Q: Did Babe Ruth ever get married? Any children? F.J.S., Reading, Pa.
A: Babe Ruth married Helen Woodford in 1914. Owing to his infidelities, the couple reportedly separated around 1926; she died in a fire in Watertown, Mass., in January 1929. Ruth had two daughters. Babe and Helen adopted Dorothy Ruth. Decades later, she wrote a book, "My Dad, the Babe," claiming she was Ruth's biological child by a girlfriend named Juanita Jennings. Ruth adopted Julia Hodgson when he married her mother, actress and model Claire Merritt Hodgson. Ruth was still married to Claire when he died in August 1948. Julia threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the final game in the original Yankee Stadium on Sept. 21, 2008.
Q: Is the young man in the Verizon FiOS ad campaign the same actor as the one in the U.S. Postal Service commercials? V.A.L., Brockton, Mass.
A: The actor is Mike Bradecich, a former cast member of the Second City comedy troupe in Chicago, Ill. He stars in both the ads you mentioned. Over the past years, he has appeared in Kentucky Fried Chicken spots, as well as commercials for Allstate, Xbox, Sky Bank, Wal-Mart and others.
Q: Whatever happened to actor Lewis Smith, who starred in the TV miniseries "North and South"? M.M., Glenolden, Pa.
A: Lewis Smith entered the world in Chattanooga, Tenn., on Aug. 1, 1956. Best known for his role as Charles Main in the first and second parts of "North and South," he has since appeared in numerous TV shows and TV movies. He founded the Actors Academy in Los Angeles, Calif., to help prepare students who aspire to work in film and television.
Q: What is so significant about the Roaring Forties? Other than being the decade of my birth, I see no reason for the nickname. R.L., Waco, Texas
A: The Roaring Forties refer to the winds between latitudes 40 degrees and 50 degrees south in the Southern Hemisphere, where the westerly winds occur. These winds are strong, often gale force throughout the year.
© 2011, Gary Clothier
Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.