updated 12/24/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/24/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

SCTV veteran CATHERINE O'HARA, the mom who accidently leaves behind her young son when the family goes to Paris in Home Alone, says she has been happily surprised by the film's megasuccess. "You never know, when you start, how a project is going to turn out," says O'Hara. "You hope for the best, but I don't think any of us could have imagined so fantastic a response as we've been getting. I mean, I've been hearing from people I haven't seen since high school, all of them calling to ask if I have a piece of the profits." (She doesn't.) As for MACAULAY CULKIN, her 10-year-old co-star, O'Hara says, "He's a darling little guy who has been acting since he was 4, so he's very professional. He comes in knowing all his lines, knowing where to hit his marks—he even knows all the other actors' lines. I expect he should become the head of the studio by the time he is 12."

The new world heavyweight champ, EVANDER HOLYFIELD, admits that he was a little out of his weight class when he did a guest spot on NBC's Fresh Prince of Bel Air last Monday (Dec. 10). "I hadn't felt that scared in a long time," says Holyfield, 28, who next defends his title against GEORGE FOREMAN on April 19. "I realize I'm a professional boxer, not a professional actor. It's a lot of pressure. Everybody said, 'Well, you did good,' but on the reality side, I'm the heavyweight champion of the world. Ain't too many people going to say I look bad, even if I did." As for the next near-obligatory sports star turn—underwear ads—Holyfield also has reservations. "I said I'd do boxer shorts, but I wouldn't dare do briefs. I didn't think my mother would appreciate it."

Etiquette doyenne LETITIA BALDRIGE, who has manner-of-factly written a dozen books on entertaining and social behavior since 1956, has just published her first work of fiction. It is a romantic novel, Public Affairs Private Relations, but it contains a much lower sexual-content quotient than most books of its kind. "The sex scenes are not very steamy," Baldrige concedes. "I didn't want to become known as a sex writer—that's not me. I have a tremendous following of people who read my books on behavior, and I don't want to change that perception of me. I think people would have been shocked if I had turned into a JUDITH KRANTZ."

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