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Tyne Daly has re-upped with her former costar Sharon Gless for a forthcoming TV movie, Cagney & Lacey: The Return, based on their long-running police drama. But as she dusts off her NYPD gear, Daly, 47, is already looking ahead to wearing a smile and little else to her 50th-birthday party. “My friends and I will gather among the giant redwood trees in Northern California and wait until the moon is full,” Daly told the London Sunday Mirror. “Then, stark naked, I will start the ecstatic dancing. There just has to be a ceremony for being 50, and I want to enter the second half of my life like a brand-new baby.”


“From being anonymous, it’s suddenly, ‘Saw you on Letterman!’ ” says Mandy Patinkin, the top Broadway tenor whose current LP is called Experiment. The New Yorker credits his new Q rating to four appearances this year on Late Show with David Letterman. “It’s nonstop [recognition], and that’s just on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.” Patinkin’s fame will soon extend to L.A., where this month he begins shooting a new CBS series, Chicago Hope, written by David Kelley. “I’ve never worked with anyone who, on the 13th day of a 14-day shoot, delivers a four-or five-page [rewrite] with beautiful dialogue,” says Patinkin, 41, laughing as he anticipates the next question—about Kelley’s wife. “Yes, I’ve met Michelle Pfeiffer,” he says. “She’s wonderful, she’s great, she’s pregnant.”


For Deborah Norville, the former Today cohost replaced by Katie Couric in 1991, things are getting easier. Her CBS newsmagazine, America Tonight, has been critically well received since its June debut. “A lot of people had written my professional obituary when I left Today,” says Norville, 35, “so it’s great to raise my hand again and say, ‘Present.’ ”


Unlike the unscrupulous Dr. Mancini he plays on Melrose Place, Thomas Calabro isn’t much of an operator. “Mancini and I are the same height, but other than that, he lives only in my fantasy,” says Calabro, 35, whose real-life wife, Liz, is expecting a baby in December. He relies on his sister Susan, a surgeon at a New York hospital, for medical advice, especially with his character. “I’ll ask Susan, ‘In this scene, I’m coming out of the E.R. What happens then?’ And she’ll say, ‘Nothing happens. You walk out of the room.’ But I want to know what to have on, what to take off, whether there’d be blood splatters. She told me to wrap my stethoscope and put it in my pocket. Now I go around to other [TV] surgeons and put their stethoscopes in their pockets.” Also present and soon to be accounted for: Baby No. 2, due in December. “I’ve not had a lot of morning sickness,” Norville reports, Last time around, I was shooting an interview in Texas, praying for the person to finish. Finally he paused for a breath, and I disconnected the microphone and bolted around the corner. I wasn’t ready to tell people I was pregnant, so I came back and said, ‘It was a really bumpy flight. I shouldn’t have eaten the peanuts.’ ”