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Pop culture Q&A: Killed-off 'Interest' actress wanted to pursue other projects

| Sunday, April 20, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Q: What happened to that female policewoman on “Person of Interest”? Is she appearing elsewhere since she was killed off? Is the star leaving also?

A: Taraji P. Henson, who played Det. Carter, has an active movie career and reportedly said it was time to leave the CBS drama and get back to the big screen. Look for her this summer in “Think Like a Man Too,” the sequel to the comedy-drama inspired by Steve Harvey's writing.

But she was apparently not done with TV; she has signed up for “Empire,” a Fox drama pilot about the people in and around a hip-hop company. The series comes from director Lee Daniels and writer Danny Strong, who teamed for “The Butler.” The cast includes Terrence Howard — with whom Henson co-starred in “Hustle & Flow” — and Macy Gray.

CBS, meanwhile, has renewed “Person of Interest” for next season, so I would not expect to see actors Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson leave. But I didn't expect Josh Charles to leave “The Good Wife,” either.

Q: I have been searching for over a decade for “Blood Feud” with Robert Blake. I have an old VHS copy. Why is a great movie like that not being released?

A: For those of you tuning in late, “Blood Feud” was a two-part TV movie starring Blake as Jimmy Hoffa and Cotter Smith as Robert Kennedy. I don't know the specific reason for its absence from DVD and other recent formats, but I understand your frustration.

With the wide availability of TV shows and movies on disc and online, there's an assumption that virtually everything can be found somewhere. But that is not always the case, and fans, at times, wait decades for their favorites to arrive. The reason could be as simple as a lack of enough demand to justify the release; just because something is your favorite show, it may not have been loved by a large audience — or by an audience willing to pay to see it again. Beyond that, rights issues arise; a key cast member might not be willing to have it released, there is a fight over which company owns the overall rights, or music licensing is expensive and, in some cases, impossible.

Q: In the '80s (I think), there was a show called “Matt Houston” with Lee Horsley and his “girl Friday” (forgot her name). Whatever happened to these stars? I never saw them in anything else.

A: “Matt Houston” aired on ABC from 1982 to '85. Horsley played a wealthy oilman who spent most of his time solving mysteries; his sidekick was C.J. Parsons, played by Pamela Hensley. Horsley did not disappear after “Houston”; he also appeared in “North and South Book II,” Western drama “Paradise” (later called “The Guns of Paradise”), “Bodies of Evidence,” “Wind on Water” and “Hawkeye”. Not too long ago he had a supporting role in the big-screen “Django Unchained.” He should not be confused with crime-fiction expert Lee Horsley, a British academician — and a woman.

Hensley, meanwhile, was known to audiences before “Matt Houston” for playing Princess Ardala in NBC's “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century,” with Gil Gerard as Buck. She married E. Duke Vincent, an executive producer of “Matt Houston,” and put aside acting. But she found other activities; as Pamela Hensley Vincent, she wrote “The Jewish-Sicilian Cookbook,” which was published in 2004.

Rich Heldenfels is a staff writer for the Akron Beacon Journal. Write him at Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44328 or rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com.

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