Daily Insider for Jan. 2, 2004

updated 04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 01/02/2004 9:05AM

January 2, 2004
DEBRA'S 'PUPPY LOVE'
Rosie O'Donnell wasn't the only celebrity to be infatuated with Donnie Osmond in her youth. "(He) had a power over me that I was not capable of overcoming," recalls Debra Messing. "Donnie Osmond actually was such a huge part of my childhood that I had told myself and nobody else that I was going to marry him someday. And then it hit the newspaper that he actually got married to a woman named Debra and it tripped me out. I was convinced that I was the Debra and it was a parallel life thing." Messing, who stars in the upcoming romantic comedy Along Came Polly, has since had the opportunity to confess her schoolgirl crush to the former pop idol. "He was sufficiently freaked out," she reports.

ROYAL WELCOME
On a recent night out in New York City, former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, their daughter, Chelsea, and a friend enjoyed the Broadway hit Avenue Q. After the show, the former First Family chatted backstage with cast members. Though Chelsea brought a friend, and not beau Ian Klaus, sources tell the Daily Insider that there is no trouble in paradise: Chelsea and her California-born boyfriend, whom she met while studying at Oxford University, are still an item.

WHO'S CALLING, PLEASE?
Before Hank Azaria became the voice of Chief Wiggam and Moe the bartender on The Simpsons, the Queens, N.Y.-born actor had a different use for his unique vocal skills: "I would imitate Sylvester Stallone and Mickey Rourke, and call clubs and try to get myself on the (guest) list," he says. "I'd call as Stallone and say, 'Yo, I'm comin' down...and can you also put my friend Hank Azaria on the list, too?'" Azaria put on a French accent for his role as a smooth-talking scuba instructor in Along Came Polly.

2, 4, 6, 8, WHO DO WE APPRECIATE?
Actress Kathy Brier was honored by colleagues recently for a job – make that jobs – well-done. Brier has been rushing between performances of the hit Broadway show Hairspray and the ABC soap One Life to Live, where she stars as Marcie Walsh. "Our Kathy is one of the hardest working girls in show biz," Harvey Fierstein told the audience after a Hairspray performance attended by ABC stars including Joy Behar and Susan Lucci.

Written by: SEAN DALY
Reported by: SEAN DALY, SHARON COTLIAR and KC BAKER

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