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As soon as she wrapped her first season on Cybill, as the sharp-tongued, rich-by-divorce-settlement Maryann, actress Christine Baranski headed for home—an 18th-century farmhouse in rural Connecticut. “I was home for Mother’s Day,” says Baranski, 43, who has two children, ages 10 and 7, with her husband, actor Matthew Cowles. “I’m on hiatus until August. Having left Cybill’s world of red nail polish, haute couture and vodka martinis, I was sitting watching my daughter’s ballet class, and I thought, ‘This is heaven.’ ” Off-duty, the sensible-minded Baranski doesn’t even own a Chanel suit. “Let’s be real,” she says. “Maybe I could work up a justification to spend $4,000 on a suit—they say they last forever—but if you can shell out that kind of money, there are better things to spend it on.”


Gordon Clapp, NYPD Blue’s remaining redhead, doesn’t share the blue-collar background of his character, Greg Medavoy, the stuttering detective with the thick Noo Yawk accent. So how did Clapp, a Williams College graduate, end up playing NYPD’s quirkiest cop? “When I auditioned, I came up with the idea of a guy who’s anxiety-ridden,” says Clapp, 46. “He gets so nervous that he says everything twice.” Still, he had to convince the producers. “He’s a cop, so I couldn’t make him afraid of confronting a situation. Plus, if producers smell fear, they won’t hire you.”


James Woods plays the lead defense attorney in HBO’s recent Indictment: The McMartin Trial, a docudrama about the preschool case in Manhattan Beach, Calif. In real life, the case was tried twice, with the second trial ending in a hung jury six years after charges were first brought against seven teachers for sexually abusing children. “It should have been thrown out of court in 35 minutes,” says Woods, 48. In his next feature film, Martin Scorsese’s Casino, Woods reteams with Sharon Stone, whom he tormented last year in The Specialist. “I have a delicious part this time as Sharon’s pimp,” says Woods. “It’s fun playing her ex-lover twice in a row. She just can’t get me out of her system.”


Despite posing nude for Playboy and baring her breasts to David Letter-man on air, actress Drew Barrymore doesn’t see herself as a sex symbol. “I’ve never looked in the mirror and said, ‘You look hot!’ But it is important to feel good about yourself, and I’ve started to feel that in the past two years,” says Barry-more, 20, who stars in Mad Love with Chris O’Donnell and plays a bimbo in Batman Forever. “I finally realized I don’t have to have an A-plus perfect body, and now I’m very happy the way I am.” She likes to cheer up others too. “I send postcards out at least once a day,” she says, “but I hate the post office because they raised their price to 32 cents.” Informed that the postcard rate is actually 20 cents, Barry-more is incredulous: “Really? Since when? I learn something new every day.”