If it’s Thursday, this must be the mailbag.
Q: Could you tell me the closing theme song for the Perry Como show?
A: Como, for those of you tuning in late, was an enormously popular singer for decades. His hits included Hot Diggity, Catch a Falling Star, Magic Moments, It’s Impossible, Ko Ko Mo, Round and Round and Papa Loves Mambo. A former barber, Como was noted for a relaxed performing and personal style. And, according to the Kennedy Center, which honored Como in 1987, the Canonsburg, Pa., native got his music career rolling after a successful audition with a dance band in Lorain.
He won the first Grammy award for a male vocal performance in 1958 with Catch a Falling Star, which was also the first certified gold record from the Recording Industry Association of America. Most important for our purposes here, Como was a big TV presence, hosting series from the ’40s to the ’60s, with one airing three times a week on CBS from 1950 to 1955; he won five Emmy awards and, after stopping series work, still hosted occasional specials. His opening theme was Dream Along With Me. The closer was You Are Never Far Away From Me. He died in 2001 at the age of 88.
Q: The young lady that does the Subaru commercial where her boyfriend has lost his sunglasses: What other work has she done on TV or stage? She looks familiar.
A: Some commercial-watchers thought that performer was Kristin Davis, the Sex and the City co-star, But it is actress Eleanor Seigler, who has made several appearances on The Office as Jessica, the girlfriend of Andy (Ed Helms). She has also been seen on How I Met Your Mother, 3 Lbs. and in the Pool Party episode of online series Frents (short for “friends for rent”).
Seigler is also a graduate of Dartmouth College, which gives The Office another Ivy League connection to romance: Erin, Andy’s real love (whom he recently wooed back from Florida), is played by Prince-ton grad Ellie Kemper. And Andy himself went to Cornell — although Helms’ alma mater is Oberlin.
Q: There was a character on “General Hospital” named Maxie, a ditzy blonde. Did she quit or was she let go? The actress’ first name was Kristen or Kirsten.
A: Kirsten Storms played Maxie on the soap until she was sidelined by illness late last year. The role was recast with Jen Lilley while Storms recovered, but that has taken longer than expected. Lilley will continue in the role for the foreseeable future, but an ABC rep said the show still hopes that Storms will be back.
Q: Will “Terra Nova” be back?
A: When I last answered this question a couple of months ago, the Fox series had completed its first season and the second was in doubt. Since then, Fox has canceled the show. There has been talk about it landing somewhere else in the TV world, possibly as a Netflix offering. But as of this writing, the show is done.
Q: There was a movie back in the 1940s, I believe, that I think starred James Cagney. A producer decided to have one all-out night of musical revues. They produced four in four different themes to be premiered in four different locations all on the same night. I remember one was a water theme (with synchronized swimming a la Esther Williams), and one had a long staircase dance scene, with the women in gowns and the men in tails, top hats and canes. They rushed from one venue to the next to premiere the next show. What was its name?
A: You are most likely thinking of Footlight Parade, a 1933 film starring Cagney, with musical numbers by the legendary Busby Berkeley. The premise is not exactly as you remember it, but pretty close. It has been released on DVD.
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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. He is also on Facebook and Twitter. He can be reached at 330-996-3582 or email@example.com.