Chuck Arnold
May 19, 1997 12:00 PM

A GIRL LIKE HIM

On the hit NBC sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun, Kristen Johnston bends genders as Sally Solomon, a male alien occupying a sexy female human’s body. And boy, does he find out that Earth girls don’t have it so easy. “That’s basically the female writers on our staff getting retribution,” says Johnston, 29. “They throw in stuff about cramps and how much makeup we have to put on and Wonderbras and how uncomfortable everything is.” Does she vent some complaints of her own just for the writers’ benefit? “Oh, sure!” says Johnston, adding that she’s well-suited to play Sally. “I was never really a girly girl,” she says, “and I was never a butch girl either. I was sort of somewhere in between, which is really great because Sally swings both ways too.”

LAST RIGHTS

Having recently published The Last Will and Testament of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, New York City-based book packager Bill Adler was prepared for some public mortification. “I expected some people to say, and maybe with justification, ‘How could you publish somebody’s private will?’ ” says Adler, 68, whose previous books include the 1983 bestseller Who Killed the Robbins Family? and The Kennedy Wit. “But I did not steal this will in the middle of the night. I got a member of my staff to go down to the surrogate’s court and Xerox it, which anybody could have done.” Adler says he packaged the photocopies in an $18 hardback “for people who could not afford to buy a piece of Jackie at Sotheby’s.” As for a more commercial motive, Adler admits, “Yes, I am making money off it, but no more than anybody else who’s done a book on her. I sleep very well at night.”

SHRINK FACTOR

Playing a gay man in the movie adaptation of Broadway’s Love! Valour! Compassion! due May 16, Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander breaks a few risqué outfits out of his closet. In one scene he parades around in nothing but an apron, high heels and sunglasses. “It was a very windy day,” says Alexander, 37, “and I felt like Marilyn Monroe standing over the grate. We finally had to sew fishing weights into the apron to keep it from blowing up on me.” But that scene was a breeze compared to one, filmed in Quebec, in which his character goes skinny-dipping. “I’ve never felt water that cold before,” says Alexander. “I had to tell the director [Joe Mantello], ‘By the time we do a third take of this shot, I’m not going to have any [private parts] left.’ ”

NEVER TOO LATE

Twenty-one years after making her debut on General Hospital, Genie Francis, who became half of soap’s supercouple Luke and Laura, is bubbling over about her first Daytime Emmy nomination. “I was shocked,” says Francis, 35, who is up for Outstanding Lead Actress. “It’s been so long, I had given up hope of being nominated.” Now Francis, who is expecting her second child with husband Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation) in a few weeks, is hoping doctor’s orders won’t prevent her from traveling from Los Angeles to New York City for the May 21 awards show airing on ABC. “I’ve always gone as a presenter,” she says. “Who knows if I’ll ever get nominated again?” As for going up Francis against 16-time Emmy also-ran Susan Lucci of All My Children, Francis says, “The only thing harder than not being nominated for all those years is getting your hopes up every damn year and not winning it.”

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