Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Patrick Swayze combats cancer, keeps acting

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Dear Ken: How is “Dirty Dancing” star Patrick Swayze doing? I believe he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2008.

Swayze told ABC News in early December that he was winning his battle with cancer. He and his wife, Lisa Niemi, are scheduled to do an interview from their California ranch with Barbara Walters on ABC on Jan. 9 at 9 p.m. central time.He has completed filming for the first season of an A&E TV series, “The Beast,” which debuts soon.

Dear Ken: In the Orson Welles masterpiece “Citizen Kane,” what was the significance of the sled burning up in the final scene?

The sled was named Rosebud, which is the word you heard Kane whisper in his final moments of life. I believe he was thinking back to the lost childhood that he never had. Or it simply could have been a gimmick.  The sled used in that film was purchased for $60,500 in 1982 by filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

Dear Ken: How many actresses have portrayed Nancy Drew, the girl detective, on film and in television? My daughter has collected all of the books and now we are thinking about DVDs.

There have been two Drew sleuths in the movies and four on the tube. The original was Bonita Granville, who played Nancy in four movies released in 1938-1939.Next came Pamela Sue Martin in the 1977 TV series, “The Nancy Drew Mysteries,” before Janet Julian took over for the last few episodes.She was followed by Tracy Ryan in the 1995 TV series “Nancy Drew.”Then came Maggie Lawson in a 2002 TV movie.And most recently, Emma Roberts in the 2007 feature film “Nancy Drew.”

Dear Ken: When did Red Foxx, the star of “Sanford and Son,” pass away? What was the cause of his death?

Foxx died in late 1991 of a heart attack. He was two months shy of his 69th birthday.

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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