Stepfanie Kramer (Dee Dee McCall) isn't likely to return

to the "Hunter" television series because of Fred Dryer.

By Bettelou PetersonKnight-Ridder Newspapers Q. "Hunter" is my favorite show. I've watched every episode. Will McCall ever come back? Why did she leave the show? - G.B., Chatsworth, Calif.A. Working with star Fred Dryer, who's also co-executive producer of "Hunter," is not easy. Stepfanie Kramer (Dee Dee McCall) decided she'd had it and left the show. The reason given: She wanted to pursue her singing career. (But she hasn't been singing much yet.) Dryer has had two partners since. Darlene Fluegel started the season and lasted until January, when she was ousted for Lauren Lane.

Q. What happened to the original Mamie on "The Young and the Restless"? Why was she replaced? - B.S., Detroit.

A. Marquerite Ray lost her job as Mamie when, in the words of the producers, it was decided "the character is going in a different direction." Veronica Redd took over the role.

Q. On "Another World" years ago, Sally Frame had a son named David, who was later played by the same actor who now plays Ken on the soap. Am I right? If so, why would they cast the same actor in a different role? - B.F., W. Bloomfield, Mich.

A. Soaps move in wonderful ways. Characters come and go, revived from the dead, discovered to be long-lost sons. And casting directors don't seem to have any idea of the long memories for faces of soap addicts. Lewis Arlt, who played David Thatcher, 1983-84, and also played Ken Jordan, was scheduled to be written out of "World" in February.

Q. Settle a bet between my daughter and me. Was Anna, of "General Hospital," ever on "Days of Our Lives"? - M.B., Troy, Mich.

A. "GH" is English actress Finola Hughes' first and only soap. She has done some other U.S. TV, "L.A. Law" and the TV movie "Secret Passions," as well as British TV movies "The Master of Ballentrae" and "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" seen in the United States.

Q. Please tell me about Andy Garcia, when and where he was born, his family and his career. - D.B., Westland, Mich.

A. Garcia is 35, born in Havana, from which his parents fled when Andy was 5. He wanted to be a basketball player but tried theater in college. In California, he started in the first episode of "Hill Street Blues" and made his biggest splash in movies before "The Godfather III" in "The Untouchables." Among his other features: "Black Rain," "Eight Million Ways to Die," "Stand and Deliver." He is married, father of two.

Q. In a recent "Hunter," Joann Molinsky (Darlene Fluegel) was killed. What was the real reason for her exit from the series? - J.F., Aurora, Colo.

A. See above. Bossman Dryer wasn't happy with her.

Q. Who would I write to request that "North and South" be shown again? - S.R., Lockport, N.Y.

A. There's no easy answer. Both parts of "North and South" have had two network runs and are available to local stations for repeats. Miniseries aren't in demand by local stations because of difficulty in programming them, but a cable channel might do the honors.

Q. What is Ken Curtis' real name? Was his father ever sheriff of Bent County, Colo.? - A.R., Sedgewick, Colo.

A. He's Curtis Gates, born in Lamar, Colo., and dad was a sheriff.

Q. Tell me about Ray Combs of "Family Feud." Where can we write? - M.J., Detroit.

A. Combs, 34, is from Hamilton, Ohio, and studied at Miami (Ohio) University. After serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he worked in Indiana as a stand-up comic. In Los Angeles, he warmed-up audiences at sitcom tapings and for "Tonight." A spot on that show lead to "Feud." He's married, father of five. Write: CBS-TV, 7800 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Q. We enjoyed hearing Howard Keel in concert. We remember seeing him in "Oklahoma!" in New York in January 1946. We also know he is in "Dallas." But fill us in on his background. - Mrs. V.V., Longmont, Colo.

A. Keel, real name Harry Clifford, was born April 13, 1917, in Gillespie, Ill. He started singing in restaurants while working at Douglas Aircraft. He made his singing stage debut in "Carousel" in 1945, then did "Oklahoma!" in London in 1948. He made his movie debut in Britain in a minor role in "The Small Voice" in 1948. His movie career was divided between straight dramatic parts and some top musicals like "Annie Get Your Gun," "Kiss Me, Kate" and "Kismet."

