UPDATED 05/30/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/30/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

The way Dana Carrey tells it, his dream of doing stand-up, let alone imitations of H. Ross Perot, Johnny Carson and George Bush, almost ended at a comedy club in Berkeley when he was a shy 22-year-old from the San Francisco suburb of San Carlos. "I watched all the comedians do their acts," says Carvey, 38, now staning in the comedy Clean Slate. "I sat there smugly thinking, I could do better.' Then came a comedian who was so outstandingly brilliant that I felt like a total failure. I thought, 'If there's a lot of guys like this around, I should give up now.' " But Carvey persevered—and so did that hot comic who nearly derailed his career. "It was Robin Williams," Carvey says with a sigh. "And luckily there aren't many of him around."

Now that he's got the rock star bit down pat, pop idol Jon Bon Jovi is learning how to be a dad. His wife, Dorothea, gave birth to their first child, Stephanie Rose, a year ago. "I'm really a big fan of fatherhood now," says Bon Jovi, 32, whose new single, "Good Guys Don't Always Wear White," appears on the soundtrack of the forthcoming film The Cowboy Way, starring Woody Harrelson and kiefer Sutherland. "The whole thing is one constant little freak-out. I live my life for this baby now." On changing diapers, Bon Jovi says, "It took a long time before I changed one. The technique wasn't hard, but the desire was none."

As soon as Mia Farrow finishes promoting her new movie, Widows' Peak, a comedy set in a small town in Ireland, she plans to pick up a good book. "I'm half finished," says Farrow, 49, of the autobiography she's writing. "I've got about 200 pages, just impressions, and I still haven't emerged from my teenage years!" But the memory bit is easier to master than the byte. "I learned to use a computer, which terrifies me," says Farrow, who won't discuss what she plans to say about Woody Allen. "You know, it swallowed up a whole chapter. I'm so paranoid that now I know how to save on two disks, and that's all I want to know. Everything else the thing can do, I just don't want to hear about it."

Former Texas beauty queen Judy Nelson had the whole country-talking in 1984 when she left her husband of 17 years to join companion Martina Navratilova on the women's pro tennis tour. "I was the woman behind the man, then the woman behind the woman," says Nelson, 49. Her relationship with Navratilova ended in 1991, and a year later she walked away with a confidential out-of-court settlement. "Now I'm the woman, so watch out!" Next month, Nelson will appear on PBS's In the Life as a commentator for tennis and other events at the Gay Games. "I know a hell of a lot about tennis—I watched a lot of matches," says Nelson, a mother of two sons. "I'm not a superstar. I think more people can identify with me—just an ordinary girl from an ordinary town with an ordinary family."

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