Dear Ken: When did actor Richard Harris die? Did he not have a big hit song a long time ago and what were his best-known movies?
Irishman Harris, most recently known as Professor Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter movies, died in 2002 of Hodgkins lymphoma at 72. As a singer, he had a Top-10 hit in 1968 with McArthur Park. Among his top films would be such titles as Camelot, Major Dundee, A Man Called Horse, Cromwell, Man in the Wilderness, The Deadly Trackers, Orca, Unforgiven, Patriot Games and Gladiator. Camelot, with Harris as King Arthur, was released on Blu-ray last month.
Dear Ken: Whats the background on Josh Hutcherson, who stars as Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games?
Hutcherson, 19, was born Union, Ky., and decided to be an actor at 4. When he was 9, his family moved to Los Angeles and he got his first role in the TV movie House Blend then a spot on the TV series ER. Hes been on a roll since in such films as Kicking & Screaming, Zathura: A Space Adventure, RV, Bridge to Terabithia, Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Kids Are All Right. He is also a major fan of the Cincinnati Reds and in early April threw out the first pitch at a Reds game. He will star in the remake of Red Dawn, set for a November release.
Dear Ken: Who sang the hit song Purple People Eater?
That 1958 novelty song that hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts was written and performed by Sheb Wooley, who, a year later, co-starred on the TV western Rawhide as scout Pete Nolan. The native of Erick, Okla., taught his wifes cousin, Roger Miller, how to play the guitar. Wooley, who also wrote the Hee Haw theme song, appeared in such films as High Noon, Giant, The Outlaw Josey Wales and the TV movie The Dollmaker. He died of leukemia in 2003 at 82 and was buried in Hendersonville, Tenn., his home for many years. He was a very talented, very funny and very nice guy.
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