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Talkback

March 10, 1985

Question: Was the miniseries "Return to Eden" adapted from a novel? If so, is the title the same and who wrote it?

R.M.F., Burbank

Answer: No, "Eden" was not based on a novel. It is an Australian production that originally aired on TV in that country early in 1984. Hal McElroy wrote the screenplay and produced it. The program earned high ratings Down Under.

Q: I'm a big fan of Lindsay Wagner. Was she or was she not in the award-winning movie "The Paper Chase," and if so, what part did she play?

M.C., Paramount

A: Wagner was indeed in that film. She played the daughter of Prof. Kingsfield (John Houseman).

Q: Can you give me some background on Andrea Marcovicci (of "Berrenger's") and list some of her other credits?

K.K.D., Venice

A: She's a native of New York City and was "discovered" by Arlene Francis, who got her on Merv Griffin's show. Soon after she began doing commercials and singing in nightclubs and on TV variety shows. She played Dr. Chernak in the soap, "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing." In TV movies she starred in "Cry Rape," "Smile Jenny, You're Dead" (the pilot for "Harry O"), and had guest roles in "Kojak," "Mannix," "Medical Center," "Magnum, P.I." and "Trapper John, M.D." Her feature movies include "Airport '79," "The Front" (with Woody Allen) and "The Hand" (with Michael Caine).

Q: When did a series called "Jet Jackson" hit the screen? The show's co-star always told the audience that his last name was Mudd, spelled with two d's.

C.L., Claremont

A: That series was originally titled "Captain Midnight" and aired on CBS, 1954-56. It came back in 1956 in syndication but, because of a sponsor conflict, was retitled "Jet Jackson." Ken Tobey and Craig Hill starred, and Sid Melton played Ichabod (Ikky) Mudd.

Q: Please rescue my credibility! On the "American Music Awards" on ABC there were two performances that I know were not live, but lip-synced: Tina Turner's "Private Dancer" and Julian Lennon's "Too Late for Goodbye." My family isn't convinced. Can you verify this for me?

M.U., Laguna Beach

A: Your credibility remains intact. Yes, both performers went the "total track" route, meaning both vocals and music were blended with the performers' lip-syncing. It was up to all the performers to make an "artistic determination" to either do it this way or sing it live to insure giving their best performance on that occasion.

Q: Is the Ellen Foley on NBC's "Night Court" (Atty. Billie Young) the ex-rock 'n' roll singer who, among other things, backed up the singer Meat Loaf on "Bat Out of Hell," his biggest album?

L.B., Reseda

A: Right!

Q: Recalling what my late husband once told me, I told a friend, while watching a rerun of "The Honeymooners," that Jackie Gleason had his own band at one time. She didn't believe me. Now I can't find anyone to back me up. Was my husband just kidding me?

F.C., San Gabriel

A: According to several biography sources, the answer is no. However, Gleason has composed music (including his theme, "Melancholy Serenade," 1953) and conducted orchestras making albums.

Q: Are Jan Smithers of "WKRP in Cincinnati" and Marcia Strassman of "Welcome Back Kotter" (and one of Hawkeye's nurse girlfriends in "MASH") related?

A.W., Pasadena

A: Although these two attractive brunettes could be sisters, they are not related.

Q: Did Julie Harris, my favorite star on "Knots Landing," have a lead role in the movie "The Haunting"? I saw it many years ago as a child and it scared the socks off me!

K.M., Reseda

A: Yes, it was Harris in that hair-raising 1963 chiller, along with Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson and Russ Tamblyn.

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