And it's not a bad gig. Nearly 15 years after the last of her three seasons playing the series' underclothed crusader, Carter resides in suburban splendor on a Potomac, Md., estate equipped with pool, tennis court, home gym and man-made waterfall. She has a high-profile husband, D.C. attorney Robert Altman, 48, and two children she adores Jamie, 7, and Jessica, 4). She still acts—most recently in this year's short-lived syndicated series Hawkeye—but her priorities expanded a while back. "How many videocasettes of your work can you park on a shelf?" says Carter. "In the end it doesn't mean much. I wanted a family, a life with substance."
Substantive problems came with the deal. In 1991, seven years after Carter wed second husband Altman (her first marriage, to her manager Ron Samuels, ended in 1982), Altman was accused of fraud in the BCCI banking scandal. He was acquitted, but only after a five-month trial, which his wife attended daily, and a legal bill in the millions. "We've been through very public things," says Carter, who weathered the storm while doing TV movies (like CBS's Posing, in which she played a wife who appeared in Playboy). "I think I'm a bigger person now, and I'm more creative." With her kids growing older, she says, "I'm sort of working my way back, looking at ideas for pilots. I want to play a woman who overcomes things—a kick-ass woman.". Sounds like someone we used to know.