"I have had tough times," says Huffman, 42, who plays frantic mother of four Lynette Scavo. A New York stage veteran who previously found her biggest success seven years ago on the cult sitcom Sports Night, "I've gone a year without working at all," she says. Herself the mother of two with her husband, actor William H. Macy, she's also grateful to be the least sexy of the Housewives. "I don't have to wear makeup, don't have to do my hair—I want the big, baggy pants."
Even though she played a very nice doctor on WB's Everwood last year, Cross, 42, was wondering if she'd ever make anyone forget demented ice queen Kimberly Shaw from Melrose Place ('92-97). "My agent and my manager had to tell people for 10 years that I wasn't Kimberly," says the actress, who's single. Bree Van De Kamp, a housewife so perfect she looks laminated, can be pretty frigid too, but the character "continues to surprise me," says Cross. "I'm very happy."
Sheridan, 41, who became a sex symbol playing suburban vixen Paige Matheson almost 20 years ago on Knots Landing, does not regard her new role as Edie Britt, who also happens to be a suburban vixen, as a comeback. "A year ago I had been talking about doing another series, and I started penning one myself," says Sheridan, who is engaged to Swedish actor Niklas Soderblom. "I am waking up every day feeling very lucky."
It's a second golden age for the show's creator and writer, 42. The first was NBC's Golden Girls (he produced and wrote for the hit in '90-92). Then came a period where "people [were] not answering the phone and [were saying] hurtful things," he says. To those who didn't take his calls, "I'm trying to be gracious," says Cherry. "But there's a part of me going, 'I hope some of those folks are sorry.' "
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