Ask Mr. Know It All

Q. One of my favorite childhood actors is Ralph Macchio, from “The Karate Kid” movies. Has he been in any other movies?

S.S., Mount Vernon, Ill.

A. Ralph Macchio is best known for his role as Daniel Larusso in “The Karate Kid” movies, but he has appeared in many other films and television shows. Macchio will appear in “Hitchcock,” which opens in theaters Jan. 10, 2013. He was in the films “My Cousin Vinny,” “Distant Thunder” and “A Good Night to Die,” as well as the TV shows “Ugly Betty,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “Psych.” He was on the 12th season of “Dancing With the Stars,” where he came in fourth place.

Q. In the 1980s, the musical group Dire Straits made a video of its song “Skateaway,” in which a young lady dances on roller skates. In my opinion, it is the most beautiful music video ever made. Who is that woman, and what is she doing today?

B.G., Naples, Fla.

A. The woman in the video is Jayzik Azikiwe, born May 12, 1958, in London. Her father, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, was the first president of Nigeria. Azikiwe was a multitalented composer, singer and poet. She died of cancer on Jan. 31, 2008, at age 49.

Q. “The Big Valley” was a great TV show. Can you tell me about the five actors who had the leading roles in the show? Are they alive?

B.M., Terre Haute, Ind.

A. The five actors who starred in “The Big Valley” (1965-69) were Barbara Stanwyck as Victoria, Richard Long as Jarrod, Lee Majors as Heath, Peter Breck as Nick and Linda Evans as Audra.

Barbara Stanwyck died in 1990 from heart failure. She was 82. Richard Long died from a heart attack in 1974 at age 47. He had a history of heart problems and suffered several heart attacks before his death. Lee Majors is 73 and still making movies. Peter Breck passed away in February at age 82. His wife announced in 2010 that he had dementia. Linda Evans continued with her career and starred on “Dynasty” for several years. She does speaking engagements and is the author of a book “Recipes for Life, My Memories.” She is 69 years old.

Q. I am reading an old British mystery, and the character is talking about “poodlefaking” What is that?

K.C.K., Fort Worth, Texas

A. The term “poodle- faking’ is British military slang, from the officer’s term for one who flirts with older women to gain influence or otherwise flirts outrageously with women.

Q. What happened to Kristy McNichol? Does she still act? Didn’t she have a brother who is also an actor?

M.L., Hartford, Ky.

A. Kristy McNichol is the sister of child actor Jimmy McNichol. In 1998, McNichol was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and retired from acting. She teaches acting and is involved with charities. She came out as a lesbian in January to help people dealing with bullying.

Q. What is a “blind pig”? In a book I’m reading set during Prohibition, a couple goes to a blind pig, which sounds like a speakeasy to me.

D.M., Long Beach, Calif.

A. During Prohibition, a blind pig (or blind tiger) was an illegal bar. Blind pigs differed from speakeasies in that only liquor was offered -- there was no music or dancing. The term originated in the U.S. in the 19th century. A speakeasy was usually a higher-class establishment that offered food and entertainment. A blind pig was a lower-class establishment where the saloon operator would charge customers to see an attraction, possibly an animal, and then serve a complimentary alcoholic beverage.

Q. I’m reading a novel in which one of the minor characters is described as being a “bucko mate.” I was not able to find it in the dictionary. Do you know what it is?

E.L., Hartford, Conn.

A. At one time, “buck” was slang for “bully.” In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a “bucko mate” was the man on a ship in charge of keeping the crew in line by using his fists.

Q. The theme song to Sunday night football is my all-time favorite. It’s sung by country music sweetheart Faith Hill. I was surprised to hear the song on the radio, but with different words. I’m thinking the football song is an adaptation of a previous song. Am I correct?

G.L., West Babylon, N.Y.

A. You are correct. “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” is based on the Joan Jett classic “I Hate Myself for Loving You” (1988). In 2006, singer Pink sang the theme song for the first time. In 2007, Faith Hill replaced Pink as the singer of the opening theme.

Q. Otis Redding sang about sittin’ on the dock of the bay. Where was the dock?

J.L.M., Ashland, Ore.

A. During the summer of 1967, Redding was performing at San Francisco’s Fillmore West. During this time, he was staying on a houseboat on the San Francisco Bay. While there, he wrote “[Sittin’ On] The Dock of the Bay.” He recorded the song in early December, and it was released shortly after his death, on Jan. 8, 1968.

Otis Redding died Dec. 10, 1967, when his charter plane crashed into a lake outside Madison, Wis. Redding and several others were killed. He was 26.

Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

2012 Gary Clothier

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