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Where are the Stars of the old TV Shows now



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If you want to do a "Where Are They Now?" type thing with old television stars, you could save yourself a lot of time. Most of them are dead. Yup. You'll find a great many of them are dead. Not all of old age either. Rebecca Schaeffer, Dana Plato, and Freddie Prinze each died young in one way of the other, but most got old and died. Television is a very old medium. Although Sid Caesar is somehow still alive. Not sure how that's happening. But, for example, the four cast members of "I Love Lucy?" Dead. "The Honeymooners?" Dead. Except Trixie. She's 83 and still hanging on.

But what of the rest of those who are still with us? Like Tom Hanks of "Bosom Buddies." Whatever happened to him?

Let's begin with Dawn Wells, who played the adorable Mary Ann Summers on "Gilligan's Island." Wells currently lives in Idaho, of all places, where she runs Wishing Wells Collections (Get it?), which makes clothing for people with limited mobility. She is also the founder of the Idaho Film and Television Institute. Can you believe that wasn't already established before she came along? She also organizes Spud Fest, a regional annual family movie festival. You see, because in Idaho they're known for taters.

Last October Wells was arrested when police found oodles of marijuana in her car. In February she was fined $410.50 and placed on six months' probation after pleading guilty to one count of reckless driving. A five-day jail term was suspended. Charges were later dropped, because, after all, she was Mary Ann.

How about Susan Richardson, the gal who played Susan Bradford on the television series Eight is Enough? During her career she used cocaine, battled a morphine addiction, and claimed filmmakers kidnapped her and tried to kill her in North Korea. Then she suffered a nervous breakdown. THEN she did. But, good news, she did recover and now she works as a caregiver in a nursing home in Pennsylvania.

Glenn Scarpelli, the young gentleman who played Alex Handris on "One Day at a Time," now lives in Sedona, Arizona with his boyfriend. In fact, I found an article about Scarpelli that includes the headline, "why he left acting to be openly gay." You would think the two could coexist. But it was the early 80s.

Jack Klugman? Not dead, as some may think. Jack still lives at 85 and with cancer, and married Peggy Crosby this year after his wife of over 50 years, Brett Somers, died in September 2007. They had been separated since 1974, which is odd.

Some old television stars turn their lives over to Jesus Christ, like Kirk and Candace Cameron, Lisa Welchel of "The Facts of Life," Willie Aames of "Charles in Charge," and Mr. T.

Oh, and I also Googled Jenilee Harrison and found a wonderful photo. So, where is she now? In the bathroom with me.

More about this author: Michael Frissore

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