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The kids who did voices for 'Peanuts' now in 50sToday on TV

By David Inman

The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal

Published: Thursday, Dec. 25 2008 12:00 a.m. MST

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" first aired 43 years ago.

United Features Syndicate

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Question: I was 7 years old in December 1965 when "A Charlie Brown Christmas" first aired. My question is: What are the names of the children who did the voices of the "Peanuts" characters, and what are they doing today?

Answer: Well, let's open the old memory book and take a look-see, all righty?

Peter Robbins, who supplied the voice of the Charlie Brown character, provided the voice in movies and TV specials until 1969. He's now 52 and, at last report, was working in real estate in Southern California.

Tracy Stratford, who supplied the voice of Lucy, dropped out of show business in 1966, and her whereabouts are unknown. She's 53.

Christopher Shea, who was the voice of Linus, lives in Southern California and is 50. He dropped out of show biz in 1971.

And Bill Melendez, who provided the "voice" of Snoopy, produced Charlie Brown TV specials until 2006. He died Sept. 2 at 91.

Question: I will indeed think you are incredible if you can help me out with the title of a movie early in Christopher Reeve's career. He played a part where he had gone to prison for someone in his family. He then went to work on the farm of a widow with children. He was again accused of a crime by the townspeople. Can you tell me the title and if it's on DVD?

Answer: That's the 1993 TV movie "Morning Glory," which also stars Deborah Raffin and Nina Foch, with a great performance by Dean Regan as "Reporter No. 1." It isn't yet on video.

Question: I would like to know who performs the music in the L.L. Bean Christmas commercial.

Answer: The song is "Bewley in Grey," performed by Bibio.

Question: I'm looking for the name of a movie set during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I remember it starred Susan Hayward. She played a woman married to a Japanese diplomat, and it was about the challenges they faced. To the best of my memory, it was called "Hands Across the Sea." Just how bad is my memory, and if I am right, is it on DVD or VHS?

Answer: Well, you got the war right. The movie is 1961's "Bridge to the Sun," with Carroll Baker and James Shigeta as the couple. It's not on video or DVD.

Question: I remember a version of "The Twilight Zone" from the early 1980s. One segment was about a man who had a language problem and couldn't communicate with anyone. Can you tell me the title of that segment? Is it on DVD?

Answer: What you remember is the 1985 revival of "The Twilight Zone," which ran on CBS from 1985-87. That episode was from the fall of 1985, titled "Wordplay," and it featured Robert Klein as a man whose inability to understand words closely resembles that of someone who has suffered a stroke. Annie Potts played his wife. It's on DVD.

Question: When I was a wee lad in the late 1970s, I saw a movie on TV that was a version of "Beauty and the Beast." It wasn't the animated movie, and it wasn't the TV show with Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. Can you help me?

Answer: I'm thinking you saw the version that aired as a segment of "Hallmark Hall of Fame" in 1976. In that version, George C. Scott played the Beast and Trish Van Devere played Belle. It was critically acclaimed and very memorable. Alas, it isn't on video or DVD.

Question: My question is not about an old TV show, but a new one. I had been watching "Life on Mars" since it started a few months ago. Great show! Anyway, it used to come on Thursday nights, but on Thanksgiving night it wasn't on. And it hasn't been on since then. Could you tell me when/if it will start again?

Answer: In their infinite wisdom, the honchos at ABC have yanked "Life on Mars" from the schedule, but it is scheduled to return Jan. 28.

Question: There was a movie several years ago starring Clint Eastwood. At the end of the movie he was driving a bus into a town. I think there was a lady in the bus with him, and the townspeople were waiting for him, with guns, and they shot the bus up. Of course, neither he nor the girl was killed. Do you remember the name of this movie?

Answer: No, it's the 1977 film "The Gauntlet," with Eastwood as a cop who commandeers a bus to transport a prostitute (Sondra Locke) to testify against the mob because, well, are you gonna tell him he can't?

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