Czechoslovakian-born tennis menace Martina Navratilova has been a U.S. citizen for 11 years but has never voted in a presidential election—until now. "I've always been out of the country," says Navratilova, 36, who this year requested an absentee ballot to cast her vote for Bill Clinton. "As a working woman, I would have a really hard time voting for President Bush," she says. "He has been terrible on child care, maternity leave and rights to abortion. I would like to represent my country in war, but as a gay woman I would not even be allowed to enter the armed forces. I think it's time for a change."
Ann Magnuson gained such renown as the zany editor on the ABC sitcom Anything but Love that she was feted by her Charleston, W.Va., hometown on Famous Persons Day. "There was an ex-NFL linebacker who had a car dealership near the airport, a woman who wrote a best-seller on how to organize your closets, and me," says Magnuson, 36. In her one-woman show, You Could Be Home Now, at New York's Public Theater, however, she takes a poke at her modest celebrity. "My alter ego is an actress on a sitcom called Checks Cashed, a bittersweet Barney Miller-esque look at a lovable group of down-and-out degenerates who meet at an inner-city check-cashing store and bounce check after uproarious check, week after knee-slapping week."
Playing Christopher Columbus in Ridley Scott's 1492 was a rigorous role for French actor Gérard Depardieu. The hardest part? Speaking English. Although his character had a rich accent in Green Card, the explorer was expected to speak more crisply. "I filled my nights with anxiety repeating what I had to say without trying to understand it," Depardieu, 43, a high school dropout, tells Paris Match. The technique seemed to work. "I gave Sigourney Weaver the same advice when she was in France, filming Une Femme ou Deux," says Depardieu. "If you try to understand what you're saying, you'll slow down and you'll be terrible."
To mark the 25th anniversary of The Graduate, a videocassette version has just been released that includes footage about the making of the 1967 classic, which starred then newcomer Dustin Hoffman. "It was very much against casting," says Hoffman, now 55. "In the book, Benjamin Braddock was 6' tall and had blond hair, blue eyes—a Redford character. Mike Nichols cast me against everyone's advice. They fell ambivalent all the way through shooting and even into the previews. People would come up to the producer and say, 'You'd have had a hell of a movie if you hadn't miscast the lead.' "