Today is Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Kristy McNichol fled limelight in the late 1990s

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Dear Ken: What has become of Kristy McNichol, who played Buddy Lawrence on the 1970s TV drama “Family”?

McNichol, 46, pretty much left show biz behind 11 years ago to try and live a normal life. She won two Emmy Awards as Buddy and also starred in the TV series “Apple’s Way” and “Empty Nest.” Her movies include “Little Darlings,” “The End,” “Only When I Laugh,” “White Dog,” “The Pirate Movie” and “Two Moon Junction.” Among her TV movie credits are “Summer of My German Soldier,” “My Old Man,” “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” and “Women of Valor.” For a number of years she hosted a celebrity tennis tournament to benefit abused children in the Los Angeles area.

Dear Ken: Where was Kiefer Sutherland, son of Donald and star of the TV series “24,” born? What are some of his top movies?

The 42-year-old actor who plays Jack Bauer was born Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland in London and has both Canadian and British citizenship. He collects guitars and javelins and for a while performed as rodeo cowboy as a roper. Among his best flicks are “The Bay Boy,” “A Few Good Men,” “The Cowboy Way,” “Dark City” and “L.A. Confidential.”  

Dear Ken: How many “Ernest” films were there and how old was actor Jim Varney when he died?

Varney, a native of Lexington, Ky., died in 2000 of lung cancer. Not counting his TV series and TV movies or specials, he made nine “Ernest” movies.  

Dear Ken: Are all of the original guys in the Kingston Trio still around? What year did they have the hit “Tom Dooley”?

All together now: “Hang down your head, Tom Dooley, Hang down your head and cry …”  The original three were Dave Guard, Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds. Guard died in 1991. Shane is 75 and lives in Hawaii. Reynolds died last year.

Among their many other hits were “A Worried Man,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “Scotch and Soda” and “Greenback Dollar.” And as for poor ole “Tom Dooley,“ he was No. 1 in the charts in 1958.

Dear Ken: What year was the first Miss America pageant held?

1921. The first winner was Miss Washington, D.C. You know politics must have been involved.

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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