Dear Ken: What has happened to Marion Ross, who played Ron Howards mom on Happy Days?
Ross, 83, who was born in Watertown, Minn., has worked in lots of TV shows since her most famous role as mother to Joanie and Richie Cunningham. Among her TV credits as a regular or recurring character have been Brooklyn Bridge, That 70s Show, Touched by an Angel, The Drew Carey Show, Gilmore Girls, and she is the voice of Grandma SquarePants on SpongeBob SquarePants. She has two grown children who also work in show biz.
Dear Ken: Buck Owens used to have a girl singer in his band named Susan Raye. Is she still performing?
Raye, 67, who was born in Eugene, Ore., had seven Top-10 country hits, the biggest being L.A. International Airport in 1971. Married to Jerry Wiggins, who was the drummer in Buck Owens band, for 40 years, she left her country music behind in the mid-1980s to concentrate on raising their six children. Today, a Christian psychologist, grandmother and great-grandmother, Raye sings with her church choir and praise team as a member of Calvary Bible Church in Kern County, Calif.
Dear Ken: When were Tootsie Roll candies invented?
The sweet and chewy chocolate Tootsie Roll, the first penny candy to be individually wrapped, was concocted in New York City by Austrian immigrant Leo Hirschfield in 1896. He named it after the nickname of his daughter, Clara Tootsie Hirschfield. Sixty-four million Tootsie Rolls are minted daily. As for this candy man, he shot himself and died in 1922 in the Big Apple.
If you have a trivia question about actors, singers, movies, TV shows or pop culture, e-mail your query to Ken Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org