Today is Friday, October 24, 2014

Octogenarian Mickey Mouse has his star in cement

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Dear Ken: How old is Mickey Mouse and how many people have provided his voice in cartoons over the years?

According to the Disney Archives, the little mouse with the big ears and high-pitched voice turns 81 on Nov. 18. His debut appearance was in the cartoon “Steamboat Willie,” the first synchronized sound cartoon His voice has been furnished by Walt Disney, Jim Macdonald and Wayne Allwine.

Mickey was the first cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Dear Ken: I am a big fan of the Gary Cooper film “Sergeant York” about the World War I hero from Fentress County, Tenn. Did they shoot any of that movie in Tennessee?

Originally the producers hoped to shoot on location in the tiny community of Pall Mall, north of Jamestown, Tenn., but due to the logistics and expenses they wound up making it at the Warner Bros. Studios where they built a set that cost more than $1 million in 1940.

Dear Ken: Are all four guys who were in the 1960s band The Monkees still living?

Yes. Hey, hey, they were the Monkees: Michael Nesmith is 66; Davy Jones, 63; Micky Dolenz, 64; and Peter Tork is 67.

They sure had some great hits back then: “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Daydream Believer,” “Steppin’ Stone,” “I’m a Believer,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “Valleri,” among others. I assume they no longer monkey around.

Dear Ken: Other than “Charlie’s Angels,” what other TV series or movies did Farrah Fawcett-Majors star in?

Farrah was a semi-regular in four TV series: “Harry O,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Spin City” and “The Guardian.” Among her film credits were “Logan’s Run,” “Sunburn,” “Saturn 3,” “The Cannonball Run,” “Extremities,” “The Apostle” and “Dr. T and the Women.”

Dear Ken: Surely 1960s and ’70s bombshell Raquel Welch was born with a different name. What was it? 

She was born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago to a Bolivian father and Irish-American mom. The sizzling star of  the 1966 flick “One Million Years B.C.” turns 69 in September. 

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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