Q. An actor named Frederic Downs, 81, died recently. I read he spent 10 years on "Days of Our Lives." What character did he play and when? - M.F.W., Vancouver, Wa.
A. NBC staffers could find no record of Downs being on "Days," although he is listed in the book "Total Television" as playing a character named Hank on the soap (no dates). Perhaps a fan can set the record straight. Although he never was a household name, Downs' 50-plus year career took him from the stage ("Three Penny Opera" with Lotte Lenya), to the screen ("Terror from the Year 5000," "Splendor in the Grass," Experiment in Terror") and TV ("Perry Mason," "Bewitched," "Night Gallery"). The Texas-born actor died April 24.Q. My 17-year-old daughter says Janeane Garofalo was never part of the cast of "Saturday Night Live." I say she was. - T.P., Albany, N.Y.
A. Garofalo was on "SNL" but just for a short time. She joined the show in the fall of 1994, its 19th season, but stayed only until midseason, expressing frustration at the male-dominated comedy sketches. The comedian is probably better remembered for her TV roles on the short-lived "Ben Stiller Show," as Paula the talent booker on "The Larry Sanders Show," and, more recently, as Jerry's alter-ego fiancee on "Sein-feld." She's done several movies, including "The Truth About Cats and Dogs," co-starring with Uma Thurman. Besides her ongoing stand-up comedy, Garo-falo has a number of movie roles coming up, including another Ben Stiller ("Reality Bites") project tentatively titled "Permanent Midnight."
Q. My sixth-grade class recently read a book called "The Westing Game." The teacher thought there was a made-for-TV movie version of the book. Is there a movie? If so, how can I see it? - L.C., Garland, Texas
A. There was a 1997 Hallmark TV movie starring Ray Walston and Ellen Raskin. Check an area Hallmark store for the video.
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