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CELEBRITY Q&A

Q. What is filmmaker Spike Lee's real name and where can I write him? - S.W., Buffalo, NY.

A. Formally, he's Shelton Lee but he's been Spike since he was a youngster. Write in care of Universal Studios, Universal City, Calif. 91608.Q. I have written twice for a picture of Richard Greico for my granddaughter and have received nothing. When I was a young fan I would write for a picture and I always received one. Why haven't I received an answer? Isn't it an honor for an actor to know their fans love them? - Mrs. J.S., Hemet, Calif.

A. How actors regard their fans depends on the actor. Many of the younger generation consider fans and fan letters a bother. In some cases, the most popular actors those teenagers adore get so much mail that handling it is an overwhelming task. (John Travolta once put his mail in his garage and never did get around to looking at it.) In the days of the studio system, the studio publicity department handled the mail, sent out the pictures and the autographs. These days, it is up to the actor to make arrangements to answer the mail.

Q. What can you tell me about Daniel Day-Lewis, of "My Left Foot"? - S.S., Detroit.

A. Lewis, 33, is the son of the late Cecil Day-Lewis, Britain's poet laureate, and actress Jill Balcon. He made his movie debut at 12 in "Sunday, Bloody Sunday." He studied at London's Old Vic Theater School and worked with the Bristol Old Vic and the Royal Shakespeare Company before he made his London theater bow in 1981 and his adult movie debut in 1982 in "Ghandi." Among his other features: "My Beautiful Landerette" and "A Room with A View."

Q. Can you tell me the leading lady in "Kiss Me, Kate" in the 1940s? I think her first name was Ann. - M.M.R., Scranton, Pa.

A. You probably mean Anne Jeffreys, who starred in the 1949 national touring company of Cole Porter's "Kate." Patricia Morrison created the role on Broadway in 1948. Kathryn Grayson was Kate in the 1953 movie.

Q. I'm trying to identify a movie made in the late '30s. It starred Ginger Rogers and Katherine Hepburn and a host of starlets (Eve Arden, Lucille Ball) who went on to greater fame. The movie was set in a Broadway women's hotel and was about their efforts to get into show business. Was it "Stage Door"? Is it on video? - W.C.B., Ft. Gaines, Ga.

A. It was. The 1937 movie version of the Edna Ferber-George S. Kauffman play still gets applause from critics. It's listed as available on cassette.

Q. I recently saw Rose Marie Amsterdam, or Baby Rose Marie, in "International House" with W.C. Fields. Can you give me some information on her? - A.C.P., Park Ridge, Ill.

A. Her name was Rose Marie Mazetta but she dropped her last name when she was just 4 and never used another name. As Baby Rose Marie, she had a successful radio and vaudeville career as well as doing a few movies. She had a husky deep voice and many radio listeners thought she was an adult, or a midget. At 12 she retired, then came back as an adult to work on stage and in TV, most notably in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "Hollywood Squares." Now, 68, she still performs an occasional guest spot on TV.

Q. I heard years ago that Tom Jones and Engleburt Humperdinck were brothers or half-brothers. Is this the case? - J.J., Salt Lake City, Utah.

A. They're not related. But the pair from the British Isles do have similar histories. Thomas Jones Woodward, now 51, and Arnold George Dorsey, now 55, both hit it big at about the same time and both were managed to stardom by the same manager, Gordon Mills. He changed Dorsey's name to that of a little-known German composer to attract attention. Jones was singing under the name Tommy Scott until it was changed to cash in on the notoriety of the movie "Tom Jones."

Q. I have bet that Richard Dreyfuss is young - early 50s. My friend insists early 60s. - N.S., Southfield, Mich.

A. He's even younger - 43. He was born Oct. 29, 1947.

Q. My husband swears that Conrad Birdie in the movie "Bye, Bye Birdie" was played by Conway Twitty before he took the name Conway Twitty. Will you settle this long-time argument? - Mrs. D.E., Buffalo, N.Y.

A. Your husband has a good imagination. Twitty, real name Harold Jenkins, changed his name years before the 1963 movie, a gentle spoof of Elvis Presley's farewell to civilian life before he went into the Army. Twitty has made several movies, as Conway Twitty, but they were pot boilers like "Sex Kittens Go to College" and "College Confidential." Jesse Pearson played Birdie.

Q. It has been almost 20 years since I have seen "Porgy and Bess." I say that Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis Jr., Pearl Bailey and Dorothy Dandridge began their careers with this movie. Is it available on video? - N.H., Atlanta, Ga.

A. All of those you mention were well-established performers when they made the 1959 movie version of Gershwin's classic folk opera. Poitier had been in movies 10 years, with credits like "The Blackboard Jungle" and "The Defiant Ones." Davis and Bailey were stage, nightclub, movie and TV stars. Dandridge made her movie debut as a child in 1937, established herself as a nightclub singer and made a few other movies, including "Carmen Jones," before "Porgy and Bess." It is not listed as on video.

Q. How can Prince Philip stand walking a few steps behind his wife, Queen Elizabeth, everywhere they go?

A. It's just a job, really. Officially peripheral, Philip is heavily influential in the British royal family's personal life and with the quiet, introverted queen, according to Roland Flamini's biography, "Sovereign: Elizabeth II and the Windsor Dynasty" (Delacorte). His brash style never quite fit into courtly circles, Flamini writes.

Q. Is Darren E. Burrows, who plays Ed on CBS's "Northern Exposure," really an American Indian like his character?

A. Burrows, a native of Winfield, Kan., is part Cherokee and part Apache. After high school, he joined his brother Billy Drago ("The Untouchables"), who runs a professional actors' workshop with his wife in California. Burrows has appeared in the movies "976-EVIL," "Casualties of War," "Class of 1999" and "Cry-Baby," plus TV and stage productions.