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After Meryl Streep finished shooting The Bridges of Madison County, her upcoming movie with Clint Eastwood that’s based on Robert Waller’s best-selling romantic novel and due in June, the 45-year-old actress returned home to rural Connecticut, where she lives the quiet life with her husband of 16 years, sculptor Don Gummer, and their four children. Streep says being married to a movie star isn’t an easy act for Gummer. “It’s a constant source of embarrassment to him,” she tells London’s Daily Telegraph. “The art world is full of very cool people, and it’s not cool that I’m in show business. It is also not cool to have four children, so they look down on that too, but I am what I am, and I do what I do.” Surely she can hold her own at, say, an art gallery opening? Only, says Streep, “if I wear all black.”


Liz Torres, who plays the assistant manager of the bus station on The John Larroquette Show, spent a week in Florida filming her small part in the thriller just Cause—opposite Sean Connery. “The first night I got to the set,” says Torres, 40ish, “he called and said, ‘Hello, this is Sean.’ Sean! And 15 minutes later he knocked on my door to go over our scene. I was floored.” But manners maketh the man. “He would get up every time I walked into the room,” she says. “When we had a break, he would gesture for me to pass first. I’m a big woman, and heavy people sometimes become invisible. But my size meant nothing to him. I was a lady.” When Liz wanted a picture with her costar, Connery called for the still photographer (“We’ll have a proper picture taken”) and later sent her the glossy, signed and framed. “I was just a two-bit player,” sighs Torres. “I was not prepared to fall in love.”


Soulful singer Gladys Knight, who turned 50 last May, has plenty to celebrate. Her latest album, Just for You, earned two Grammy nominations, and she’s engaged to marry motivational speaker and former TV talk show host Les Brown in August. “I had been looking forward to 50, because turning 40 was so great,” says Knight, who will begin touring later this month. “Whoa! The light came on when I turned 40, so I said, ‘Shoot! If I’m learning all this and I know all that, wait till 50 comes, buddy!’ Age ain’t nothing but a number to me.”


Alan Rosenberg, 43, has made a specialty of playing angst-ridden men—first as Civil Wars lawyer Eli Levinson, a character later transplanted to L.A. Law, and now as the womanizing Ira, one of Cybill Shepherd’s exes on the CBS sitcom Cybill. “I’m very comfortable playing Ira,” he says. “We’re both neurotic, middle-aged Jewish men. Ira’s a mess, but he’s healthier than Eli. And, like Eli—and me, perhaps—Ira wears his heart on his sleeve, which is surprisingly attractive to people.” The Los Angeles Times must think so, having called Rosenberg “the thinking woman’s sex symbol,” a designation that gave Rosenberg’s wife of five years, China Beach’s Marg Helgenberger, a hearty laugh. “I’m still not sure,” says Rosenberg, “if she was laughing about the thinking part or the sex-symbol part.”