Television Q&ATelevision Q&A

David Hyde Pierce busy on Broadway since ‘Fraiser’ ended

 
 
Returns Tuesday: 'Taxi' reruns are joining the ME-TV lineup.
Returns Tuesday: 'Taxi' reruns are joining the ME-TV lineup.
CBS

Akron Beacon Journal

Q. Viewing Frasier reruns recently, I wondered what happened to David Hyde Pierce, who played Frasier’s brother.

Pierce has hardly disappeared since the series ended in 2004. While there have been a few screen appearances, including in the film The Perfect Host, he has been especially active in theater.

In 2007, he won a Tony Award for best actor in a musical for his work in Curtains. In 2010, he received the Tonys’ Isabelle Stevenson Award, given to theater professionals “who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations.” Pierce has been active in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease, which his father had.

In 2012, Pierce directed the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s production of The Importance of Being Earnest, which put Oscar Wilde’s play through a Guys and Dolls-like filter. This year, he received a best-actor Tony nomination for Christopher Durang’s play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. (Pierce did not win, but the production picked up the Tony for best play.)

Q. I happened to see Dick Powell on a PBS special. He was quite a good singer. Who was his first wife? He was later married to June Allyson.

For those tuning in late, Powell (1904-63) was, as The Film Encyclopedia puts it, a “cherubic crooner of Warner Bros. musicals of the ’30s, often opposite Ruby Keeler, before a surprising transition to dramatic roles, becoming particularly adept at portraying tough heroes of private-eye thrillers.”

He was one of the many actors to play Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe on screen and radio. Powell was also successful as a director, producer and the president of the Four Star Television production company.

His TV work included hosting and sometimes starring in the Western anthology series Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater and serving as host and sometime star of another anthology, The Dick Powell Show.

According to a 1963 obituary, Powell had three wives: Mildred Maund, actress Joan Blondell and Allyson, whom he married in 1945. They split in 1961 but reconciled before his death from lymphoma at the age of 58.

Q. I would like to know why episodes of Taxi aren’t in rerun.

CBS.com has a bunch of episodes of Taxi, including its premiere, available for online viewing. (Look at the list of “TV classics” in the site’s “Shows” section.)

All five seasons are also on DVD. ME-TV (Memorable Entertainment TV), a nostalgia channel, is adding the series to its Tuesday-night lineup beginning next week.

Send questions to TV Mailbag, Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309 or rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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