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TVs Red Skelton was a beloved American comic

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Dear Ken: I love watching “Gunsmoke” and am a big fan of Ken Curtis, who plays Festus. I have heard that he was a great singer. Is that true?Indeed, he had a beautiful voice and was a kind man as well. Curtis sang with the Tommy Dorsey Band in the early 1940s and was a vocalist with the Sons of the Pioneers from 1949 to 1953. He acted in a number of director John Ford films and sings in some of them, such as “The Quiet Man.” “He was a fine actor,” says James Arness, who starred as Marshal Dillon on “Gunsmoke.” “I watch the old shows now and he gives great performances. He does some very serious shows actually and he was great. He was able to add pretty much all the comedic stuff that Dennis (Weaver) had, but in addition to that they had him doing, as I said, many more serious character things.” Curtis died in his sleep at his ranch in Clovis, Calif., of a heart attack in 1991. He was 74. His ashes were scattered in the Colorado flatlands where he was born.    Dear Ken: Who is the good-looking hunk in those “The Man You Could Smell Like” Old Spice TV commercials?That would be Isaiah Mustafa, 37, who played football at Arizona State University with American hero Pat Tillman. He has appeared on such TV shows as “Ugly Betty,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Castle,” “Days of Our Lives” and “Chuck” and in the movie “Madea’s Big Happy Family.” He was under contract with four different NFL teams and played for a month on the Tennessee Oilers practice squad in the late 1990s. Mustafa will appear in the Jennifer Aniston movie, “Horrible Bosses,” this summer.

Dear Ken: What are the stars of “Cagney & Lacey,” Sharon Gless and Tyne Daley, doing these days?Gless, 67, continues to co-star on the TV series “Burn Notice” as Madeline Weston and several months ago performed onstage in the play “A Round-Heeled Woman.” Daley, 65, also performs onstage and starred as Maria Callas in “Master Class” last year at the Kennedy Center. 

If you have a trivia question about actors, singers, movies, TV shows or pop culture, e-mail your query to Ken Beck at

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