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Ask Stacy

Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith on

DEAR STACY: Is anyone still alive from the cast of "It's a Wonderful Life"? -- Karen G., Thousand Oaks, California

DEAR KAREN: Yes, former child actors seen in the 72-year-old Christmas classic survive today, including "Zuzu," Karolyn Grimes, "Janey," Carol Coombs, and "Tommy," Jimmy Hawkins. Interviewed by MSNBC a couple of years ago, the now-77-year-old Grimes recalled her onscreen daddy, James Stewart, as "a quiet man ... this was right after World War II and I think he was changed a little bit. And he just was a very nice man. And in later years, we got together again and he was still that nice man and he still helped his fellow man ... he just did a lot of things for people that he didn't need accolades for ... he was George Bailey." Incidentally, Grimes was also featured in another golden era Christmas classic, "The Bishop's Wife," with Loretta Young, Cary Grant and David Niven.

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DEAR STACY: Please settle a bet between my sister and myself. I say that Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" is the most successful pop Christmas tune ever. She contends it must either be "Jingle Bell Rock" or "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Who is right? -- Shane M., Florida

DEAR SHANE: You are correct, according to Billboard magazine's list of the top hits of Christmas. Carey's 1994 tune tops the Top 10, and the other nine are as follows: 2) "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" from "Frozen" with Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn & Katie Lopez; 3) the Trans-Siberian Orchestra recording, "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)"; 4) Justin Bieber's "Mistletoe"; 5) "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Brenda Lee; 6) "Christmas Canon" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra; 7) Faith Hill's "Where Are You, Christmas?" 8) "Feliz Navidad" by Jose Feliciano; 9) Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms and 10) the Wham! Tune, "Last Christmas."

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DEAR STACY: Someone said there was a sequel to "A Christmas Story." I have never heard of it. Can you give details? -- SB

DEAR SB: First, there is the little seen or remembered 1994 "My Summer Story," (also known as "It Runs in the Family"), with Charles Grodin and Mary Steenburgen as Dad and Mom, and Kieran Culkin as Ralphie. Like "A Christmas Story," it is based on the semi-autographical writings of Jean Shepherd. Then there is the 2012 "A Christmas Story 2" with Daniel Stern as The Old Man and Braeden Lemasters as a teenage Ralphie. Using Shepherd's characters, but not his writing, "A Christmas Story 2" was released directly to DVD and garnered poor reviews.

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DEAR STACY: Who among the old "Gilligan's Island" cast members are still alive? -- KSA

DEAR KSA: Only Ginger and Mary Ann -- Tina Louise, 83, and Dawn Wells, 79.

Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.
 

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