Teri Hatcher: A Star Is Reborn

Teri Hatcher: A Star Is Reborn
"I feel more comfortable with myself now," says Hatcher. "I don't know if I feel sexier. I feel more whole."
Troy Word

02/03/2005 AT 12:00 PM EST

Just over a year ago, Teri Hatcher was feeling so desperate she curled up and cried on her kitchen floor. She had split from actor Jon Tenney after nine years, was worried about the challenge of being a single mom to young daughter Emerson and, at 38, was anxious that her career options were disappearing on the horizon of middle age. She hadn't taken a serious Hollywood acting gig since Lois & Clark ended in 1997 and, suddenly panicky over money, she was afraid of losing her home. "I was in some deeply, deeply sad places," says Hatcher. "I wanted something to be solid for Emerson. When I was crying there, I was feeling I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage for much longer – there was a lot of money that I'd had that I didn't have anymore. That was really a low point."

Today, the 40-year-old Hatcher has the take-charge confidence of a soccer mom behind the wheel of a new diesel station wagon. Accepting a Golden Globe Jan. 16, she referred to herself as a "has-been," but in the past tense: More than a decade after she became a star playing Lois Lane to Dean Cain's Superman, she's at a career pinnacle thanks to the ABC smash hit Desperate Housewives. For those who live in a complete cultural cul de sac, Housewives is about five women on a trim suburban street called Wisteria Lane, where suicide, murder, adultery, hit-and-run accidents, S&M, drug abuse and even rumors of infanticide are part of the land- scape. Yet the tone remains somehow cheerful, thanks in large part to Hatcher as Susan Mayer, a divorced mother gingerly falling in love (with a handsome but mysterious plumber) and trying, well, not to be as desperate as her neighbors. "She's a fresh face again," says series creator Marc Cherry, who says Hatcher "owned" the role the minute she auditioned in January 2004.
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