Today is Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Jay Silverheels was son of a Mohawk chief

  Email   Print

Dear Ken: I seem to remember that Jay Silverheels, who starred as Tonto in TV’s “The Lone Ranger,” was a Mohawk. Who are some of the best known Native-American actors over the years?

Silverheels was born Harold J. Smith to a Mohawk chief on the Six Nations Reservation in Ontario, Canada, and was a superb athlete excelling in lacrosse and boxing, among other sports. He got his start in Hollywood as a stuntman.

Among other well-known Native-American actors are Chief Dan George, Irene Bedard, Will Sampson, Graham Greene, Adam Beach, Wes Studi, Eric Schweig, Russell Means, Rodney Grant and Floyd Red Crow Westerman  

Dear Ken: What has happened to actress Kim Basinger?

Born in Athens, Ga., Basinger, 56, has completed the filming of “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud,” with Zac Efron. It is set to open in June. She also had three films released in 2008, so she continues to work when she wishes while she raises a teenage daughter, also the child of her ex-husband Alec Baldwin.

Dear Ken: I have spotted actor Scott Bakula of “Quantum Leap” in a new show called “Men of a Certain Age” with Ray Romano and Andre Braugher. Please share some background on Bakula.

Bakula, 55, grew up in a musical family in St. Louis and formed a rock band while in elementary school. He also sang with the St. Louis Symphony. He studied law at the University of Kansas but dropped out to pursue acting. He appeared in TV commercials for Canada Dry and Folgers Coffee and starred as Joe DiMaggio on Broadway in “Marilyn” before he hit stardom in “Quantum Leap.” He has four children.

Dear Ken: Where was “Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” starring Gene Wilder, filmed? What happened to the boy who played the blonde-haired Charlie Bucket?

The 1971 classic was shot in Munich, Germany. Peter Ostrum, 52, who played Charlie, was born in Dallas, grew up in Cleveland and now practices veterinary medicine in Glenfield, N.Y. “Willie Wonka” was the only film he ever made.   

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.

Related Articles
Read more from:
Ask Ken Beck
  Email   Print
Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: