By Cindy Elavsky
Q: Would you please tell me the name of the actor who does the Allstate commercials? I think he was in a military series for a couple of seasons a few years ago. — Ellie L., via e-mail
A: Dennis Haysbert has been the spokesman for the Allstate Insurance Company since 2003. He is best known for his roles of President David Palmer on “24,” as well as Jonas Blane on “The Unit,” which aired from 2006-09 on CBS. He is currently at work on the feature film “The Details,” which also stars Elizabeth Banks, Tobey Maguire, Ray Liotta and Laura Linney.
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Q: I was very sad to learn that Capt. Phil Harris of “Deadliest Catch” had passed away. How will they handle his passing on the show? — Timothy G. in Florida
A: The Discovery Channel’s hit show returns for its sixth season on April 13, and Capt. Phil will be in most of the 16 episodes. Capt. Phil died on Feb. 9 after suffering a stroke two weeks earlier while unloading crab from his boat, the Cornelia Marie, at Saint Paul Island, Alaska. He was 53. His death won’t be dealt with until episodes 12 and 13.
According to Phil Segal, president of the production company that produces “Deadliest Catch” for the Discovery Channel: “He was fishing all the way up to the end. We’re so concerned about the family and the crew right now that we haven’t stopped to think about how we’re going to deal with this. We’ll have to figure it out in the weeks and months ahead.”
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Q: Is it true that they are going to make a sequel to “Atonement”? I don’t see how that’s possible! — Theresa W., via e-mail
A: There are no plans for a sequel to the blockbuster 2007 romantic-drama, which was based on the Ian McEwan bestseller. However, Ian did reveal plans to turn the period piece into an opera, and is working on the operatic version with composer Michael Berkeley and poet Craig Raine. He says, “It’s not a chamber piece, that’s for sure.” Theater owners in the U.K., Germany and the U.S. are reportedly interested in staging the “Atonement” opera, and are eyeing a 2013 premiere.
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Q: What is Michael Vartan up to now? I’ve enjoyed him in shows like “Alias” and “Hawthorne,” and movies like “Never Been Kissed” and “One Hour Photo.” — Wanda F., Harrisburg, Pa.
A: Michael Vartan, 41, is co-starring in the upcoming film called “High School,” which also stars Colin Hanks, Adrien Brody and Michael Chiklis. However, his most important upcoming engagement is his 2011 nuptials. He proposed to girlfriend Lauren Skaar in March and is involved in almost every aspect of planning of the wedding. He told OK! Magazine: “I feel like it’s about time I met someone special. I’m excited about throwing an engagement party, I’m excited about choosing the bridesmaid dresses, and what kind of knives and food.”
Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at [email protected] For more news and extended interviews, visit www.celebrityextraonline.com and twitter.com/Celebrity_Extra.
© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.