Q: I was watching "Going My Way" the other day and I have always wondered who played the old woman who was supposed to be Barry Fitzgerald's mother.
A: That was character actress Adeline De Walt Reynolds (1862-1961). After an earlier life that reportedly included widowhood, the San Francisco earthquake and college in her 60s, she took up acting and had her first film role in the movie "Come Live With Me" when she was 78.
Q: Allstate features an island in one of their commercials. Can you tell me more about this island such as location, population, etc.?
A: The island was so small and charming that some viewers wondered if it was even real. Fact-checking site Snopes.com looked into this and determined there was an actual island although "it appeared that a wide shot of the island may have been altered in the editing process in order to give it a cleaner look." The island is Ona, in Norway, with a population of 16. VisitNorway.com notes that Ona is Norway's southernmost fishing village and famous for the lighthouse Ona Fyr: "It is possible to enter the lighthouse, and from the top you will be rewarded with a fantastic view of the ocean and the mainland. In the area, you will find a small summer cafe, two pottery workshops, a craft shop, a chapel and a long, white sandy beach. The surroundings offer highly memorable experiences, with peaceful spots where you can enjoy the silence and tranquility."
'Rockford' can't be duplicated
Q: Back in the late 1990s there was a rumor that they were thinking of remaking "The Rockford Files" with Dermot Mulroney as Jim Rockford. Can you find anything about why the remake did not happen?
A: "The Rockford Files" is a TV classic, thanks to engaging writing and, of course, James Garner's performance. But Hollywood is always looking for ways to reuse old ideas, and "Rockford" was not spared such treatment. In 2010 (later than you remember), a new version of the show was planned with Dermot Mulroney as private-eye Rockford and an off-camera team including Steve Carell and "House" mastermind David Shore. But the result, said Josef Adalian of Vulture.com, was "a pilot so bad it seemed like a crime." The pilot, Adalian wrote in 2010, was "more rehash than reinvention," with an underwhelming performance by Mulroney and lackluster direction. A recutting improved it, but not enough to get the show picked up. And a top NBC executive who wanted to see the new "Rockford" happen departed her job in 2011.
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