Q. Why does nice-looking Tyne Daly let herself stay frumpy?

A. Like many people, she has been fighting the battle of the bulge for some time. She wasn't helped by her role in the old TV series "Cagney and Lacey," in which, as a down-to-earth, no-nonsense police officer, she didn't need to be svelte. That also was the case with her starring role of Mama Rose in the recent Broadway hit revival of "Gypsy." But with these roles behind her, Daly has been busy shedding pounds. At the Kennedy Center Honors last month in Washington, she belted out songs in a slinky dress and newly blond hair.Q. Are Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke breaking up?

A. "The tabloids had us splitting up before we were even married," McRaney says of the attention paid him and his wife, Delta Burke of "Designing Women." The co-star of CBS's "Major Dad" still grimaces when he reads these stories and others. "It's sort of like being a homicide detective in that you don't really get used to it," he says. "You toughen to it." Meanwhile, the two are changing their schedules to have more time together.

Q. Does Paul McCartney have plans to finally retire?

A. Au contraire. After the success of his 1989 World Tour, his first in 13 years (it drew more than 2.8 million fans), McCartney is planning his World Tour Two for autumn. He also is composing, with Carl David, his first symphony for full orchestra and choir and is working on a new studio album. "I'm a ham. There's no doubt about it," says McCartney, 48. "As much as I try to retire, I keep thinking that it isn't me. I like getting out there. It's not that I get bored at home - really, it's the opposite. . . . Home life is a doddle, it's bliss, being in the countryside and free like that. . . . But I do think that I've now set my character to the extent that I can't just do that."

Q. It's hard to imagine, but wasn't Andy Garcia headed for a career in basketball when he converted to acting?

A. The Cuban-born Garcia, who plays hotheaded Vincent Mancini in "The Godfather, Part III," was actually floundering at Florida International University, too short for college basketball and earning mediocre grades. With nothing to lose, he tried out for a play. "It was time to grow up," he said. Since then Garcia, 34, has impressed audiences in the movies "Black Rain," "The Untouchables" and "Internal Affairs." He has found similarities, though, between the stage and the sport. "Acting is very much like a game of basketball," he says. "There's a moment-to-moment, spontaneous thing about it. You don't know what's going to happen."

Q. Everyone says I'm imagining things. Help me prove them wrong. I say Sandy Duncan once played "Peter Pan." In fact, I like it better than the Mary Martin version. - M.C., Buffalo, N.Y.

A. Duncan did do "Peter Pan" on stage and on tour. It was a 1980s production of the same 1950s play that Mary Martin did.

Q. Years ago, when Mary Martin co-hosted "Over Easy" on PBS, she started that the only version of "South Pacific" was the one she starred in with Ezio Pinza. I've seen excerpts of their performance, so I know it exists. Where could I get a copy? - K.S., Salt Lake City, Utah.

A. Excerpts from the original cast production of "South Pacific," starring Pinza and Martin, were seen on "The Ed Sullivan Show" but the entire production was never telecast.

Q. What's the age of Little Jimmy Dickens? When I was young, I listened to him on the radio on WLS-Chicago. Does Cousin Minnie Pearl have children? - E.H, Paris, Ill.

A. Dickens was 65 on Dec. 19. (He sang on radio stations in Beckley, W. Va.; Saginaw, Mich.; Dayton, Ohio; and Cincinnati before he joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1948. You probably heard him on WSM-Nashville.) Minnie Pearl, real name Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, now 78, and her husband have no children.

Q. Can you tell me, of all the principals in the original "The Wizard of Oz," who is still alive today? - P.A.P., Buffalo, N.Y.

A. A few of the Singer Midgets, who played Munchkins, are all that are left from the 1939 film. Judy Garland died in 1969; Ray Bolger, 1987; Bert Lahr, 1967; Jack Haley, 1979; Frank Morgan, 1979; Billie Burke, 1970; Margaret Hamilton, 1986; Charlie Grapewin, 1956.

Q. What happened to Ann Dvorak, who starred with John Wayne in "Flame of Barbary Coast," and what happened to Capucine, who starred with Wayne in "North to Alaska"? - D.E.L., Wichita, Kan.

A. Dvorak retired from movies in 1951, died at 67 in 1979. Capucine, real name Germaine Lefebvre, committed suicide at 67 in March 1990.

Q. Brad Lockerman of "General Hospital" is the most exciting newcomer to the soaps in years. Any info would be appreciated. - J.G., Tucson, Ariz.

A. Lockerman's no newcomer. He played Zed Diamond in "Capitol," his first professional acting job, 1983-87. He's from Milford, Conn., attended the University of Pittsburgh, studied acting in New York and Los Angeles and modeled to pay the bills. His "GH" job won't last as long as "Capitol." He's one of the characters returned producer Gloria Monty has jettisoned as she tries to improve the show's flagging ratings.

Q. Give me the address of the producers and writers of "As The World Turns." - N.E., McLaurel, N.J.

A. Laurence Caso is the executive producer, Douglas Marland is the head writer. Address: CBS-TV, 51 W. 52nd St., New York, N.Y. 10019.

Q. What became of Henry Travers" of "It's a Wonderful Life"? - D.H., W. Columbia, S.C.

A. Veteran character actor Travers started in movies in 1934 and acted in many top films. He had an Oscar nomination for "Mrs. Miniver" in 1942 but he's known now mostly for his work as the angel Clarence in the Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life." He was 91 when he died in 1965.

Q. After seeing Linda Ronstadt on "Saturday Night Live" recently my boyfriend commented about her age being "in the neighborhood of 52." I say she's 40-something." - C.H., Haddonfield, N.J.

A. Right, 43 to be exact.

Q. My parents have told me that Steve Martin and Martin Mull are brothers. My boyfriend strongly disagrees. Is it or is it not true? - S.J.S., Atlanta.

A. They're both comedian/actors but that's it.

Q. Tell me about Christopher Guest, who's been in "This Is Spinal Tap," "The Princess Bride" and "The Long Riders." - J.M., Buffalo, N.Y.

A. Guest, born Feb. 5, 1948, in New York, is as well known as a comedy writer as actor. He has written for radio ("The National Lampoon Radio Hour"), TV (an Emmy for a Lily Tomlin special) and movies. He's also written music for stage and screen. He does both series and comedy acting and was a member of the "Saturday Night Live" crew in 1984. He's married to actress Jamie Lee Curtis and they have a daughter, Annie, 4.

Q. What ever happened to Sophie Tucker? Did she ever make a movie or recordings? - R.O., Livonia, Mich.

A. Tucker, real name Sophie Abuza, started singing while helping as a waitress at the family hotel in Hartford, Conn. She took her stage name by adding "er" to her first husband's name, Tuck. She took the title of her autobiography from her signature song, "Some of These Days." Tucker made many recordings but they're vintage now and hard to find. "The Last of the Red Hot Mamas" was 79 when she died in 1966.

Q. What is actor Albert Finney doing these days? Does he have any children? - S.H., Philadelphia.

A. Finney, 54, has a son, Simon, 31. You can see Finney currently in "Miller's Crossing."

- Send your questions to Celebrity Questions, Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Mich. 48231.