Mary, Lou, Phyllis, Rhoda, Ted, Sue Ann and Murray on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” of the 1970s?

The actors and their ages, in the order you asked, are: Moore, 71; Ed Asner, 79; Cloris Leachman, turns 83 April 26; Valerie Harper, 68; Ted Knight died in  1986; Betty White, 85; and Gavin MacLeod, 78.

Dear Ken: Back in the 1950s, Warner Bros. had three westerns that seemed to rotate episodes from week to week. The one I remember best was “Cheyenne.” What were the other two?

Well, pardner, I reckon you’re thinking about “Bronco,” starring Ty Hardin, and “Sugarfoot,” starring Will Hutchins. Clint Walker starred as Cheyenne. All three cowboy stars are alive and well.

Dear Ken: Who all were in Frank Sinatra’s “Rat Pack?” I’m thinking Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin and a couple of other guys.

The other two were Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. The five made two films together: “Ocean’s 11” and “Sergeants 3.” The last “Rat,” Bishop, died in 2007. 

Dear Ken: I saw a movie on TV more than 30 years ago about a professor who went out into the dessert with his daughter and they found a family of grotesque flying creatures. Can you tell me the title and the stars? I’ve never seen it since then.

That was the 1972 TV movie “Gargoyles.” It starred Cornel Wilde, Jennifer Salt, Scott Glenn and Bernie Casey (as the top gargoyle). It was an excellent chiller about a colony of ugly critters that just wanted to be left alone.

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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