Dear Ken: What can you tell me about Robert Mitchum? Where was he born and how many movies did he make? How tall was he and how many children did he have?
Screen legend Mitchum, who was magnificent in film noir, was born in Bridgeport, Conn. His father died before he was 2, and the youngster was in and out of schools due to discipline problems. As a teen he rode the rails around the country, working odd jobs and even spent time on a chain gang in Georgia. In 1936, he went to California to see his sister and found a job with Lockheed Aircraft. Then in 1942 a director hired him to play the villain in a couple of Hopalong Cassidy westerns, and the 6-foot-1 Mitchum began to make a name for himself. He made more than 120 movies including The Story of G.I. Joe, Out of the Past, Night of the Hunter, Thunder Road, Cape Fear, El Dorado and Ryans Daughter. The actor, who died in 1997 at 79 from emphysema and lung cancer, had two sons and a daughter. His ashes were scattered at sea from a yacht the family borrowed from his long-time friend, Fess Parker.
Dear Ken: Is country singer Tompall Glaser of Tompall Glaser & the Glaser Brothers still living? What was the trios biggest hit?
Nashville outlaw singer Tompall will be 78 on Sept. 3. He and his brothers, Jim and Chuck, hailed from Spalding, Neb., and had their biggest hit with Lovin Her Was Easier (Than Anything Ill Ever Do Again), which went to No. 2 on the country charts in 1981. They were the Country Music Associations vocal group of the year in 1970.
Dear Ken: What has happened to Connie Stevens of Hawaiian Eye? What other TV shows and movies was she in?
Born Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingoglia in Brooklyn, N.Y., the singer-actress, who just turned 73, has taken a new turn in recent years. In 2007, she co-wrote and directed her first move, Saving Grace B. Jones. She is now in pre-production on her second film, Prairie Bones, a western. Stevens was in the movies Rock-a-Bye Baby, Susan Slade, Palm Springs Weekend and Grease 2 and next works in The Summer of Shoulders and Noses. She starred in her own TV series, Wendy and Me, in the mid-1960s and has been a guest on lots of TV westerns and such shows as Baywatch, Eight Simple Rules and Murder, She Wrote. She has two actress daughters, Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, from her short marriage to singer Eddie Fisher.
Dear Ken: Where is Elizabeth Banks, who plays Avery Jessup on 30 Rock, from?
Banks, 37, was born in Pittsfield, Mass., and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. Her film credits include Spider-Man, Catch Me If You Can, Seabiscuit, The Baxter, Slither, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Meet Bill and W. She has three or four films coming out next year and recently signed to star in the romantic comedy What To Expect When Youre Expecting.
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