Today is Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bobbie Gentry left the limelight years ago

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Dear Ken: Whatever happened to country singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry of “Ode to Billy Joe” fame”

Gentry, who was born Roberta Lee Streeter in Chickasaw County, Miss., is now 65 and lives a quiet life out of the public eye. She last performed publicly on Christmas night of 1978 on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” In August of 1967 her “Ode to Billy Joe” album knocked the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” off the top of the American charts. She was married twice, first to Desert Inn Hotel manager Bill Harrah and then to singer/songwriter Jim Stafford. Each marriage was short lived. At last word she lived in the Los Angeles area.

Dear Ken: What nationality was Audrey Hepburn? I loved her in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Did she have any children and what would be several more of her best movies?

The actress was born in Belgium, but her mother was a Dutch baroness and her father was a British banker. She has a son and daughter, Sean and Luca.

Among her many fine films were “Roman Holiday,” “Funny Face,” “Sabrina,” “Love in the Afternoon,” “The Nun’s Story,” “Charade,” “My Fair Lady” and “Wait Until Dark.” Hepburn died in 1993 of appendicular cancer at the age of 63. You would most likely enjoy “The Audrey Hepburn Story,” a 2000 TV movie that stars Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Dear Ken: Where was the late, great newscaster Walter Cronkite born and raised?

He was born in St. Joseph, Mo., and lived in Kansas City, Mo., until the age of 10 when his family moved to Houston, Texas.

Dear Ken: How old is Fess Parker, who played Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone on TV? The tall Texan recently turned 85. A businessman for many years now in Santa Barbara, Calif., Parker owns the Fess Parker Winery and Wine Country Inn & Spa Resort Bed & Breakfast in Los Olivos, Calif. The actor once said, “There have been several turning points in my life, but the most important one came the day I stepped before the cameras as Davy Crockett. The way I look at things, a man's life story isn't his alone, but it belongs to a lot of people who have influenced him and done things for him that he can never repay.”

If you have a trivia question about actors, singers, movies, TV shows or pop culture, e-mail your query to Ken Beck via 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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