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A WEDDING WILL SOON BE ON RACHAEL RAY'S MENU

Q: Is Rachael Ray of Food Network's "30-Minute Meals" engaged? I just noticed her wearing a diamond ring on a show. -- Lisa, Chicago

A: Yes, the vivacious chef who also hosts the network's "Inside Dish" and "$40-a-Day" is planning her September wedding. The groom-to-be is an entertainment lawyer she met at a party a couple of years ago.

Q: Several years ago, there was an NBC show titled "Ed," starring Tom Cavanagh and Julie Bowen. The title character was a lawyer whose office was at the Stuckeyville bowling alley. Will it ever run again? -- John Bozell, Omaha, Neb.

A: Actually, it already is running again. Since mid-January, the series has been shown as noon weekday repeats on cable station TBS. Incidentally, Cavanagh may return to weekly television soon, since he is making a comedy-drama pilot with Jason Priestley for a potential slot in CBS' fall lineup.

Q: I recently watched a "Columbo" movie with Lee Grant, and she looks a lot like the actress who plays Sam on "Las Vegas." Are they mother and daughter? -- Ginger West, Shawnee, Okla.

A: No. Vanessa Marcil, who plays Sam, is not Grant's daughter, but "Shampoo" Oscar winner Grant does have an offspring who is a fellow actress: Dinah Manoff, who appeared in the series "Soap" and "State of Grace" and also portrayed "Pink Lady" Marty in the 1978 movie version of "Grease."

Q: Am I the only one who remembers a television program several years ago with Tony Franciosa playing a sleuth? -- Rita Bailey, Brunswick, Maine

A: No, you aren't . . . but depending on how literally you mean "sleuth," this could have several answers. Franciosa played a high-tech investigator in the 1972-73 series "Search" (in which he rotated with Hugh O'Brian and Doug McClure as the given week's star), and he assumed Dean Martin's movie role as a private detective in the 1975-76 show "Matt Helm," inspired by novelist Donald Hamilton's character. Taking "sleuth" a little more loosely, Franciosa also played an investigative reporter in "The Name of the Game" (1968-71) and a finder of lost loves in . . . well, "Finder of Lost Loves" (1984-85).

Q: During a recent visit to the Norton Simon Museum, I thought of his widow -- Jennifer Jones -- and wondered if she did any television episodes in previous years. Also, is she still alive? -- Larry Bunting, Los Alamitos, Calif.

A: Yes to the last question, but as for home-screen work, not really . . . unless one counts her appearances on several Oscar telecasts (she won an Academy Award in 1944 for "The Song of Bernadette") or the "Biography" episode done on her by A&E Network. Jones has popped up on television occasionally in recent weeks, since the 1974 disaster epic "The Towering Inferno" -- the last movie she made -- has been shown on AMC and Fox Movie Channel.

Q: My sister and I seem to be the only people who remember a series that had a short run in the '60s. It was called "The Prisoner." Can you offer information on the program? -- Elaine Fuller, Havana, Fla.

A: In fact, the series has had a long cult following. Made in England, it was thought by some to be a follow-up to star-producer-creator Patrick McGoohan's earlier show, "Secret Agent" (aka "Danger Man"). In "The Prisoner," McGoohan played an ex-government agent trapped in an isolated village -- where he was known simply as "No. 6" -- and targeted for brainwashing. The unusual program, which aired in the United States on CBS in 1968 and 1969, is available on DVD from A&E Home Video.

Q: Didn't the young actress who plays Joan on "Joan of Arcadia" previously play Emily Quartermaine on "General Hospital"? -- Mary, New City, N.Y.

A: Indeed she did. Amber Tamblyn -- daughter of "West Side Story" and "Twin Peaks" co-star Russ Tamblyn -- left the venerable ABC daytime serial to take the part of CBS' "Joan." Natalia Livingston has played Emily since Tamblyn's departure from "GH."

Q: The Valentine's Day episode of the WB Network family drama "7th Heaven" was billed as "7th Heaven: The Musical." Clearly on the vocal numbers, there was some lip-syncing. Who voiced the various songs? -- David M., Sandwich, Mass.

A: According to the network, it was the actual cast regulars. But some, including Beverley Mitchell and David Gallagher (alias Lucy and Simon), preferred not to participate. The lip-sync aspect indicates the songs were recorded earlier, which is understandable since the actors aren't professional singers, although Stephen Collins has crooned on the show before.

Q: Annie Parisse plays the new assistant district attorney on "Law & Order," but my husband and I can't figure out what we have seen her in prior to this. Do you have an answer? -- Anonymous, via e-mail.

A: Parisse guest starred in an episode of the same NBC series several years ago, but before her current job, her biggest television exposure came from playing Julia Lindsey Snyder on the CBS daytime serial "As the World Turns." You also might have seen her as a federal agent working with Harvey Keitel's character in the hit film "National Treasure."

Q: What is the name of the actress who plays Rose on "Two and a Half Men"? What else has she done? -- Alan Michels, Ocala, Fla.

A: She's Melanie Lynskey, a New Zealand native whose movies have included "Heavenly Creatures," "The Frighteners," "Ever After," "Coyote Ugly," "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Abandon."

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