Q. I'd like to know about the cast of "Laredo." What are they doing? - K.V., Struthers, Ohio.

A. Neville Brand, Peter Brown, William Smith, Phillip Carey and Robert Wolders starred in the 1965-67 western. Brand has been one of the movies' busiest villains; Brown and Carey have been regulars in several soap operas; Smith did several more TV series (best-known role was Falconetti in "Rich Man, Poor Man"); Wolders was best known as the late Merle Oberon's long-time companion.

Q. I adore Billy Connolly of "Head of the Class." Give some info on him. Where can I write? - P.K., Warren, Mich.

A. Scottish comedian Connolly's 47, married second wife Pam Stephenson (seen briefly on "Saturday Night Live") in 1990. Between them they have five children. A native of Glasgow, he did odd jobs, got into show business with a folk band then turned comic in 1971. He's toured the world with his act. If "Class" finally graduates after this season, ABC is said to be planning a new sitcom for Connolly.

Q. In "Benson," what state is the governor the governor of? My friend said California. I say Missouri. Who buys dinner or do we starve? - J.W., Tucson, Ariz.

A. You starve. It was a fictitious state. And a good thing for the real 50, too.

Q. Is James Garner married and does he have a family? - M.L.W., Belleville, Mich.

A. Jim and Lois Garner were married in 1956. They have a daughter, Gigi.

Q. When are they ever going to rerun "I Remember Mama"? I enjoyed watching the show in the 1950s. - Mrs. T., New Castle, Del.

A. The series was "Mama," seen 1949-1956, based on Kathryn Forbes' novel "Mama's Bank Account" and the play and movie, "I Remember Mama," adapted from it. But, like much of early TV, it was telecast live and only a few episodes were preserved in kinescope, TV's pre-tape recording method. Even Dick Van Patten, who played Nels, has said he can't get a record of this early TV work.

Q. Is singer-songwriter John Hiatt enjoying newfound fame because he kicked booze?

A. Partly. Though Hiatt is revered among his peers - Bonnie Raitt, Bob Dylan, Conway Twitty and Iggy Pop are among those who have recorded his songs - he has, until recently, been a fairly invisible celebrity. "Getting sober was the start of it," says Hiatt, who sought help for his alcoholism when his wife committed suicide. (He has since remarried.) "Really, the biggest change in my life is just the reversal from trying to harm yourself." His 10th solo album, "Stolen Moments" (A&M), conveys that depth of experience, while his material these days seems to accentuate the positive.

Q. I've wondered frequently about that wonderful actor Robert Montgomery. Is he alive, dead or recluse? - C.S., Cherry Hill, NJ.

A. Montgomery's last feature as an actor was 1950's "Eye Witness." In 1960, he was producer/director of "The Gallant Hours." In between, he produced his highly praised TV series "Robert Montgomery Presents" and won a Tony for directing the stage play "The Desperate Hours." At the same time, he acted as communications consultant to many corporations and politicians, including President Eisenhower. Montgomery had been retired for some years when he died in 1981.

Q. Back in the 1950s, I remember a movie called "My Cousin Rachel." I think it starred Olivia de Havilland. Is it available on video? Will it ever be on TV again? - R.A.M.W., Atlanta.

A. The 1952 movie based on Daphne DuMaurier's novel co-starred Richard Burton as a young man who can't decide if his cousin Rachel (de Havilland) is guilty of murder. It's not listed yet as on video.

Q. Give the lowdown on Jon Hensley, Holden Snyder on "As the World Turns": where he was born, where he lives, age, maritial status and where I can write him. - A.S., Detroit.

A. Hensley was born Aug. 26, 1965, in Browns Mills, N.J. He went to New York University for a year, then tried acting. He played Brody Price on "One Life to Live," in 1982, first appeared as Synder in `ATWT," 1985-89, and returned to the role last summer. He's single. Write: CBS-TV, 51 W. 52nd Street., New York, NY 10019.

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