You have questions. I have some answers, from deep in the TV vault.
Q: Could the boy who played Chip on “My Three Sons” be Bud on “JAG”? Sure looks like him. Who played the other two sons? Are they still acting?
A: Patrick Labyorteaux, who played Bud on “JAG” (and has occasionally reprised the role on “NCIS”) was not even born when “My Three Sons” premiered on ABC in 1960. Stanley Livingston played the original youngest son, Chip Douglas. Tim Considine, then known mainly for his work in Disney productions such as “Spin and Marty,” played oldest son Mike. Another Disney veteran, former Mouseketeer Don Grady, was middle son Robbie. Fred MacMurray was their father, Steve Douglas.
When the series moved from ABC to CBS after five years on the air, Mike married and left the show. (Considine once told an interviewer that his role was “no longer a challenge.”) But the show still had three sons, with Steve adopting an orphan named Ernie, played by Barry Livingston, Stanley’s younger brother.
Barry is the only one of the “sons” still acting, for example on the shows “The Orville,” “Bosch” and “Angie Tribeca.” Considine has focused on writing and photography, especially about automotive topics. Stanley Livingston has been a producer and director but is now reportedly retired.
Grady focused on music, including as composer of Phil Donahue’s theme song, before his death from cancer in 2012.
Q: I remember a show from the early ’70s called “The Corner Bar.” It was very funny. Can you give me any info? Where can I watch or purchase a DVD of the series?
A: The comedy aired briefly on ABC in the summer of 1972 and again in the summer of 1973. It focused on the patrons of a New York City bar that was run by Harry Grant (Gabriel Dell) during the 1972 run and a husband and wife played by Eugene Roche and Anne Meara in 1973. Among the other characters was Peter Panama (Vincent Schiavelli), who was the first openly gay regular character on a TV series, though one accused of fitting negative stereotypes. I have not found it on any platform or format.
Q: Having recently seen an Abbott and Costello movie, I was reminded of a TV movie about their relationship. It was several years ago and starred Buddy Hackett, but I am unsure of the other actors. I have found no mention of it anywhere. Do you know anything about this movie?
A: “Bud and Lou” starred Harvey Korman as Bud Abbott and Buddy Hackett as Lou Costello. It originally aired in 1978. It has been released on DVD, although you are probably better off watching the real Bud and Lou in their movies and shows.
Q: We have been so stumped for months. Who played “The Mentalist”?
A: Simon Baker played Patrick Jane, the crime-solving “mentalist” on the CBS drama from 2008 to 2015. You may also remember the Australian Baker from movies such as “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Margin Call.”
Q: What happened to the David Gideon character played by Karl Held on the old “Perry Mason” show? I liked the character.
A: According to MeTV, which airs repeats of the Raymond Burr version of “Mason,” law student David Gideon was just an unnecessary addition to the cast. “The writers never gave him a compelling reason to exist,” the network’s website says. “He wasn’t an original character, and he didn’t add meaningfully to the plots, apart from occasionally providing insights that it turns out Perry was, of course, already wise to.”
After less than a dozen appearances in 1961-62, he departed the show and, according to MeTV, was neither seen nor mentioned again. But Karl Held (also known as Carl Held) did not disappear, working steadily over the ensuing decades, including on “Falcon Crest” in 1987-89.
Rich Heldenfels has retired from the Beacon Journal but continues to answer your questions about entertainment past, present and future. Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.