updated 04/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Rocker David Bowie, now married to the model and actress Iman and out promoting his new Black Tie While Noise album, has undergone some profound ch-ch-changes since his first glory days 20 years ago. "There's a '70s revival in England right now, and they've been replaying interviews that I did," says Bowie, 46. "There was one shot during 1974 or '75, and what it brought to me was the pain I put myself through. That was the height of my drug addiction. It was very, very painful to watch. I looked so thin and so ill, and I was living in an alternative reality. Looking at it objectively, I found myself wondering how this poor soul was going to survive."

Forget his martial-arts expertise and talent for gunplay. Action hero Chuck Norris, 53, tries something truly dangerous in Walker, Texas Ranger: He talks. Walker is a two-hour special that will air April 21 on CBS and introduce the lawman Norris will be playing in a new series of the same name. "You'll see something Chuck Norris has never done before," he says. "My character really opens himself up and talks about his life to a 15-year-old girl who has been brutally raped and is holding everything in. He has a five-minute monologue. You've never seen Chuck Norris talk five minutes in a whole movie."

Having failed during her first year at Hollywood High to make the cheerleader squad, Sisters' Swoosie Kurtz finally gets pom-pom revenge, sort of, in The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, a made-for-cable film airing this month on HBO. She plays a housewife who testifies during the trial of Wanda Holloway (played by Holly Hunter), the obsessed Texas mom who, in real life, was accused of hiring a hit man to kill the mother of her daughter's cheerleading competitor. Of her own long-ago cheerleading audition, Kurtz, 48, says, "I was going gung-ho and then literally tripped—my one foot got caught in my other foot—and I fell flat on my face. I didn't have the calves for it. I've got great legs, but there's a certain cheerleading calf, very muscular. Mine are shapely, but not sturdy. I failed miserably and went immediately into drama and black tights and never went in the sun again."

With a CBS movie, Adrift, airing this Tuesday (April 13) and a pilot in the works, Kate Jackson is back in the TV business full-time, her bouts with breast cancer in 1987 and '89 well in the past. "If your attitude is positive, everything in your life will lead you down a good path," says Jackson, 44, who lately has been applying her positive attitude to Arly Hanks, a series she hopes CBS will pick up for the fall. "I play a woman in New York whose husband runs off with a foot model, and I go back to Arkansas and become the sheriff of a small town," says Jackson. "I guess Arkansas is the hip state now. I told the producer I'd do the show purely as a social-climbing thing!"

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