updated 02/05/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/05/2001 AT 01:00 AM EST

Beauty Before Age
How long has Dyan Cannon been in showbiz? "I remember one day being at lunch and seeing Barbra Streisand walking into Natalie Wood's trailer for lunch to get some contract tips," recalls Cannon, who costarred with Wood in the 1969 film Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. "It was another era and time." The actress, who turned 62 on Jan. 4, says she doesn't mind aging and is encouraged by a friend she sees in the stands at Los Angeles Lakers games. "She's now 105," says Cannon, who stars in the new NBC sitcom Three Sisters. "She's always got a smile. She lives by herself, takes the bus and doesn't wear glasses. She's my inspiration."

Silent Knight
"You go into a line of people that includes King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table—that's got a lot of glamor to it," says the newly dubbed Sir Michael Caine, 67, who appears onscreen in Quills and Miss Congeniality. The actor remains in awe of the honor, which Queen Elizabeth bestowed upon him in November. "That was extraordinary," he says. "Very special indeed, especially when she actually dubs you and puts the sword on your shoulder." Caine also shared a brief exchange with the Queen. "She said, 'I get the impression, Sir Michael, that you've been doing what you do for a very long time,' " says Caine. "And I said, 'Yes, I have.' I was about to say, 'And so, I hear, have you,' but I thought I didn't want to get the knighthood taken away the minute I've got it!"

Buzzer Buzz
She opted not to reprise her role in the Silence of the Lambs sequel Hannibal, but Jodie Foster accepted a scarier gig: Celebrity Jeopardy! "I'm very nervous," says Foster, 38, who competes against Harry Connick Jr. and Nathan Lane on the game show airing Feb. 5. "But it's good nervous, not bad nervous. I've been wanting to be on Jeopardy! my whole life. I watched it growing up, and a lot of my friends at college were really into it. We talked about it all the time." She's more concerned about her physical than her mental agility. "I've been working on my buzzering skills," Foster says of the show's patented buzzer technique, adding that even though she's a Yale grad, she doesn't feel any pressure to do her alma mater proud. "I'm just going to have fun. I'm not a very competitive person, anyway. If I don't look like a total jerk, I'll be happy."

Jack, Out of the Box
After winning his third Academy Award for 1997's As Good as It Gets, Jack Nicholson took a three-year hiatus and focused on another love. "Pretty much the minute I stopped working, the biggest percent of my time was spent reading," says Nicholson, 63, who has returned to the screen in The Pledge. "It's like a drug of some kind for me. I just read and read. I didn't talk about movies. That's the way I refill the old tub." Since he's choosy about his film work, Nicholson takes pains to refrain from bringing that classic "Jack" persona to his roles. "These days I'm very reluctant about 'Jack-ing' it up," he says. "When I'm working, I say, 'I don't really act that way, so don't ask me to give you the brow;"

Ritchie's Rich
"We couldn't be any happier. This is a magnificent time," says British director Guy Ritchie, who wed Madonna on Dec. 22. Now the couple is settling into their Beverly Hills home. "The great thing is, I left England when the sun came out, and it's done nothing but rain in California since I arrived," says Ritchie, 32. "So I feel like I am at home." He has turned his attention to Snatch, the new heist film he wrote and directed. It's violent, but he's not worried about son Rocco seeing it anytime soon; after all, the kid is 5 months old. "At this stage," says Ritchie, "he can't even tell the difference between me and the dog."

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