Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

Viggo Mortensen, Aussie kid to star in McCarthys The Road

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Dear Ken: I’ve heard they have made a movie out of the Cormac McCarthy book “The Road.” If that is true, who are the stars and when will it be in theaters?

The leads are Viggo Mortensen as the Man and young Aussie Kodi Smit-McPhee as the Boy. Also in the cast are Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce. The film is currently set for an Oct. 16 release date.

McCarthy’s novels “All the Pretty Horses,” “No Country for Old Men” and “Outer Dark” have already been made into films. And his “Blood Meridian” and “Cities of the Plain” are slated to also become movies.

Dear Ken: I saw a TV movie recently titled “Shark Swarm,” and there was a guy who looked a whole lot like Tom Hanks. Does he have a brother who is an actor?

Yes, that is Tom’s younger brother, Jim, 48. (Tom will be 53 on July 9).

Jim has worked in several films and been a guest on various TV shows such as “Lois & Clark,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” “JAG” and “Scrubs.” He is currently working on the film “When We Were Pirates.”  Jim also doubled brother Tom in some of the running scenes in “Forrest Gump.” The character actor is also a voice actor and has furnished the voice of Geoffrey the Giraffe in Toys ’R” Us TV and radio commercials as well as the voice of Rudy in Red Robin Gourmet Burgers radio commercials.

Dear Ken: Did Amanda Blake, who played Miss Kitty on “Gunsmoke,” ever marry? When and how did she die?

Blake was not so lucky at love. She wed and divorced four times. She died in 1989 at the age of 60 of liver failure caused by viral hepatitis which was AIDS related.

The former telephone operator from Buffalo, N.Y., is a member of the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Dear Ken: Who had a hit of the song “God Didn’t Make Little Green Apples”? What year did it hit the charts?

Bobby Russell was the tunesmith who wrote “Little Green Apples.” He also wrote “Honey” and “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.”

“Little Green Apples” was recorded by Roger Miller and Patti Page but was the big hit for O.C. Smith as he took it to No. 2 on the pop charts in 1968 and it won a Grammy for song of the year.

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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