Q. What can you tell me about Bill Fagerbakke, who plays the dumb football player on "Coach"? There was a drama student by the same name who performed in college productions when I was a student at the University of Idaho. Is this the same man? - J.K., Stanton, Calif.
A. Same fellow. Fagerbakke was born in Fontana, Calif., but was raised in rural Rupert, Idaho. He went to the University of Idaho on a football scholarship but a knee injury ended that. He tried out for a college production of "Godspell" as a lark, liked the work and switched to theater arts as his major. He did graduate work in theater at Southern Methodist, then went to New York where his brother Steve Groff was working. He acted in off-Broadway and regional theater, made his movie bow in "Perfect Strangers" and did commercials. "Coach" is his first TV series. He's married to Canadian actress Catherine McClenahan.Q. My friends and I are very unhappy with the many changes in "General Hospital," especially all the environmental brainwashing. Who can we contact to complain.? - T.E., Georgetown, Texas.
A. "GH" ratings were going into the dumpster last winter, so ABC laid out big bucks to rehire executive producer Gloria Monty, who had bossed the soap opera during the 1980 glory years of Luke and Laura and off-the-wall storylines. Monty's mission, she says, is to bring the show into the 1990s with more realism and current issues, among them, the environment. "You can't go into a home without hearing about it," she says. Write Monty, ABC Television Center, 1938 N. Gower St., Hollywood, Calif. 90028.
Q. I heard that Jeanne Cooper, of "The Young and the Restless," is Tom Selleck's mother. - J.H., Watertown, N.Y.
A. Wrong hunk. Cooper is the mother of Corbin Bernsen of "L.A. Law."
Q. After three albums that didn't sell, how come all of a sudden '50s-style rocker Chris Isaak is a hit?
A. Although critics loved his debut album in 1985, and '50s stars like Roy Orbison praised him as "something from the old days," Isaak soon found he wasn't commercial enough for pop radio and MTV. But that all changed after director David Lynch's request for "hypnotically instrumental" Isaak songs for his movie "Wild at Heart" (which, despite Cannes Film Festival honors last year, flopped in the United States). Last fall, an Atlanta radio station started playing Isaak's "Wicked Game" from the movie soundtrack. Suddenly, the song put "Heart Shaped World," an album that Warner Bros. had released a year and a half earlier, in the Top Ten. (Rolling Stone, 4/18)
Q. Isn't Bridget Fonda tired of playing wise-cracking sexpots?
A. Not yet. "There's something about a girl who's free and bad . . . that I love," says Fonda, 26, daughter of Peter and niece of Jane. Her films include "Scandal," "Strapless" and Roger Corman's "Frankenstein Unbound." Her forthcoming half-dozen films are heavier. In "Out of the Rain," she plays an incest victim turned murderer, and she's just begun filming "Single White Female," a thriller about a woman who advertises for a roommate. (Premiere, March, and Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith, 4/5)
Q. Is the actor's real name Keanu Reeves?
A. "Keanu" (pronounced key-AH-noo) is Hawaiian for "cool breeze over the mountains." It was given to him by his Chinese Hawaiian dad and English mom. Reeves, 26, ("Tune in Tomorrow," "Parenthood," "Dangerous Liaisons") was born in Beirut and reared in Canada. (Stacy Jenel Smith, 3/16)
Q. What's the marital status of John Malkovich?
A. Let's just say he has a reputation as an actor who romances his co-workers. Remember his affair with Michelle Pfeiffer, his co-star in "Dangerous Liaisons?" That fling put the kibosh on his longtime marriage to actress Glenne Headly (Tess in "Dick Tracy"). Apparently, he is up to his old ways again. Malkovich's current paramour is Nicolette Peyran, the second assistant director for "The Sheltering Sky," in which he co-starred with Debra Winger. Their daughter was born in November. (Robin Adams Sloan, 2/26)
Q. What's the story on Richard Gere's girlfriend?
A. Actually, model Cindy Crawford, 24, whom Gere, 41, has been squiring around for three years, is from fairly offbeat stock. She has the traditional credentials of a Midwesterner from downstate Illinois. But her father, she says, is still in his 40s and is married to one of her high-school classmates. "We're kind of liberal," Crawford explains. (Robin Adams Sloan, 3/31/)
Q. Whatever happened to singer Abbe Lane, who was married to Xavier Cugat and was his sexy vocalist?
A. These days she's a lady of leisure as the wife of millionaire Perry Leff, an intimate of the Reagans and part of the pack of moneyed types that includes Walter and Lee Annenberg. She attended Nancy Reagan's small select birthday party and, like everybody, is writing a novel. (Robin Adams Sloan, 2/21)
Q. Tell me about Ben Cross of "Dark Shadows": age, married, what else he's been in. Where can I write him? - S.K., Dearborn Heights, Mich.
