Dear Ken: What happened to John Russell, star of The Lawman TV western?
Los Angeles native Russell, who played Marshal Dan Troup in The Lawman from 1958 to 1962, served as a Marine at Guadalcanal during WWII. The 6-foot-4 actor starred in two other TV series, Soldiers of Fortune and Jason of Star Command. Among his film credits were Pale Rider, Honkytonk Man, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Rio Bravo and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Russell died of emphysema in 1991 at age 70.
Dear Ken: How old is Ray Stevens and what was his first Top-10 hit?
Born Harold Ray Ragsdale in Clarkdale, Ga., Stevens is 73. He broke into the Top 10 in 1962 with Ahab the Arab. Other Top-10 tunes for the funny music man include Gitarzan, Everything Is Beautiful, The Streak, Misty and Shriners Convention. How Mississippi Squirrel Revival never made it, Ill never know. He has just released Ray StevensEncyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music, a box set of 108 comedy songs, performed by the master himself. It sells for $80. To purchase or learn more, go online to www.raystevens.com.
Dear Ken: In the opening credits of The Waltons, it reads Miss Michael Learned for the actress who plays the mom, Olivia Walton. No other TV credits have Miss in front of lead actresses names. Why did they do that for Learned?
The story goes that she was billed as such because she was pretty much an unknown actress when the show went on the air in 1972, and the producers didnt want to baffle TV viewers seeing a mans name (Michael) associated with her role as the mother. The actress, who just turned 73, has captured four best actress Emmy Awards.
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