Mr. Know-It-All: Secrets behind star's weight loss


Q: I have seen Marie Osmond on a regular basis hawking Nutrisystem weight-loss meals. She looks fantastic. How long has she been a Nutrisystem spokesperson? Has she had plastic surgery? How many times has she been married? -- T.M., Florence, Ohio

A: Olive Marie Osmond was born Oct. 13, 1959. She has been married three times to two different men. In 2013, she became a spokesperson for Nutrisystem, and the same year she joined Wise Foods, a line of emergency food storage solutions. It has been rumored that she has undergone several plastic surgery procedures, but nothing has been confirmed.

Q: After the movie "The Wizard of Oz," whatever happened to the actress who played the Wicked Witch? -- D.N.L., Prescott, Ariz.

A: Margaret Hamilton played The Wicked Witch of the West in the iconic film; she was born Dec. 9, 1902, and passed at 82 after having a heart attack. She appeared in 25 films before getting the role of the Wicked Witch. After melting, she appeared in more 50 movies through the mid-1970s. She was also a regular on radio and stage productions.

You live where? Accident, Md. According to the 2010 census, 325 residents call Accident home. A person from Accident is called an "Accidental."

Q: For years I have been reading the phrase, "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." It is supposedly a quote penned by Benjamin Franklin. Did he really say this? -- O.B.K., Portland, Maine

A: No, there is no proof that Benjamin Franklin ever wrote or said the quote. He did write, "Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy." The first quote does make better reading, though, doesn't it?

Q: I watched an episode of an old Western in which Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) came to town. He was rude and downright miserable. It was later revealed that he had a son who died and he blamed himself for the young boy's death. Is there any truth to the story line?

A: It's true. Langdon Clemens was the first-born child and only son born to Sam and Olivia Clemens. He was born prematurely, on Nov. 7, 1870; he continued to be weak and sickly though out his short life. In April of 1871, while riding with his father in a carriage, Langdon caught a cold, which developed into diphtheria. He died June 2, 1872; he was only 19 months old. Samuel Clemens blamed himself for the child's illness and rarely spoke of his son's death.

Q: During the early 1970s I was a regular watcher of "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In." I always got a kick out of Arte Johnson and his "Verrry interesting" line. Was there a second part to this phrase? Is he still alive? -- S.E.B., Shenandoah, Pa.

A: "Laugh-In" ran for 140 episodes, from January 1968 until March 1973. Arthur Stanton Eric "Arte" Johnson was a regular on the show. He is best remembered being dressed as a smoking German soldier named Wolfgang who used the catchphrase "Verrry interesting," sometimes followed by "but stupid" or "but not very funny."

Johnson lives in Southern California with his wife, Gisela; the couple married in 1968.

Q: I was surprised when I read that Mario Andretti drove in NASCAR. How many races did he win? How many years did he participate in NASCAR? -- I.K., Port Huron, Mich.

A: Mario Andretti drove in 14 races over four years starting in 1966. He won only one race, but it was the most prestigious in NASCAR -- the 1967 Daytona 500.

Send your questions to Mr. Know-It-All at or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.


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