updated 02/12/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/12/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST

Just keeping up with her high-octane beau Jim Carrey could be a full-time job, but Lauren Holly also juggles a growing movie career while continuing to play Sheriff Brock's deputy Maxine Stewart on the CBS series Picket Fences. Holly, who romanced Greg Kinnear in Sabrina, recently filmed roles in Beautiful Girls, a drama opening Feb. 9, and a comedy called Down Periscope, due March 1. "I worked about 100 hours a week," says Holly, 32, who finds it hard to say no to a project. "I look at it as if I were going to be a doctor, and I have my years of residency. They work insane hours, and that's sort of how I feel. I need to work as much as possible, learn as much as possible, so then I can go into my own private practice."

"I pray for Christopher Reeve every day," says Tony Danza, 44, who broke two vertebrae but escaped paralysis when he crashed into a tree while skiing in Utah two years ago. "My accident took me out for a year, and I worked four hours a day, six days a week to get back. When people ask how it changed me, I tell them, 'Well, I got over my mid-life crisis just like that.' But the injury made me think about all the things I dreamed of doing." Besides hosting the ESPY Awards Feb. 12, Danza has taken a special project off the drawing board: a variety show that he's touring with during breaks from his ABC sitcom Hudson Street. "It's my dream to be a member of the Rat Pack," says Danza, whose song-and-dance show has played Las Vegas and Atlantic City. "I never thought about being a sitcom star. I thought about being Sammy Davis Jr. This is my attempt."

If O.J. Simpson chose Black Entertainment Television for his first live interview thinking he'd field a few softball questions, he didn't count on BET newsman Ed Gordon, who quickly cut to the chase, inquiring, "There are people who believe you murdered your ex-wife and Ronald Goldman.... Did you commit those murders?" Though Simpson provided few remarkable answers—and referred viewers to his $29.95 video, due Feb. 19—Gordon received generally high marks from critics. "Because of the scrutiny, you step up to the plate," says Gordon, 35, who "from day one" pursued Simpson. "You send cookies, cakes, bribes of all kinds. I sent Johnnie Cochran a tie." Once he secured the interview, Gordon says, "I got questions from bus drivers, my mom, people in the grocery store. There wasn't anything like, 'Ask O.J. what kind of golf clubs he uses.' People took this seriously." As for Simpson's story, does Gordon think he's innocent? "I won't answer that," he says. "Nice try, though."

Crime doesn't pay, especially if you share a time slot with NBC's Thursday night megahit Friends. "It's slammingly bad luck—we can't possibly survive," says Angela Lansbury, 70, whose CBS series Murder, She Wrote—now in its 12th and, she says, last season—was moved from Sundays to Thursdays. "My attitude is, if we can't beat 'em, join 'em." So this week (Feb. 8), supersleuth Jessica Fletcher solves a murder on a hit TV show called Buds, featuring six attractive stars. Jessica tells one Bud, "Who would have thought a group of twentysomething people sitting around discussing their sexuality would turn out to be a top TV show?" Hmmm. Is that Jessica or Angela speaking? "It's a bit of both," says Lansbury, who harbors no malice. "I'm paying them a backhanded compliment."

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