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TALKBACK

January 20, 1985

Question: Diane Sawyer, who used to be on the "CBS Morning News," is now appearing on "60 Minutes" on Sundays. My husband thinks she was demoted. Was she? B.G., San Pedro Answer: Would you call going from a low-rated morning program to a highly rated prime-time series being "demoted"? Hardly. Sawyer was finally recognized for her reporting talents and was given a big status promotion. Q: Why does Les Nessman on "WKRP in Cincinnati" always have a piece of tape somewhere on his body, face, finger, etc.? Superstition? Diabetic? L.J.B., Reseda A: Richard Sanders, who played Nessman, one day accidentally bumped his forehead on a camera boom just when the day's shooting was to start. They tried to cover the cut with makeup so it wouldn't show, but blood kept seeping through, so finally they put on a Band-Aid and shot the scene. After a few episodes, the wound had healed, but someone had the bright idea to keep the tape on Nessman somewhere just as a gimmick, a curiosity or attention-getter. And it's worked, judging by all the inquiries CBS got. Q: Was David Warner, that excellent British actor who played the role of Bob Cratchit in "A Christmas Carol," the same Warner who was featured in the 1951 classic that starred Alistair Sim as Scrooge? R.K.S., Laguna Hills A: No. Jack Warner was in the '51 film. David Warner made his professional debut in 1960 in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and then signed a long-term contract with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His film career began in the early '60s with roles in "Tom Jones" and "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner." Recent roles were in "Airport '79," "Marco Polo" and "Nancy Astor" (on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre"). Q: We have a bet going. I say that Charles Martin Smith, who played Mr. Sherman in the movie "Starman," also played one of the boys on "My Three Sons" back in the '60s. Am I right or wrong? J & T.B., Rowland Heights A: Wrong. Fred MacMurray's three sons were played by Tim Considine, Don Grady and Stanley Livingston. Barry Livingston played MacMurray's adopted son. Q: What happened to the actress who plays Jo on "The Facts of Life"? Due to a long illness, I missed many shows and when I then turned on TV she was missing. E.F.S., Sea Beach A: Nancy McKeon, who plays Jo, is still a cast regular, though she did miss a few shows, and that's why you thought she had left the series.

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