Dear Ken: There is a big hulking guy I’ve seen play thugs, villains and bullies in all kinds of movies from dramas to westerns to comedies. I remember him especially in an episode of “Batman.” Who is or was this guy?You must be thinking of ex-professional wrestler “Iron” Mike Mazurki, who made a career of playing gangsters and muscle men. The big bruiser made about 50 films in the 1940s alone. He also was a guest on numerous TV shows from comedies to westerns. His films included “Murder My Sweet,” “Samson and Delilah.” “Pocketful of Miracles,” “Donavan’s Reef,” “The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin” and “Dick Tracy.” He died in his early 80s in 1990.
Dear Ken: How many sons did Fred MacMurray have on “My Three Sons”? I think he had four. Who played his sons?You’re right, he had four sons. And a daughter. His original sons were Tim Considine as Mike Douglas, Don Grady as Robbie and Stanley Livingston as Chip. Later, he took Barry Livingston (Stanley’s real-life brother) as Ernie into the fold. And when MacMurray’s character of Steve Douglas eventually married Beverly Garland, he got a daughter, Dawn Lyn as Dodie, in the deal.
Dear Ken: In the episode of the TV series “ER,” where Dr. Mark Green is dying, you hear a record of a man playing a ukulele and singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Who is the singer?That is the voice of the late Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole, a beloved 700-pound singer and ukulele player who was known as “Brudda Iz” in his native Hawaii. Iz died of respiratory failure at the age of 38 in 1997, and over 10,000 Hawaiians came to his funeral. The song you heard is a medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World.” It can be found on his album, “Facing Future,” and be heard on the soundtracks of the films “Meet Joe Black” and “Finding Forrester.”
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