updated 11/16/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/16/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

Before Julia Sweeney rivaled Saturday Night Live's androgynous Pat (is he or isn't she?), she worked for five years as an accountant at Columbia Pictures. "Pat is who I was afraid I might become if I had stayed there, claims Sweeney, 31. But becoming Pat isn't merely a state of mind. "It's a full, flesh-colored bodysuit that even has a dimple where the belly button should be," she says. "I've never seen my mother laugh harder than when she came to the show and I was in the Pat suit with no clothes on. When I take it off, it's like that dream everyone has of suddenly shedding 40 lbs."

Marty Stuart recently won the Country Music Association's vocal event of the year award for his work on the No Hats Tour with Travis Trill. But an even better honor came from country star Lorrie Morgan, widow of Stuart's hero, the late Keith Whitley: She presented him with the black jacket that Whitley wore while performing. Stuart, 34, a collector of C&W memorabilia, was overwhelmed. "I don't know what I'm gonna send her in return," he says. "Maybe a Volkswagen—that's what Whitley would have wanted—full of Flatt and Scruggs records."

On the recent mission of the space shuttle Endeavour, Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black woman astronaut, started her shifts by saying, "Hailing frequencies open." It was her homage to childhood hero and current pal Nichelle Nichols, whose interplanetary exploits (as Lieutenant Uhura on the original Star Trek) began in 1966. 'Being able to see a black woman on the Enterprise exploring the heavens was very important," says Jemison, 36, who recalls this defining kindergarten conversation back home in Chicago: "I said that when I grew up I wanted to be a scientist—and the teacher asked me, 'Don't you mean a nurse?' "

Of the pols, authors and show folk interviewed on Charlie Rose, a PBS talk show entering national syndication Jan. 4, is it any surprise that actors present host Charlie Rose, 50, with the most problems? "They sometimes play to the camera," he explains. ""Hen kingsley was wonderful, except he wouldn't look at me. It's live, I can't go to a commercial, so I was leaning halfway across the damn table, using body language that would remind you of Rosemary Woods, trying to get him to lock into my eyes. Finally I said, it might help me if you could turn a little bit this way.' And he did, but not completely. I think he was going against an actors instinct."

From Our Partners