|‘Downton Abbey’ castle sets star’s heart aflutter|
|Wednesday, July 11, 2012|
Dear Ken: What can you tell us about the actor who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, on PBS’s “Downton Abbey”?
That would be British actor Hugh Bonneville, 48, the son of a nurse and a surgeon, who trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. The star of TV, film, stage and radio is also famed in his native country for the TV sitcom “TwentyTwelve.” Among his movie credits are “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “Notting Hill,” “Asylum” and “Iris.” Playing the lord of such a magnificent estate has quite an element of fantasy fulfillment for the thespian. “Every time I drove up to Highclere Castle, where we filmed the series, it made my heart flutter. It’s such an impressive house. You can’t help but be swept away by the atmosphere,” he says. The actor and his wife have a 10-year-old son. By the by, filming is currently underway on the third series of “Downton Abbey.”
Dear Ken: Is Buffalo Bob Smith of “Howdy Doody” fame still living?
Buffalo Bob: “Say kids, what time is it?” Kids: “It’s Howdy Doody time!”
Smith, who created the Howdy Doody character when he was a radio announcer, served as host of the pioneer children’s TV show about a freckle-faced puppet and his friends in a circus and western frontier backdrop. The color series ran from 1947 to 1960 on NBC. Smith died of cancer in 1998 in Hendersonville, N.C. He was 80.
Dear Ken: What is Sheree J. Wilson, who played Alex Cahill on “Walker, Texas Ranger,” up to?
Wilson, 53, and several of her “Walker” cast mates will be at this week’s Festival de Country Music Mirande, July 12-15, in France. She also will be a guest at the Hollywood Show in Burbank, Calif., Aug. 4-5, where fans can meet her and purchase an autograph or have a photo taken for a small fee. Wilson, who lives in L.A., serves as vice president of the White Bridle Humane Society, a horse rescue equine therapy non-profit organization she helped organize in 2008. She also has become spokesperson for a new line of skincare products called Nurigene. And Wilson co-star in “Saving Santa,” a film exec produced by country music star Kix Brooks, which should hit theaters late this year.
Dear Ken: What were the titles of The Shirelles’ biggest hits?
“Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Soldier Boy,” “Dedicated to the One I Love,” “Mama Said,” “Foolish Little Girl” and “Baby It’s You” are good for starters. “Rolling Stone” calls the African-American girl group one of the best 100 acts of all time.