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Versatile James Garner went from Maverick to film fame

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Dear Ken: I’ve been a fan of James Garner from “Maverick” to “The Rockford Files.” How many other TV series did he make and what were his best movies?

Garner, 81, born James Baumgarner in Norman, Okla., also starred in the TV series “Nichols,” “Bret Maverick,” “First Monday” and “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.” Among the Korean War vet’s top flicks would be “The Great Escape,” “Support Your Local Sheriff,” “The Americanization of Emily.” “Murphy’s Romance,” “The Children’s Hour,” “Grand Prix” and “Move Over, Darling.”

Dear Ken: Did Elizabeth Montgomery, famous as Samantha on TV’s “Bewitched” make many movies? Did she have children? How did she die?

Montgomery’s film work was minimal. She appeared in the movies “The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell,” “Johnny Cool” and “Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed,” but she made a number of fine TV movies and miniseries, including “The Legend of Lizzie Borden,” “The Awakening Land” and “When the Circus Came to Town.”

She had three children, William, Robert and Rebecca. Montgomery died in 1995 at age 62 of colorectal cancer.

Dear Ken: What has Dean Cain, Superman of  “Lois & Clark,” been doing lately?

He’s making movies by the bushel. Already in the can are “ParFection: The Golf Movie,” “Maneater,” “Aussie and Ted” and “The Way Home,” while he has been filming “The Dog Who Saved Christmas.” Next up for him are “Vacation” and “Material Lives.”

Born in Michigan, Cain grew up in Malibu, Calif., and went to college at Princeton.

Dear Ken: Who were the members of the Stax band Booker T. & the MGs, famous for their hit “Green Onions”?

The Memphis instrumental soul group featured Booker T. Jones on organ and piano, Steve Cropper on guitar, Lewie Steinberg on bass and Al Jackson Jr. on drums. Donald “Duck” Dunn replaced Steinberg in 1965. Their other hits included “Hip Hug-Her,” “Groovin’,” “Hang ’Em High” and “Time Is Tight.”

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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