Q The man who announces the NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams sounds like Michael Douglas. Is he?—Marie Angelella, Manchester, N.J. A He is. After longtime NBC announcer Howard Reig died in 2008, “Brian thought of using an iconic voice—something that would catch your ear at 6:30,” Nightly News executive producer Bob Epstein tells us. Listen also for Morgan Freeman introducing the CBS Evening News With Katie Couric, and Mike Rowe,
host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs, announcing ABC’s World News Tonight With Diane Sawyer. Q Is Glee’s Jayma Mays a trained singer?— Bob Whitman, San Jose, Calif. A “I grew up singing in the church choir, but I’ve not really had any training,” says Mays, 30, who plays the germophobic guidance counselor on Fox’s hit series. “It was a shock when I got cast.” Another challenge: memorizing Japanese for her role as a waitress with a super memory on NBC’s Heroes. “That was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do. I think if I had to sing in Japanese, that’d add a whole other layer of difficulty.” Love Glee? Take our quiz at Parade.com/glee Q Wasn’t J. D. Salinger secretly in the C.I.A.?—A. Harris, Omaha, Neb. A While some conspiracy theorists have speculated about a sinister, government-related connection between the late reclusive author and John Lennon’s killer, Mark David Chapman—who was obsessed with Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye—the idea, like most conspiracy theories, is full of holes. Salinger, who as a World War II infantryman helped Army Intelligence interrogate German prisoners, left the military behind once the war was over. Q When Steve Allen hosted I’ve Got a Secret in the mid’60s, he once showed a portion of a huge painting of a Civil War battle—whatever happened to it? —Jane Le Bel, Fairbanks, Alaska
A There were four versions of the Gettysburg Cyclorama, painted in the 1880s by French artist Paul Philippoteaux: One was destroyed, one is missing, and one is in storage. The fourth, 377 by 42 feet, is displayed at the Gettysburg National Military Park. Between 2005 and 2008, 8, a team led by conservator David L. Olin restored it to its original glory. “It was astounding,” nding,” Olin says. “If you let your mind go, you’re actually in the midst of the battle.” Q Can you reassure me that the celebrities who went to Haiti for the relief effort weren’t just out for publicity? —D. Al-Allen, Minneapolis, Minn.. A Actress Maria Bello can. She traveled with actor and liberal activist Sean Penn, construction workers, andd a team of doctors andd nurses. “ Sean’s team took antibiotics to the Generall Hospital,” she says. “The doctors said, ‘ Thank God—we wouldn’t have had enough for tomorrow.’ ” Bello’s new movie,, The Yellow Handkerchief, set inn post-Katrina Louisiana, opens in select cities on Friday. A Some can. Just ask classically trained singer/songwriter Imogen Heap, whose layered electronica and poetic lyrics give her a sound all her own—and whose instruments include the cello, piano, clarinet, guitar, and drums. “I love all kinds of fancy little production,” the 32-year-old tells us, “but it’s always the vocal that carries you through.” Her la latest album, Ellipse, debuted in the Top To 5 on five Billboard charts: Dance/Electronica, Dance/Electronica Alternative Album, Rock Album, Internet, and an Digital. And last month it picked up a Grammy for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. The engineer? Imogen Heap. QA A friend told me that the rapper Coolio has a cooking s show. I said she was dreaming. Who’s right?—Linda Truong, Los Angeles, Calif Calif.
A Y Your friend. Not only does th the 46-year-old hip-hop artist (a.k (a.k.a., Artis Leon Ivey Jr.) have an online show ( Cookin’ With Coolio) but he’s just published Cookin’ With Coolio: 5-Star M Meals at a 1-Star Price. “I have a rea really expansive palate,” the Compton, Calif., native tells u us. His favorite recipes? “Probably my fork steak, my finger-licking grill s steak, and my fall-off-t fall-off-the-bone-into-your-mouth chicken.” We’re so t there! Q What’s with all these British women (Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, Duffy) singing in a ’ 60s soul style? Can’t they do anything else?— E. Tracy, Baltimore, Md.
Douglas makes a fine introduction
Mays: Gleeful to be cast
Bello lends a hand
Coolio turns up the heat
Brit hits: Winehouse (l) and Heap