Question: I would like to know if James MacArthur, who played Danno in the original TV series "Hawaii Five-O," was ever married and had any children. -- D.M.B., York, Pa.

Answer: "Hawaii Five-O" aired on CBS from September 1968 to April 1980. The program is in syndication and on-demand streaming. James Gordon MacArthur (1937-2010) was an American actor best known for his role of Danny "Danno" Williams. When he died of natural causes, he was survived by his third wife, his four children and six grandchildren.

Q: Norma Zimmer sang on "The Lawrence Welk Show." She also performed with Bing Crosby. When and where was she born? How many children does she have? How many grandchildren? -- R.G., Reading, Pa.

A: She was born Norma Larsen in 1923 in Idaho but grew up in Seattle, Wash. As a youngster, she sang in a church choir, and when she turned 18, she traveled to Los Angeles, Calif., to pursue a musical career. She appeared on most of the popular television variety shows and had a small role in the Bing Crosby movie "Mr. Music" (1950). In 1960, Lawrence Welk hired her, and she became the "Champagne Lady," a title she held for 22 years.

In 1944, she married Randy Zimmer, and they remained married until his death in 2008. The couple had two sons, as well as three grandchildren. Norma Zimmer died in May 2011 at age 87. Her autobiography, "Norma," was released in 1976. I have seen used copies for sale online for a penny.


Q: I used to enjoy the TV series "Dynasty," starring Joan Collins, Linda Evans and John Forsythe. What are they doing? How old are they? How long did the show run on ABC? -- M.C., Torrance, Calif.

A: Joan Collins was born in 1933 in England. Apart from being an actress, she is an author and columnist. Her flamboyant personal life has closely paralleled the flamboyant roles she pursued. She has been married five times and was once engaged to actor Warren Beatty. She continues to work in this country and in Europe.

Linda Evans, born in 1942, is an American actress known for her roles as Audra Barkley in the TV Western "The Big Valley" (1965-1969) and Krystle Carrington on the evening soap opera "Dynasty" (1981-1989). She continues to perform on stage and TV. She is regularly listed as one of the most beautiful women in America.

John Forsythe (19182010) starred in three television series that spanned four decades and three genres: as single playboy father Bentley Gregg in the sitcom "Bachelor Father" (19571962), as the unseen millionaire Charles Townsend on the crime drama "Charlie's Angels" (19761981), and as patriarch Blake Carrington on "Dynasty." Forsythe died from pneumonia at age 92. His widow, Nicole, died six weeks later.

Q: I was only a wee child, but I recall my grand mother calling sauerkraut "liberty cabbage." I never thought much about it; it was just another name. She is long gone, as are my folks. Why did she call sauerkraut by that name? -- M.L., email

A: During World War I, Americans refused to even say the word "German," as they feared doing so would appear to be unpatriotic. So sauerkraut became "liberty cabbage." Hamburgers were called "liberty sandwiches," children would get "liberty measles" instead of German measles, and frankfurters were called "liberty sausages." I'm sure there are more examples.

Q: When was the first sporting event televised in the United States? Which teams played? Was there a sportscaster? -- H.M., Ames, Iowa

A: On May 17, 1939, baseball became the first sport ever televised in the United States. The game was between Princeton and Columbia universities at Baker Field in New York City. The National Broadcasting Co. carried the game to the 400 or so television sets then capable of receiving its broadcast signal. Yes, there was a sportscaster -- Bill Stern (1907-1971), who was an actor and radio sportscaster. By the way, Princeton won, 2-1.

Q: What happened to Andy Rooney, who ap peared on "60 Minutes"? -- J.Z., Glendora, Calif.

A: Andy Rooney (born Jan. 14, 1919) has been doing his signature commentaries since 1978. Lately, his appearances on the CBS television newsmagazine have been erratic because of illness or because of bumping by major news stories. If you haven't done the math, he turned 92 in January, so he is slowing down a bit. Rooney has said in several interviews that he never intends to retire; he considers "retirement" a dirty word. Unless CBS decides otherwise, he'll be back. His wife, Marguerite "Margie" Rooney, died in 2004 of heart failure. They were married 62 years and had four children.

Q: On the TV series "The Sopranos," there was a character named Svetlana Kirilenko. According to the story line, she developed an infection in her leg, which was amputated soon afterward. She then wore a prosthetic leg. Actress Alla Kliouka played the role. Did she, in real life, wear a prosthetic? Is she married? -- T.B., Bartonville, Ill.

A: Alla Kliouka entered the world in Minsk, Russia, in 1970. She was married at one time to Ken Schaffer, who was 23 years her senior. She has her own legs.

Q: Why are some choco late candies called truffles? -- L.K., Ardmore, Okla.

A: First, let me tell you about the fungus of the same name. The experts describe it as the fruiting body of an underground mushroom that is found within the living roots of several different trees.

Candy truffles are made by melting together chocolate and cream (making chocolate ganache) and rolling the mixture into balls. The most traditional type of chocolate truffle is then rolled in cocoa powder, which makes it look like the fungus. There are many other recipes for chocolate truffles.

One recipe I read claims that truffles are the simplest candy to make. It goes on to suggest that you use only high-quality chocolate that is 62 percent cacao or higher and organic cream, as the quality of these ingredients will affect the final product.

Q: During a Pristiq com mercial (where the lady has to wind herself up to get moving), there is a back ground song. What is the title of this music? -- B.C., Bonita Springs, Fla.

A: Hidden Tiger Music created the song especially for the Pristiq commercial. Gregg Fine composed and produced it. The song is titled "Pristiq Wind Up."

Q: I am the proud owner of a recently acquired chair. Under the seat is a tag reading "Cushman Colonial by General Interiors, N. Bennington, VT." The only reference I can find in any antique books about North Bennington is a pottery company. Can you help me with this? -- F.M., Lawndale, Calif.

A: In the late 1860s, Henry Theodore Cushman began making corks in his North Bennington shop. Over the years, his company evolved, adding new lines that numbered more than 150 products. Circa 1901, the company began manufacturing Mission-style furniture. In spring 1933, Cushman introduced its Colonial Creations line, and in spring 1936 a Modern Creations line was added. According to a local historian, the Cushman Co. was sold to General Industries of New York in 1964. In 1971, the Green Mountain Furniture Co., based in New Hampshire, purchased the H.T. Cushman Co. Green Mountain Furniture went out of business in 1980.

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