Today is Thursday, November 27, 2014

Kids have been popping pink bubble gum for 81 years

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Dear Ken: When was bubble gum invented? How old is Bazooka Joe and ditto for Pudge, the cartoony kid of Dubble Bubble fame?

A young accountant for Fleer, the late Walter Diemer accidentally created bubble gum in 1928 in Philadelphia, “the city of brotherly gum.” Interviewed at age 85, Diemer said, “Bubble gum brought a little happiness to millions of kids, and if I could do that, I’m happy.” Bazooka Joe, 56, was introduced in 1953, while Pud, 59, replaced Dub & Bub as the Dubble Bubble cartoon character in 1950.

Dear Ken: Please share some background information on Julia Louis-Dreyfus of “Seinfeld” fame.

The actress born Julia Elizabeth Scarlett Louis-Dreyfus in New York City will turn 49 on Jan. 13. The daughter of a French-born American billionaire, she grew up in NYC and Washington, D.C., and has four half-sisters. She and husband Brad Hall, whom she met in college at Northwestern University, have two sons that are about 17 and 12. Nicknamed Little Yum-Yum by her “Seinfeld” cast mates, she and Hall were part the “Saturday Night Live” troupe in the early 1980s, and they both appeared in the 1986 film “Troll.”

Dear Ken: Actor Robert Ryan always played such tough guys in the movies but was he a tough guy in real life?

Ryan, who died in 1973 at age 63 from lung cancer, was one of the all-time great heavies in film. He was the first freshman to win the Dartmouth College heavyweight crown and was never defeated in four years of intercollegiate boxing competition. He  served during WWII as a United States Marines drill instructor at Camp Pendleton. You ask if he was a tough guy? He could eat nails.

Dear Ken: How old is Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and how many times has he been married? Does he have children?

Starr, born Richard Starkey, is 69. He and his first wife Maureen share two sons and a daughter. Since 1981 he has been married to actress Barbara Bach.

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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