Question: My husband and I have a bet that Norm's wife, Vera, on Cheers was never seen. I say that she was never shown on the show, but my husband insists that she was seen on one episode. I find it funny he cannot remember what she looked like, though. Can you settle this bet for us? Samantha S., Jacksonville, Fla.
Televisionary: Vera's face was never seen, so I say you win, Samantha. Probably the closest she came to revealing herself was when Diane threw a pie at Sam and hit the off-camera Vera in the face with it. When Vera stepped into the shot, of course, her face was obscured by the pie. (And the answer to your next question is yes, Vera's voice was heard on the show, courtesy of actress Bernadette Birkett, actor George Wendt's real-life wife.)
The Mystery of Natalie Wood
Holy melodrama! File this next to Mommie Dearest for child abuse. The damage Natalie Wood's I mean, Natasha Brukalakayou'vegottobekidding
mewiththisnameashviska's mother does to her in the first hour of this made-for-TV biopic is over the top. Seriously. That kind of abuse takes skill. In the first hour, the controlling Stage Mom From Hell makes sure her child will forever be afraid of water ("Gypsy say you will drown!"), lightning, poisoning, kidnapping, touch and any kind of emotional intimacy. Hello! Mama Wood even refuses to let a doctor tend to her injured child's broken wrist (which heals crooked and literally scars Natalie for life) and tries to pimp her out to Frank Sinatra. ("Maybe if you nice to him, he put you in movie.") Oh, and then she drops the best anti-baby, just-say-no-to-sex one-liners ever: "If you get baby, you die!" she tells Natalie with a thick Russian accent. Or, my favorite:
Question: Here's what might sound like a silly question, but how did David Carradine go from having a full head of hair to bald and then back again on Kung Fu? Did they shoot all his flashback scenes with his head shaved and then have him wear a wig, or what? Thanks. Tony P., Bemidji, Minn.
Televisionary: Actually, it was the opposite, Tony. When playing the adult fugitive Kwai Chang Caine in America's old West, Carradine acted with his natural hair visible. When shooting flashbacks to the character's Shaolin training days, he donned a plastic scalp that was pulled down tight over his real hair and cemented in place, then blended in with makeup and dotted black to give the appearance of stubble.
Aside from that bit of trickery, however, Carradine resembled his character in thought and lifestyle to a remarkable degree while shooting the ABC series, which ran from October 1972 to June 1975. In fact, the press usually had a field day with the actor,
Question: What station ran the movie Call Me Anna in 1990? It was the Patty Duke story, directed by Gilbert Cates and released on Nov. 11, 1990. Thanks so much! Mamie S., Gaston, S.C.
Televisionary: That aired on ABC, Mamie, with Ari Meyers as child-star Patty, Jenny Robertson playing her as a young adult, and Duke playing herself as an adult. (Howard Hesseman and Deborah May were her managers, and Karl Malden was the psychiatrist who helped her.)
Question: What year did Honey West air? Steve, Hardyston, N.J.
Televisionary: The lady detective played by Anne Francis launched her ABC series in September 1965, Steve. The formidable Ms. West kicked around with partner Sam Bolt (John Ericson) and her beloved ocelot, Bruce, for a year before leaving the air.
It's worth noting, however, that she first appeared opposite Gene Barry on an episode of Burke's Law in April 1965 before landing her own show.
Question: Where did Meredith get the rose dress that she wore on the cover of TV Guide? I would like to buy one. S.D., Atlanta, Ga.
Televisionary: Assuming you mean the rose bustier the bachelorette wore on the table of contents in our Feb. 7 issue, it was custom-made by Los Angeles designer Maggie Barry. Barry tells me that you, too, can have one made by calling her Silver Lake store (called, oddly enough, Maggie Barry) at 323-644-1129.
Question: I hope you'll answer this question because Google has finally, inevitably, failed us. The theme song for the show Airline is a jazzed-up version of "Leaving on a Jet Plane." It sounds a lot like Counting Crows, but... not quite. We love it, though, and find ourselves randomly singing it around the house for days after an episode. Can you please tell us who performs that song, and if it's available anywhere? Thank you for doing what Google cannot. We love you, man. Toni M., Manassas, Va.
Televisionary: Well, if Google could dial a phone and ask an A&E publicist, it could probably write this column, too. But it can't, so I remain employed.
The version you enjoy so was recorded by singer Jimmy Coup and studio musicians Steven Miller and John Fields specifically for the show. Coup tells me it'll soon be available for purchase, but he doesn't have details on that right now. However, if you'd like to check for updates
Let's get real: Nobody watches the Academy Awards to find out who wins. You're going to read all about that the morning after in Michael Ausiello's column, and you know it. No, we tune in to the overlong ego trip for three reasons and only three reasons: the clothes, the catastrophes and the crying (and, when we get really, really lucky, the chance to see all three at once). That being the case, last night's live broadcast of the 76th annual ceremony was, by all accounts, a rousing success. For those of you who were too busy double-checking your office Oscar-pool ballots to pay attention to the goings-on, TV Guide Online offers this instant replay.
First, let's take a moment to embrace our inner Joan Riverses and talk about the outfits. Trading her Morticia Addams hand-me-downs for a stunning ivory gown, radiant
The Practice has beamed up William Shatner for a four-episode guest stint. The Star Trek icon will play an "eccentric, well-connected, power-drunk legal legend who is chief partner of a law firm that goes head-to-head" with James Spader and Co. He'll first air in late April. Meanwhile, it looks like fired Practice star Dylan McDermott is headed back to the ABC drama later this season after all. For more on that, pick up the new issue of TV Guide magazine on sale today!