Today is Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Yorker Bogie was a master chessman

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Dear Ken: How many films did Humphrey Bogart make? Where did he grow up and does he have any children?

Bogart grew up in Manhattan where his father was a surgeon and his mother was a magazine illustrator. He and fourth wife Lauren Bacall had a son and daughter. Between 1928 and 1956, he made about 75 films. His last was “The Harder They Fall.” He died in January 1957 of throat cancer at age 57. Bogart was a superb chess player and loved sailing.

Dear Ken: How many different actresses played the three daughters of Kate, the woman who ran the Shady Rest Hotel on the 1960s sitcom “Petticoat Junction"?

That was Bea Benaderet as Kate Bradley, the widow who ran the hotel with her slothful brother, Uncle Joe, played by Edgar Buchanan. Six different actresses played her daughters over the years. There were three Billie Jos: Jeanine Riley, Gunilla Hutton and Meredith MacRae. There were two Bobbie Jos: Pat Woodell and Lori Saunders. And Linda Kay Henning was Betty Jo. Their little dog later became the movie star dog known as Benji. 

Dear Ken: Was Sissy Spacek ever on “The Waltons”?

Yes, she appeared as Sarah Jane Simmons in two episodes in 1973. The former homecoming queen is a cousin of actor Rip Torn, and she got her big break in the film “Badlands” before earning an Oscar nomination for best actress in the 1976 horror flick “Carrie.” Spacek, 60, her husband and two children reside on a horse ranch near Charlottesville, Va. 

Dear Ken: What has Jane Seymour of “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” been doing lately?

Born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg, Seymour, 58, is raising her 14-year-old twin sons with husband James Keach. The boys are name John and Kris after her friends Johnny Cash and Christopher Reeve. She also keeps busy with her career. Last year she worked on “The Assistants,” “Wake,” “The Velveteen Rabbit,” “The Quitter Show” and “Freeloaders.”  An English native, Seymour became an American citizen in 2005 and has two older children. She and her family live in Malibu, Calif., where she also paints. 

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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