If it’s Thursday, this must be the mailbag, where many questions involve commercials.
Q: I have a question about John Corbett. He was the radio announcer in the old TV favorite “Northern Exposure.” Is he also the one who does the current Walgreens commercials about “the corner of happy and healthy” and did he also do Applebee’s ads on TV? It sure sounds like the same pleasant voice.
A: Corbett, whose credits also include Sex and the City, is indeed a commercial voice for Walgreens and Applebee’s. When the Huffiington Post made its list of 29 favorite celebrity-voiced commercials — one ad per star, which should tell you how many famous folk do ads — a Corbett spot for Walgreens was the first in line.
Q: Who is the young lady that plays William Shatner’s daughter on the Priceline commercial as well as the genie in the Toyota commercial?
A: That’s Kaley Cuoco, best known for playing Penny on the hit comedy The Big Bang Theory. She has other TV credits including the series 8 Simple Rules, but Big Bang has given her career a big boost.
Q: Who is the woman that stars in the Sears fashion commercial?
A: I am guessing you mean the one with the woman asked repeatedly where she got her clothes. That’s actress Jama Williamson, who you may also know as Nora Tate on the series Hollywood Heights and as Tom Haverford’s wife Wendy on Parks and Recreation.
Q: Who is the young man who sings in the Chase credit card commercial?
A: If you are referring to the man who sings the variation on Footloose for the Freedom card, it is actor Michael Torpey. In addition to work on shows like Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and 30 Rock, he has been a frequent presence in ads. You may remember him from Hanes spots where he chats up Michael Jordan during an airplane flight.
Q: Is the actress who plays June on “Mailbu Country” the same one in the Wendy’s commercials?
A: No. According to Wendy’s, their actress is Morgan Smith, a native Alabaman now living in New York City. June is played by Juliette Angelo, a New Jersey native who has worked mainly on Broadway in productions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Billy Elliot and Mary Poppins.
Q: We love the shows “Arrow” with Stephen Amell and “NCIS: Los Angeles” with Chris O’Donnell. Could you tell us if these guys are related, even though their last names are different??? They have a striking resemblance!
A: But no relation that I can find. As you may know, Amell is a Canadian actor whose previous credits include Hung, Private Practice and New Girl. O’Donnell hails from Chicago; before his current show, his biggest credits were probably Scent of a Woman and two films where he played Robin to different Batmans: Val Kilmer and George Clooney.
Q: Is the series “Drop Dead Diva” going to be back on Lifetime? I read it was canceled, then maybe another network would bring it back, then Lifetime was bringing it back, and then I heard it wasn’t. Could you please explain?
A: Lifetime in fact canceled the comedy-drama in January after four seasons. But in March, the network made a deal to continue the series — and series creator Josh Berman expects it to return later this year. While there were some cost adjustments (which Berman says will not affect the look and feel of the show), he believes fan support really saved the series. There were petitions, Facebook posts, YouTube videos and more.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work on several popular shows, including CSI and Bones,” Berman told TVLine.com, “but the fan base for Drop Dead Diva is nothing like I’ve ever seen.”
Q: I watch “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” quite often. The lady who plays Olivia is beautiful. I remember seeing her mother in the movies. What was her name and is she still living? Who was her father? I remember the name Mickey. Did that apply to any of these people?
A: Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia, is the daughter of actress Jayne Mansfield (Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, The Girl Can’t Help It) and Mickey Hargitay, a bodybuilder and actor who was Mansfield’s second husband. Mansfield died in an auto accident in 1967. Mickey Hargitay died of cancer in 2006.
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Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including the HeldenFiles Online, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter.