ASK MR. KNOW-IT-ALL: Andy Rooney has no plans to retire
Question: What happened to Andy Rooney, who appeared on "60 Minutes"? -- J.Z., Glendora, Calif.
Answer: 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.
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.
Question: 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.
Answer: 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.
Question: Why are some chocolate candies called truffles? -- L.K., Ardmore, Okla.
Answer: 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.
Question: During a Pristiq commercial (where the lady has to wind herself up to get moving), there is a background song. What is the title of this music? -- B.C., Bonita Springs, Fla.
Answer: Hidden Tiger Music created the song especially for the Pristiq commercial. Gregg Fine composed and produced it. The song is titled "Pristiq Wind Up."
Question: 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.
Answer: 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 AskMrKIA@gmail.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.