Summer's over, but Sean Young's not worried about cooling off. Her two film sizzlers—Blade Runner, a sci-fi saga with Harrison Ford, and Young Doctors in Love, a nutball send-up of surgery and soaps—have casting agents putting her in the same hotshot category as Karen Allen, Debra Winger and Rachel Ward. Young, 22, confidently says she saw it coming. "I was born with a desire to be the center of attention," she admits. "I've never been afraid to say, 'Look at me.' "

Playing Ford's android lover in Blade Runner gave her a good chance to be seen, though she confesses, "I don't like sci-fi." In contrast, making Young Doctors was "like shooting off a rubber band." She loved director Garry (Laverne and Shirley) Marshall's low comic approach, even though she played an intern who, during a pathology lecture, almost gulps from a beaker of, yuck, urine. "The scene was fun and it fit the character," defends Sean. "She'd do anything to prove herself."

Young is much the same way. Her biggest booster is her mother, author Lee Guthrie, 40ish, who has written unauthorized bios of Woody Allen and Cary Grant. "Lee's very pushy," needles a studio source, who recalls Mrs. Guthrie's standing up at one press conference, without identifying herself, to praise Sean's performance as "markedly beautiful." Mom says, "It was meant to be a put-on that the audience took straight." As for being pushy, that, says Lee, "is a typical response women like me or Teri Shields get. I'm living with it." Sean has her own philosophy for dealing with criticism: "Living life so you can be liked isn't important."

Born in Louisville and raised in Cleveland, Sean latched onto acting after starring in her newsman dad's home movies. After a few years at Cleveland Heights High School, at age 16 she headed for Michigan's Interlochen Arts Academy to study dance, singing and flute. Skipping college, she then rejoined her parents, who had moved to New York. She worked for a time as a research assistant at Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, then later as a model {Italian Vogue) for the Elite and Zoli agencies. "I didn't trust anybody in that business," says Sean. "They didn't treat women with much respect, so I quit."

Sparked by her looks and energy, agent Andy Howard signed Sean, who just missed the Karen Allen role in Raiders of the Lost Ark but won a part in a small art-house film, Jane Austen in Manhattan, followed by a bit with Bill Murray in 1981's Stripes. Blade Runner and Young Doctors soon followed. "I was looking for someone pretty, elegant, not afraid to be funny and foolish," says Garry Marshall, who liked Sean's "fearlessness.'

These days Young is also spreading her wings off-camera. After living for a few months with sister Cathy, 23, a script reader at Paramount, she has moved into her own Manhattan high-rise studio apartment. And she's also becoming more of her own boss. "I have a smart family," says Sean. "But I make my own decisions about what's best for me." That means finding the right next role. "I'm ready to do about eight musicals," says Young, who keeps limber with ballet and tap classes. Romance is no impediment. For the past year she's been seeing Terry Brennan, 25, an as-yet-unpublished writer, but she has no wedding plans. "I'm a career-type person. I'll be ready for marriage when I'm ready to have children, probably in my late '20s. If I didn't try to be an actress I wouldn't have any self-esteem," she insists. "I need that."