In a career spanning three decades, Teri Garr has played wives (1977's Close Encounters of the Third Kind), girlfriends (19'82's Tootsie) and divorcees (1984's Firstborn). But a grandmother? "We couldn't believe it," says Garr, 54, of herself and costar Judith Ivey, 47, who are both cast as the grannies of the real-life Dilley sex-tuplets in Haifa Dozen Babies, an ABC TV-movie airing May 17. "I remember being offended when I had to play a mother," says Garr. "But you have to get over it fast, or get out." Garr is in it for the long haul, but she can afford to be choosy about her roles these days, thanks to a long-running gig as the bubbly spokeswoman for Lite FM radio stations. "They're funny," says Garr of the TV spots. "And God knows, they pay the rent."
Handling the 14 babies who played the sextuplets, Garr thought of daughter Molly, whom she and then-husband John O'Neill, a California contractor, adopted as an infant. "Now my Molly is 5 and hell on wheels," says Garr, who plays the mom of a teen (Dawson's Creek's Michelle Williams) in the summer movie comedy Dick. "At least," she says, "I'm not her grandmother."