Neighbors and Other Strangers

UPDATED 10/26/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 10/26/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

Brenda STRONG (Mary Alice Young)
Her neighbors attended her funeral in the first episode, so while other characters maybe dispatched this season, "the good aews is that they can't kill me!" says Brenda Strong, 45, Although she doesn't log much screen time, playing the show's omniscient narrator has its perks. "Marc Cherry said to me; 'You have more lines than anybody else on the show,' " she says. "I make a nice living playing dead." Strong also has a bona fide backup career, just in case. She and husband Tom Henri, the parents of a 10-year-old son, own a yoga studio in LA "I've entertained the idea of having a private yoga party with all the girls," says Strong, "but I haven't yet because all our schedules have been so insane."

They WILL Be Back

FELICIA TILLMAN (Harriet Sansom Harris)
Mrs. Huber's twisted sister continues to stir the pot.

JUSTIN THE GARDENER (Ryan Carnes)
Andrew's heartthrob hookup returns as a recurring character.

MRS. McCLUSKEY (Kathryn Joosten)
Lynette's cranky neighbor still lurks—and word is she isn't getting nicer.

They MIGHT Be Back

MORTY (Bob Newhart)
Sophie's fifth husband (to-be)

RODNEYSCAVO (Ryan O'Neal)
Tom's womanizing dad

SOPHIE BREMMER (Lasley Ann Warren)
Susan's meddlesome mom

MAISY GIBBONS (Sharon Lawrence)
Suburban dominatrix

KENDRA (Heather Stephens)
Deirdre's sister

HELEN ROWLAND (Kathryn Harrold)
John's mother

YAO LIN (Lucille Soong)
Gabrielle's sassy maid

MR. SHAW (Richard Roundtree)
Local P.I./hit man

The Cast That Might Have Been

SUSAN MAYER (Mary-Louise Parker)
West Wing fan Marc Cherry offered her the part, but she passed.

JOHN THE GARDNER (Kyle Searles)
Test audiences found him too youthful-looking to be Gabrieile's lover.

MARY ALICE YOUNG (Sheryl Lee)
The Twin Peaks vet's voice-overs in the original pilot lacked the proper tone.

REX VAN KAMP (Michael Reilly Burke)
After a regime change at ABC, Burke was replaced by Stevan Culp, Cherry's original choice.

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