Michael Welch

Michael Welch

By Cindy Elavsky
Q: Our family loves watching “MythBusters.” Has co-host Kari Byron had her baby yet? — Debbie C., Boonville, NY

A: Kari Byron, 35, and husband Paul Ulrich welcomed daughter Stella Ruby on June 28, 2009. The San Franciscan is also an artist, working in polymer clay, found objects, acrylic gouache, wood and metal. Head over to karibyron.com and check out her artwork.
Q: I can’t wait to see “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” this summer, especially because the special effects look so good. I was wondering how the actors who play the “humans” on the show feel, since they don’t get to have all the action-sequence fun that the wolves and vampires do. — Emily F., via e-mail

A: I caught up with “Eclipse” star Michael Welch — who plays lovable and wisecracking human Mike Newton — and he told me he is just fine with the status quo. “That stuff is very difficult. I don’t envy people who have to work on fight choreography for months at a time. I’m sure it would be a lot of fun. At the end of the day, I think Mike Newton serves a very specific purpose in this franchise, and it’s been a lot of fun for me to be able to play him. I certainly don’t regret anything.”

Also, you do have reason to be excited about the latest installment in The Twilight Saga, as Michael explained: “In my opinion, this is the best film in the franchise by far. I’m thrilled about it. It exceeded my expectations. And the fighting looks incredible.”
Q: I have been wondering for a while if the voice behind the new Dodge truck commercials is that of Sam Elliott. If so, what is he up to, and does he have any new projects in the works? — Antonio, Clarksville, Tenn.

A: Sam has done a lot of commercial voice-over work, and Dodge/Ram is indeed one of them. He is the voice behind the Dodge/Ram “Motor Trend Magazine 2010 Truck of the Year” commercials. Speaking of voice work, he also voices the character of Chupadogra in the new “Marmaduke” film. The busy (soon-to-be) 66-year-old actor just finished work on the feature film “The Big Bang,” which also stars Antonio Banderas, William Fichtner, James Van Der Beek and Snoop Dogg.
Q: I loved to watch actress Mary Astor, who co-starred in the old Humphrey Bogart movies. Can you tell me a little bit about her? — Anna C., Punta Gorda, Fla.

A: Mary, who passed away in 1987 of a heart attack at the age of 81, was in too many films to count, including “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “The Philadelphia Story,” “Don Juan,” “The Maltese Falcon” and “Little Women.” She was married four times, and was one of the few lucky actresses who was able to make a successful transition from silent films to “the talkies.” Mary Astor was her stage name; her given name was Lucile de Vasconcellos Langhanke.

Write to Cindy at King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475; or e-mail her at letters@cindyelavsky.com. For more news and extended interviews, visit www.celebrityextraonline.com and twitter.com/Celebrity_Extra.

© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.