Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

Keri Russell speaks for Wonder Woman

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Dear Ken: What is actress Keri Russell working on these days?

She is the voice of Wonder Woman in an animated film that has seen limited release and co-stars in “Leaves of Grass,” set for a Christmas Day release. She will star opposite Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford in “Extraordinary Measures” next spring. Russell, 33, was born in California and raised in Mesa, Ariz., and Denver, Colo. She and her husband have a 2-year-old son.

Dear Ken: Is Fred Rogers of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” deceased?

Yes. He died in 2003 at the age of 74 of stomach cancer. He was perhaps the most considerate celebrity I interviewed over the years, even telling me at the end of the chat to go home and hug my children for him. Here were a few thoughts he shared with me: “It used to be that 10-, 11-, 12-year-olds were playing with Barbie dolls. Now preschoolers are playing with Barbie dolls. What does that say to what society deems appropriate to offer their young children? I still think that the developmental needs of human beings remain very much the same. We all long to know that we are lovable and are capable of loving. We also long to know that those whom we care about, when they go away, they'll come back. And they're all sorts of developmental tasks that a child must go through to have a healthy adulthood.”

Dear Ken: Where was actress-dancer Ginger Rogers born and how many films did she make?

She was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Mo., on July 16, 1911, and died April 25, 1995, at age 83 of congestive heart failure. She married and divorced five times. Rogers was a great tennis player and also loved fishing. Between 1929 and 1965, she made about 80 movies including 10 with Fred Astaire. She wrote an autobiography, “Ginger, My Story.”

Dear Ken: How old are Simon & Garfunkel?

Paul Simon is 68. Art Garfunkel will be 68 on Nov. 5. The boys met in grade school and called their duo Tom and Jerry when they were in high school. The two performed in Australia and New Zealand this summer.

Dear Ken: Who provided some of those great voices in “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”?

You really want to know? Well, hold on to your noodles. Here goes: Mr. T, Al Roker, Neil Patrick Harris, Benjamin Bratt, Bruce Campbell, Andy Samberg and James Caan. For those who haven’t heard, this animated flick has been a box-office smash and centers on an inventor in a town where food falls from the skies. I’d love a rainy afternoon of Milk Duds and Cheese Nips, myself.

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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