Today is Thursday, July 24, 2014

No Country villain Javier Bardem targets James Bond

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Dear Ken: What can you tell us about Javier Bardem, who was so terrifying in No Country for Old Men?

Bardem, 42, was born in Spains Canary Islands and comes from a family with a long line of actors. He began acting at 6 and played rugby for his countrys national team as a teenager. For his villainous role in No Country for Old Men, he won the best supporting actor and was the first Spanish actor to cop an Oscar. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for his work in Before Night Falls and Biutiful. He co-starred last year with Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love. Married to actress Penelope Cruz, they have a son less than a year old. Next up Bardem stars as the new James Bond villain.

Dear Ken: On a recent episode of NCIS, Mike Franks right forefinger was shown cut off.What happened? Did the actor lose it in real life?

Actor Muse Watson did not actually lose his finger. I suspect they simply taped it back and shot the scene at a camera angle so as to make it appear like it was gone. The veteran actor, 62, is famed as the fellow with the hook in I Know What You Did Last Summer, and is one of many assisting in the restoration of the 1930s art deco Princess Theater in Harriman, Tenn. Watson, a native of Louisiana, has a home in Roane County and got his start at the Oak Ridge Playhouse. Harrimans Princess Theater is undergoing a major face-lift, via $1.7 million from TVA and a state grant. When completed, the former 900-seat theater will be called the Princess Performing Arts, Education and Conference Center and also be home to Channel 15, a public television channel operated by Roane State Community College and the city.

Dear Ken: Is it true that The Simpsons is the longest-running TV series in history?

The animated show is the longest-running scripted TV series, and last month Fox signed everybody back on for two more seasons. Negotiations between the network and the voice actors had been a bitter battle. Cast members had been making a reported $440,000 apiece per episode, and some sources noted that they agreed to a pay cut of approximately 30 percent. Can you say dough? Doh!

Dear Ken: Whats the background on Shelley Conn, who plays the mom on the new sci-fi series Terra Nova?

Conn, 34 or 35, was born in London and is of British and Sri Lankan descent and the great niece of 1930s film star Merle Oberon. She played Princess Pondicherry in the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and has worked steadily for the past 10 years in a series of British TV shows, such as Down to Earth, Casualty, Mersey Beat, Party Animals, Raw, Strike Back and Marchlands.

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