updated 09/09/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/09/1991 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Although she became a household name in 1983 at age 19 when she starred in Flash-dance, Jennifer Beals continued as an American-studies major at Yale, squeezing in only a few acting jobs (The Bride, Faerie Tale Theatre) during breaks in her schooling. Now, having graduated in 1987, she was asked if she regrets not having capitalized at the time on her Flashdance fame. "No," says Beals, 27. "Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to go to college, and I didn't think there was a reason to forgo my dream of an academic life to pursue a film career. I could understand how some agent with a big cigar would say, 'She's crazy! What's wrong with her?' You can't have everything. I would rather have my education and know who Dostoevski is than have a beach house in Malibu. Besides, I'm still hanging in there [her new movie, Blood and Concrete, opens late this month], so I don't feel robbed in any way."

John Goodman, 39, just finished playing the legendary Babe Ruth in The Babe, a film due next year. Asked how he most resembles the great Bambino, Goodman replies, "We both have a tendency to enjoy life, but I've slowed down from that peak consumption." The biggest difference between them? "He had these little piano legs," says Goodman, laughing, "and I've got pot roast." Indeed, Goodman shed 60 lbs. for the role, 20 of which he has regained. Does he have any other roles in mind? "I wouldn't mind taking a shot at Huey Long, the Louisiana Governor," he says, adding quickly, "That's an unfortunate choice of words, isn't it?" (Long was assassinated in 1935.)

Having turned dozens of teenagers into human pincushions in five Nightmare on Elm Street movies since 1984, Freddy Krueger is finally headed for that great haunted house in the sky in his sixth film, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, which opens, appropriately, on Friday, Sept. 13. "I imagine they could contrive some film that could follow this one, but as far as I'm concerned, this is the final bookend to the series," says actor Robert Englund, 44. "I suppose I'll miss Freddy in a few years, but right now I'm just glad to be hanging up the makeup. They were always either basting me with K-Y Jelly or covering me up with Jell-O or something."

Step by Step, a new sitcom due Sept. 20 on ABC, follows two combined-through-marriage families as they learn to cope with each other. "I've lived this life," says Suzanne Somers, 44, who costars on the show with Patrick Duffy. "I married [producer-manager] Alan Hamel [in 1977], and he had two children, and I had one child from another marriage, which is pretty typical of what families are these days. My son didn't like his kids, and his kids didn't like me. Guilt is a major factor in combined marriages because you see your kids not happy, and you try to accommodate them, but that's dangerous for the marriage. It wasn't until Alan and I became a united front and said to the kids, 'You're not going to break us up, so learn to live with this situation,' that things improved." And how does her show differ from that most prototypical combined family show, The Brady Bunch? "I don't know if Florence Henderson and Robert Reed had it, but Patrick Duffy and I have great sex."

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