Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

Cuba Gooding Jr. flies high in 'Red Tails'

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Dear Ken: The two actors who starred as the maids Aibileen and Minny in The Help were wonderful. What are their names and where did they grow up?

Viola Davis, 46, who played Aibileen Clark, was born on her grandmothers farm in St. Matthews, S.C., and grew up in Central Falls, R.I. Her movie credits include Traffic, Antwone Fisher, Solaris, Syriana and Doubt and she was in the TV series Law & Order: SVU and played Tom Sellecks deputy Molly Crane in the Jesse Stone TV movies. Davis has two Tony Awards for her work in Fences and King Hedley II.

Octavia Spencer, 41, who played Minny Jackson, was born and raised in Montgomery, Ala., and earned an English degree at Auburn University. She played Constance Grady on the TV series Ugly Betty and was in the movies A Time To Kill, Big Mommas House, Spider-Man, Coach Carter, Miss Congeniality 2 and Halloween 2.

Dear Ken: Who is playing Bilbo Baggins in the new film version of The Hobbit?

Director Peter Jacksons Hobbit will come to the big screen in two parts. The first one opens in December with Brit actor Martin Freeman, 40, as Baggins. Known mainly for his work in English TV and films, he starred as Dr. Watson in the BBCs recent series Sherlock and played Tim Canterbury in the British version of The Office. He also co-starred in the 2004 film The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Dear Ken: Is actress Betty Lynn, who played Barneys girlfriend Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show still living?

Lynn, 85, is fine and dandy and making her home in Mt. Airy, N.C., Griffiths hometown. The Kansas City native, who started making movies in Hollywood in 1948, makes frequent appearances at the Andy Griffith Museum where she signs autographs for fans. Among her movie credits are Apartment for Peggy, Cheaper by the Dozen, June Bride and Father Is a Freshman.

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

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