On-camera, Richard Dreyfuss is Katee Sackhoff's college-professor dad on CBS's The Education of Max Bickford. Off-camera he's "Dad" as well. "Richard is like a father to me," says the actress. "He critiques me in such a loving way. He's a mentor."

And a tutor—in the art of cinema. "She told me she never saw black-and-white movies," says a bemused Dreyfuss. "I told her she was missing out and gave her a list of films she had to see." Like a dutiful daughter, Sackhoff, 22, has been renting her way through such classics as Casablanca and On the Waterfront in the Manhattan studio apartment she shares with her mixed breed Meatball.

With her own parents—Dennis, 54, a Portland, Ore., land developer, and Mary, 55, a coordinator for an English-as-a-second-language program—Katee, who has two older siblings, is more assertive. At 18, shortly after her 1998 TV-movie debut in Lifetime's Fifteen and Pregnant and fresh out of high school, "she told us she was going to Hollywood whether we helped her or not," says Mary. After landing a role in the upcoming Halloween: Resurrection, Sackhoff tried out last year as Nell, Max's sassy rock-singer daughter. Nell's nonconformity has rubbed off. Sackhoff, who is single, shoots pool and sports tattoos (including the Japanese symbol for "choice") recently painted her apartment dark blue. "It was too bright," she explains. "The landlord is gonna shoot me."