A. Cross is 43, married and most famous for his 1981 movie debut in the Oscar-winning movie "Chariots of Fire." Most of his stage and movie credits have been in his native England but the U.S. has seen him on TV in "The Flame Trees of Thicka," "Coming Out of the Ice," "The Far Pavilions" and "The Citadel." Write: NBC-TV, 3000 W. Alamdea Ave., Burbank, Calif. 91523.
Q. Tell me what else Dale Midkiff has been in other than "The Marla Hanson Story" and "Sins of the Mother." He looks familar. - L.M.L., Drexel Hill, Pa.
A. Maryland native Midkiff, 29, may be best known for playing Elvis Presley in the 1988 miniseries "Elvis and Me." But he's also been seen in "The Tracey Thurman Story," as young J.R. Ewing in "Dallas: The Early Years" and the short-lived NBC series "Dream Street," all on TV; and in features "Street Walkin'," "Casual Sex" and "Pet Sematary."
Q. I'd like my husband to be on "Wheel of Fortune." I'm trying to do it as a surprise for him. How difficult is it? - R.H., Decatur, Ill.
A. As a surprise, impossible. Contestants have to try out for the show. If there's a contestant search in your area, you could enter his name. But it's up to him to show he has the right stuff. Otherwise, he has to be in California to try out.
Q. I'd like to know where Sinbad, of "A Different World," was born and his real name. And where can I write him? - L.B., Detroit.
A. His last name is Adkins and he won't tell his first name. He insists on being called Sinbad, a nickname from childhood. He was born in Benton Harbor, Mich. For his address, see NBC-TV above.
Q. Help me settle a bet with my sister over two questions: What is the year that Frances Bavier, Aunt Bee of "The Andy Griffith Show," died, and what color eyes does Jaclyn Smith have, blue or brown? - K.C., Marlton, N.J.
A. Bavier was 86 when she died in December 1989. Smith's biography lists her eyes as green.
Q. I'm not sure where to go for an answer to this: I have a Flying Finger of Fate Award from "Laugh-In." It was given to my grandfather and I got it when he died. Is there any way to find out what he got it for? - S.E., Lafayette, Colo.
A. Too bad grandfather didn't leave an explanation, but perhaps he wanted to forget what won him the award (usually an odd or embarrassing incident). George Schlatter was producer of the series for most of its run. It's possible he might help. Write: George Schlatter Productions, 8321 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90048.
Q. Where is Farrah Fawcett orginally from? I say she is from Ohio, probably Canfield. My boyfriend says "No way." - J.H., Youngstown, Ohio.
A. No way. Fawcett's a Texan, born and raised in Corpus Christi. She was a freshman at the University of Texas in Austin, when she was invited to Hollywood for a screen test. The rest, as they say, is history.
Q. There was a series in the '70s, "Rich Man, Poor Man." Rich man was Peter Strauss. Was poor man Nick Nolte or Gary Busey? - M. & M., Hazel Park, Mich.
A. Nolte gained his star in the 1976 miniseries. He wasn't in the series "Rich Man, Poor Man - Book II" that followed and flopped.
Q. I've become very interested in the old time radio serial of the 1930s and '40s "Vic and Sade." Do you know of any articles from the time about the program and its characters that I might look up in my local library? - L.C., West Bloomfield, Mich.
A. "Vic and Sade" bowed in 1932 and departed in 1944. (A 1946 revival lasted only a few weeks.) The whimsical show about the "homefolks who lived in the little house halfway up in the next block" is a tough one to explain but critics considered it one of radio's finest shows. There are probably many articles about it. Your reference librarian can help you check in the listing of periodicals. But a good reference to the show, and other radio programs, is "Tune in Yesterday: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio 1925-1976" by John Dunning.
Q. Where can I write to the darling little boy in "Shane." I've been told he was on TV in "Route 66." I've never been so moved by a child actor and wonder if he has succeeded in his career. - M.C., Chicago.
A. Brandon DeWilde was 7 when he made his stage bow in "The Member of the Wedding" in 1949 and was the first child win theater's Donaldson Award. He made his movie bow in "Wedding" in 1952 and followed with "Shane" in 1953, for which he had an Oscar nomination. He did a TV series, "Jamie," 1953-54, and several other features, including, "All Fall Down" and "Hud." DeWilde was 30 when he died in an auto accident in 1972. ("Route 66" starred Martin Milner and George Maharis, later replaced by Glenn Corbett.)
- Send your questions to Celebrity Questions, Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Mich. 48231.