Today is Monday, December 22, 2014

Mike Rowe gets dirty for fun and profit

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Dear Ken: I like the Discovery Channel show “Dirty Jobs” with Mike Rowe. Share some background on Rowe, please.

Michael Gregory Rowe, 47, who loves to get down and dirty in front of a camera, was born in Baltimore, where he was an Eagle Scout and sang in the Baltimore Opera. He also sold merchandise on QVC for three years while he learned the secrets of live television. He is a spokesman for Ford Trucks and the voice of “Deadliest Catch.” 

Hanging his hat in San Francisco, Rowe is single and enjoys reading, writing and running.

   Dear Ken: What was Reese Witherspoon’s first film? What is she working on now?

Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon, born in New Orleans, and grew up from the age of 4 in Nashville, where her father is a doctor. She made her film debut in 1991’s “The Man in the Moon.”

The 1994 Harpeth Hall grad, 33, furnishes the voice of Susan Murphy and Ginormica in the new animated film “Monsters vs. Aliens.” She may be working on films later this year for directors James L. Brooks and Cameron Crowe.

Dear Ken: Whatever happened to singer Boz Scaggs? I loved his hit “Look What You’ve Done to Me” from the early 1980s.

The Ohio-born singer-songwriter, who grew up in Oklahoma and Texas, is 62 and continues to perform. He did a U.S. tour last year. He and his wife grow grapes and make their own wine at their Napa County, Calif., vineyard.

Among his other hits are “Lowdown,” “Lido Shuffle,” “What Can I Say” and “We’re All Alone.” In 2003 he released an album of jazz standards, “But Beautiful,” that topped the jazz charts.

He picked up the nickname Boz after a schoolmate at St. Mark’s Prep School in Dallas nicknamed him Bosley.

Dear Ken: How old is Mickey Rooney and how many times has he been married?

Probably the all-round greatest entertainer of the 20th century, Rooney, 88, has been married eight times. He and wife Jan have been husband and wife for almost 31 years.

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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