If it’s Thursday, this must be the mailbag …
Q: I was watching reruns of “My Three Sons” and wondering how many of the stars were still with us like Barry and Stanley Livingston (Ernie and Chip) and Don Grady (Robbie), Tina Cole (Katie) and Dawn Lyn (Dodie) and how old are they?
A: As far as I can tell, still with us at this writing are Don Grady, 67; Tina Cole, 68; Barry Livingston, 57; older brother Stanley, 60, and Dawn Lyn, 48. By the way, Tim Considine, the original oldest son on the series, is 70.
Fred MacMurray, patriarch of the Douglas clan, died in 1991; Beverly Garland, who was MacMurray’s wife in the show’s later seasons, died in 2008. The show’s two uncles, William Frawley and William Demarest, died in 1966 and 1983 respectively.
Q: What happened to John Roberts and Kiran Chetry on CNN’s American Morning?
A: The former American Morning hosts have gone on to other things. Roberts, who joined CNN from CBS in 2007, was taken off American Morning in December 2010. He appeared to be in line for another job at CNN where his fiancee, Kyra Phillips, also works. (They had twins in March.) Instead, he went to Fox News Channel and could be seen recently in its Hurricane Irene coverage. Chetry, who also joined CNN in 2007, continued on American Morning after Roberts’ departure but announced in July she was leaving the show and CNN for new opportunities. As of Monday, her Facebook page said, “Stay tuned for Kiran Chetry’s next move.”
Q: Will one of my favorite shows be returning to TV? It’s “Jersey Couture,” about the family that owns the formal-dress shop.
A: So far, the show has consisted only of a single season airing on Oxygen in summer 2010. But a network rep said Oxygen may yet bring it back. “We haven’t made any final decision on it,” he said.
Q: I enjoy seeing “Riverdance.” Can you give me the name of the blonde female dancer who was the lead in the original production.
A: From what I can find, the original lead dancer (and a choreographer) in the production was Jean Butler; I have seen some photographs of her as a blonde, others with darker hair. She told Ballet-Dance magazine that “when Riverdance happened but it wasn’t simply just another dancing job. It was the start of something exciting and it was great to be part of that creative team to represent the new image of Irish dancing but it was also terrifically exciting and fun.”
Q: Where can I find a VHS or DVD of the movie “Easter Parade?”
A: Warner Home Video has released the Fred Astaire-Judy Garland movie on DVD several times, including in a two-disc special edition and a single-disc set. There are also old VHS copies floating around. A local store selling videos should be able to order the DVD for you, if it does not have it in stock. Barring that, I have seen it for sale from online vendors including Amazon.com, Moviesunlimited.com and Deepdiscount.com.
The next letter reacts to a previous item about plans for a new Lone Ranger movie with Johnny Depp as Tonto and Armie Hammer as the Lone Ranger.
Q: I’m sure you have seen “The Lone Ranger” but after reading Johnny Depp’s “ideas,” I doubt if he has. “The Lone Ranger” was an example of what was a good relationship between two different men. Tonto never got the “unpleasant end of the stick” as Depp says nor was there an “ugliness” against Native Americans in this show! We could learn a lot from the series today. I doubt if I will be seeing the movie.
A: It’s now doubtful whether anyone will see the movie. Reports from Hollywood say Disney has ended plans for the production. The Los Angeles Times said the film could have cost as much as $250 million “and the studio and filmmakers couldn’t see eye to eye on making that figure work.” There were other issues, too, the Times said: whether the production would have international appeal (a major factor in many films’ profitability these days), how modern audiences feel about westerns and producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s “mixed recent record.”
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Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and in the HeldenFiles Online blog at http://heldenfels.ohio.com and on Facebook and on Twitter. He also does a weekly video chat for Ohio.com.