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CELEBRITY Q&A: FRANK BONNER OF `WKRP'

Q. I'd like to know about Frank Bonner, of the "New WKRP in Cincinnati." - M.L., Resdea, Calif.

A. Bonner, real name Frank Woodrow Boers Jr., was born in Little Rock, Ark., Feb. 28, 1942. After high school, he spent four years in the Navy, then went into community theater and regional theater. His first TV role was Herb Tarleck in the original "WKRP," 1976-82. He's done two other series, "Sidekicks" and "Just the Ten of Us." Bonner's also a busy TV director. He's married and the father of two.Q. Can you tell me about Claude Brooks, of "True Colors"? Where can I write him? - S.C., Philadelphia.

A. New York-born Brooks is 22, a performer since he was 3 when he joined his mother in the Afro-Caribbean Children's Dance Company. He's worked in commercials, theater, movies and TV. He was a regular on "Amen" and "Homeroom" before "Colors." At the same time, he was studying business at UCLA. Write: Fox Broadcasting Co., P.O. Box 900 Beverly Hills, CA 90213.

Q. I'm a big fan of "Northern Exposure." How can I get in touch with them? - F.K., Warren, Ohio.

A. Write: CBS-TV, 7800 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036.

Q. Who played the funny Siegried in "Get Smart"? What are his screen, theater and TV credits? Is he still performing? - J.C.B., Newbury Park, Calif.

A. Bernie Kopell was K.A.O.S. agent Siegfried. His ability with accents helped him break into TV as a Cuban in "The Brighter Day" and an Italian in "The Jack Benny Show." After "Smart," he did "That Girl," "The Doris Day Show," "Needles and Pins," "When Things Were Rotten" and his best-known role, Doc on "The Love Boat." Since "Love Boat" docked, he's done guest roles on many TV shows and TV movies.

Q. Where can I write David McFadzean, an executive on "Home Improvement." - M.J.M., Winnetka, Ill.

A. McFadzean is an executive producer on the series. Write him at: Touchstone Television, 500 S. Buena Vista Blvd., Burbank, CA 91521.

Q. Tell me about those zany characters on the "Ed Sullivan Show," Wayne and Shuster. Don't tell me they're dead, please. - J.W., Grosse Pointe, Mich.

A. Canadian actors/comics Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster were in their heyday in the 1950s and 1960s when Sullivan imported them for his show, where they did their send-ups of Shakespeare plays, popular in their Canadian TV specials. The pair also had a U.S. sitcom, "Holiday Lodge," as the 1961 summer replacement for Jack Benny. Sad to report that Wayne died in 1990.

Q. Tell me everything about Tom Brokaw: education, marriage, children, age. I think he's great. - C.P., Chapin, S.C.

A. Brokaw is 52, born in Webster, S.D. He graduated from the University of South Dakota where he met his wife, Meredith. They have three daughters. Brokaw started out in newscasting in Omaha, Neb. Then came Atlanta, Los Angeles and the White House for NBC News. He was co-host of "Today" until 1982 when he took over at anchor for "NBC Nightly News."

Q. Get me the address of Susan Harris, creator of "Soap," "Benson," "Empty Nest" and "Golden Girls." The lady is a genius and I'd like to tell her how much my wife and I like her writing. - W.R.W., Harper Woods, Mich.

A. Harris is the idea woman, but she has lots of help from her co-workers at Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions, the team behind all the shows. Write her at Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions, Touchstone Television, 500 S. Buena Vista Blvd., Burbank, CA 91521.

Q. I am very interested in Carole Simpson, the ABC News correspondent. What can you tell me about her? - D.C., Atlanta, Ga.

A. Simpson has been a broadcast journalist for more than 20 years. She graduated from the University of Michigan, did graduate work at the University of Iowa and taught journalism at Tuskegee Institute and Northwestern University. She worked in Chicago radio and TV, joined NBC News in 1974 and moved to ABC in 1984. The latest of many honors was being named 1992 Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. Simpson and her husband, James Marshall, have two children.

