I saw a movie called Hear My Song starring Ned Beatty. Did he actually perform the songs?
—Fred W., Nevada
Sorry to spoil the illusion, but no. The wonderful voice that appears to be coming from Ned Beatty's mouth is actually that of Vernon Midgley, a respected operatic tenor from England. Beatty is greatly talented as an actor and may even be able to carry a tune. Although Hear My Song is fiction, Beatty played a real singer, Josef Locke, so the voice had to be of operatic quality. The director of the film wanted Locke to play himself, but to get investors to finance the movie he needed a known actor for the part. The filmmakers felt that Locke's voice, though still strong, didn't fit Beatty's face, so they didn't have him provide the vocals. The quality of his past records wasn't suitable for the film either, so Midgley was brought in. Locke died in October 1999 but was pleased to be involved with the film that used him as its centerpiece.