Q. My son and I are arguing about Van Johnson. My son thinks he's dead. I've bet $5 he isn't. What is he doing now? - G.J., Tucson, Ariz.
A. Collect. Johnson, now 74, is alive and busy doing some theater and TV ("Murder, She Wrote") and has had success as a painter.Q. Please help. What can you tell me about the actress who plays Taylor on "The Bold and the Beautiful"? I'm usually good with faces but this has me stumped and it's driving me crazy. - T.G., Inkster, Mich.
A. Hunter Tylo's been around the soaps for years as Robin in "All My Children" and Marina in "Days of Our Lives," She's married to another familar soap face, Michael Tylo, who's been in "The Guiding Light" as Quentin Chamberlain, "All My Children" as Matt Connelly and "General Hospital" as Charlie Prince. He's now co-starring in the syndicated series "Zorro."
Q. Why did they take "Generations" off the air? It was the best of soaps. When will it return? - J.M., Missoula, Mon.
A. NBC dropped the soap Jan. 25, just two months before its second anniversary. The serial never found a big enough audience to get it out of the basement in the daytime ratings. There has been talk of syndication but the best bet is reruns on cable and that isn't certain.
Q. Tell me about Steven Seagal, who was in "Above the Law." - D.S., Wichita, Kan.
A. He's 40, and getting his biography straight is tough. He tells many different stories and contradicts himself. Here, more or less, is what is known: He was born in Michigan (he says Detroit, his mother says Lansing), grew up in Fullerton, Calif., and went to Japan, where he studied martial arts. He's done security work and opened martial arts schools. His Hollywood students helped him get a role in "Above the Law," his 1987 movie bow. He's been married twice, currently to actress Kelly LeBrock, and has 3 children, one by his first wife.
Q. Is it possible to get a tape of "Stella Dallas" with Barbara Stanwyck and Anne Shirley? It is of sentimental value to me. - H.B., Westminster, Calif.
A. The 1937 verssion of Olive Higgins Prouty's weeper about mother love and sacrifice is listed as on tape. Check your video store. It might have to be special ordered. It's considered the best version of the tale made first in 1925 as a silent and remade in 1990 as "Stella" with Bette Midler.
Q. My friend says Alan Ladd committed suicide with a pistol. I say he died of a heart attack. - R.B., Baldwyn, Mississippi.
A. Ladd died in 1964 of an overdose of barbituates mixed with alcohol. The conclusion was that it could have been intentional. Ladd had nearly died 14 months earlier from a self-inflicted gun-shot. He was 51 when he died.
Q. Whatever happened to Mantan Moreland who played the chauffer in the Charlie Chan movies? - V.G., Detroit.
A. Like many black character actors of the 1930s and 40s, Moreland was typed as a servant. He did more than 100 movies, from his bow in 1939's "The Spirit of Youth" to "The Young Nurses" in 1973, the year he died at 71.
Q. I was thinking about Shirley Temple Black and her marriages, first to John Agar, then Connie Hilton, then Charles Black. Did she ever have any children? I've never heard of any. - J.L.B., Tallahassee, Fla.
A. Hotelier Conrad Hilton was never married to Temple. (He did marry Zsa Zsa Gabor and his son, Nicky Hilton, was Elizabeth Taylor's first husband.) Black has 3 children: Susan, by Agar, and Charles Jr. and Lori by Black.
Q. Why is John Cusack considered "poison" by the press?
A. He's an actor who doesn't countenance what he considers either fluff or stupid questions, so he hasn't made it easy for some interviewers, including "Good Morning America" co-host Joan Lunden. An interview with her three years ago (which included Tim Robbins, Cusack's co-star in "Tapeheads") was never aired because the actors' answers were considered "obnoxious" by GMA. So at 24, Cusack is well-versed in professional ups and downs. "You can never trust writers," he says. "And you can never trust actors. It's all a web of lies and deceit and evil."
Q. Do romance novelist Judith Krantz and her film-producer husband conspire to make her such a mega-success?
A. Krantz, best-selling author of "Scruples," "Princess Daisy" and "Dazzle," among others, bridles at the suggestion that she writes books with TV miniseries in mind. "It would cramp my style," she says. Though Steve Krantz declined to produce "Scruples" because of anticipated conflicts with his wife over creativity and control, the success of that miniseries prompted him to produce the other TV adaptations. "I think Steve makes a special effort not to inhibit me," she says. "It would be fatal to trim my sails."
Q. Are Doc Severinsen's flamboyant clothes on "The Tonight Show" his own or from wardrobe stock?
A. The gaudy garb belongs to the band leader. He selects most of the attire from Maxfield, a trendy Hollywood boutique, then donates them to charities.
Q. What attracted the American-born Lisa Halaby, now Queen Noor, to Jordan's King Hussein?
A. It was one of those love-at-first-sight encounters, and the May-December couple courted for only six weeks before marrying in 1978. Born 39 years ago in Washington to a prominent Arab-American family, she attended prep school and Princeton, where she protested the Vietnam War and was a cheerleader. Later, business and family connections took her to Jordan. She converted to Islam, has four children with the 56-year-old Hussein and is stepmother to his eight other children. Lately, she has been more visible internationally as a staunch defender of her husband's politics and Jordan's future.
Q. The boy from "Home Alone" is an adorable child. When did he start acting? What can you tell me about him? How does his family feel about his success? - T.S., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
A. Macauly Culkin, 10, is one of seven kids of former stage actor Kit Culkin (brother to actress Bonnie Bedelia) and wife Pat. All the Culkin kids have acted, but Mac, who's been at it since he was 4, is the most successful. He was in five features, "Uncle Buck," "Rocket Gibralter," "See You in the Morning," "Born on the Fourth of July" (he was edited out) and "Jacob's Ladder," before "Home," and recently completed a cameo (with brother Kieran) in "Only the Lonely." He lives in New York and goes in fifth grade at a parochial school. His dad recently quit his own career to manage Mac's.