Q. I've been a fan of ABC's "Home" show since Christine Ferrarri was host. How come they keep changing hosts? - T.C., St. Clair, Mich.

A. They're looking for that elusive thing TV calls "chemistry," a pair of hosts who work well together and compliment each other's personality.

Q. Please tell me what Douglass Watson, my favorite soap actor, died of. I miss him so much. - Y.H., Buffalo, N.Y.

A. No cause was given when Watson died in 1989. He was 68 and had played Mackenzie Cory on "Another World" for 15 years.

Q. On what other soap opera did Ann Flood, now of "As The World Turns," appear? - An Avid ATWT Fan, Nyssa, Ore.

A. Flood has been seen in "All My Children" and "From These Roots" and is best known for her long run, 1962-84, as Nancy Karr on "The Edge of Night."

Q. What happened to the original cast member of "The Young and the Restless" who played Nathan? Who is his replacement? - T.B., Virginia Beach, Va.

A. Nathan Purdee played Nathan Hastings on "Y and R" but he wasn't an original cast member. The character only turned up in 1984; the show started in 1973. Purdee's contract was allowed to lapse and he moved on to play district attorney Hank Gannon on "One Life to Live." Randy Brooks took over the role of Nathan in January. His previous soap experience was in "Generations."

Q. When the Disney Channel showed "Mary Poppins," Julie Andrews' Oscar was mentioned. What about Dick Van Dyke, whose performance borders on genius? Was he nominated that year? If not, why not? Who did win? - I.A., Prospect Park, Pa.

A. There was no nomination for Van Dyke. The 1964 best actor was Rex Harrison for "My Fair Lady" and supporting actor was Peter Ustinov for "Topkapi." "Mary Poppins" was nominated as best picture but that too went to "My Fair Lady." Andrews' Oscar was deemed to be not so much for her performance as Mary Poppins, although that was much praised, as it was compensation for losing out to Audrey Hepburn for "My Fair Lady," the role Andrews created on Broadway. When Warners was casting the movie version of the musical, studio boss Jack Warner didn't want Andrews because, he said, no one had ever heard of her. Hepburn wasn't nominated.

Q. What happened to Jennifer Beals of "Flashdance"? She is such a good dancer. Why didn't they make a "Flashdance II"? - A.P., Livonia, Mich.

A. Beals didn't do the dancing. She had a body double, professional dancer Marine Jahan, who did all the hot stuff. There was a "Flashdance II" planned, but it never got going. In any case, Beals wasn't going to be in it. Her first post-"Flashdance" movie, 1987's "The Bride," was an expensive flop. She graduated from Yale in 1987 and continued moviemaking, mostly in low-budget thrillers made in Europe. Now 28, she can be found in the current CBS-TV series "2000 Malibu Road."

Q. In the late '60s or early '70s, a movie, "Fever Heat," was filmed in Iowa starring Nick Adams. They also used local drivers, including my dad. I'd like to know when the film was made and where I can buy a tape. - K.P., Des Moines, Iowa.

A. The movie was released in 1967 by Paramount. It's available to television but not on tape.

Q. To whom was Spencer Tracy married? - R.J.C., Youngstown, Ohio.

A. Tracy married actress Louise Treadwell in 1923. She retired to raise their two children. They were never divorced.

Q. How many "Pink Panther" movies are there? Name them in order. - J.N., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

A. There currently are eight "Pink Panthers," all but one directed by Blake Edwards and two made after the 1980 death of Peter Sellers, the classic Inspector Clouseau. The movies: "The Pink Panther," 1964; "A Shot in the Dark," 1964; "Inspector Clouseau," 1968 (with Alan Arkin as Clouseau); "The Return of the Pink Panther," 1975; "The Pink Panther Strikes Again," 1976; "Revenge of the Pink Panther," 1978; "Trail of the Pink Panther," 1982; and "Curse of the Pink Panther," 1983. Currently there is a new "Panther" in production, "Son of the Pink Panther," under Edwards' direction and starring Italian comedian Roberto Benigni as Clouseau Jr.

- Send your questions to Celebrity Questions, Detroit Free Press, 321 W. Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48231.