Mailbag: Gene Hackman sings, Sabrina Lloyd travels

By Rich Heldenfels Beacon Journal popular culture writer

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Gene Hackman as the ultra-conservative Senator Keeley in the United Artists comedy The Birdcage also starring Nathan Lane and Robyn Williams. (United Artists Pictures)

You have questions. I try to have answers.

Q: After watching “Hoosiers” the other night for about the 20th time and marveling at what a versatile actor Gene Hackman is, I was wondering if he has ever been in a musical.

A: The Oscar winner has worked with people famous for their musical skills, including Liza Minnelli (in 1975’s Lucky Lady) and Barbra Streisand (1981’s All Night Long). But I was going to make a joke that Hackman’s starring in I Never Sang for My Father was a proper summary of his screen career — until I came across him performing I Could Have Danced All Night with other cast members in The Birdcage, the 1996 adaptation of La Cage Aux Folles.

Q: I have been watching reruns of “Sports Night” and can’t help wondering where Sabrina Lloyd, who played Natalie to Joshua Malina’s Jeremy, is. Most everyone in the cast has resurfaced on a hit show at one time or another since the series ended — Joshua Malina in “Scandal,” Josh Charles in “The Good Wife,” Peter Krause in “Parenthood,” Felicity Huffman in “Desperate Housewives.” Where is Lloyd?

A: We’ll leave a discussion of Josh Charles and The Good Wife for another time. As for Lloyd, after Sports Night, she did more work in movies and on television, including the series Ed and Numb3rs. But she has mostly had a life beyond acting in recent years. In 2008, she noted on her blog reddirtlattes.com, she was 38 and studying at Columbia University when her U.N.-worker boyfriend suggested they marry and move to Africa. They did both, living there for two years and adopting a daughter before moving on to Rome. In April 2013, she wrote that they were planning to go on to Kenya, so there may be even more stories to tell. But she has not posted since then, nor did I find any published reports about her activities.

Q: Are the “Police Women” series of Broward County, Dallas and Memphis coming back?

A: The series are no longer in production for TLC. The network is adding another series, the eight-part Women of Homicide, premiering April 9. It follows three homicide detectives in Cincinnati and Atlanta.

Q: My question is regarding the ABC series “Killer Women.” It was promoted as eight episodes; however, ABC only aired the first six. Do you know how the fans of the show are supposed to be able to see the last two unaired episodes?

A: ABC shortened the series’ run when ratings proved disappointing. (It did so even more abruptly with The Assets, which was dropped so suddenly that people are still asking what happened to it.) Viewers also noticed that it skipped at least one episode to have a final telecast that felt like a finale. At this writing I have not seen any scheduling of the remaining episodes of it — or The Assets, for that matter — nor are they available online.

Q: I have tried to find the name of the show that was on during late ’60s or early ’70s that featured either celebrities or regular people doing stunts or competing for prizes or money. It was filmed on a large field outdoors from what I remember. I think it was on ABC.

A: You may be remembering Battle of the Network Stars, occasional specials that aired on ABC in the ’70s and ’80s. Howard Cosell hosted the competition among teams consisting of performers on various TV shows. You can see selections on YouTube.

Do you have a question or comment for the mailbag? Write to the Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309 or email rheldenfels@thebeacon
journal.com. Please mark the email or envelope with “mailbag.” Letters may be edited for publication. Please do not phone in questions. Individual replies cannot be guaranteed.

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including the HeldenFiles Online, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter.


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