March 28, 1994 12:00 PM


Stepping in as a sassy new chef in Love & War, Annie Potts seamlessly replaced Susan Dey, who left the CBS comedy after its first season. But making viewers forget her seven years as Designing Women’s Mary Jo Shively was a greater challenge. “My hair had become such a trademark that I had to cut it off or people would never have bought into me as a new character,” says Potts, 41, who traded her thick red coif for a short, brunet do. “It scared me to death. A lot of us hang onto our long hair as a talisman of femininity, and I feel sort of naked without it. But sometimes it’s good to feel naked, and I was in the mood to redefine myself. Besides, this is my real hair color, so I don’t have the problem with roots anymore.”


“It’s not really fun to be this tall,” says Klle Macpherson, who added 20 unwanted pounds to her 6-foot frame to play a voluptuous artist’s model in Sirens, the sexy new Australian comedy. “You want people to love you, but it’s hard to be cute and endearing when you’re bigger than everyone else in the room.” As for Sheela, the brazen Bohemian model she plays in the movie, the resemblance to Elle is only skin deep. “I didn’t play myself at all,” says Macpherson, who’ll turn 30 on March 29. “I’m a lot more charming than Sheela is. I don’t mean that in a big-headed way. I want to please more than she does. Elle Macpherson wants people to feel comfortable.”


Long before Denzel Washington‘s Glory days, his cinematic role model was Gill-Man, the campy ’50s movie monster who was a matinee staple at his local Boys Club in Mount Vernon, N.Y. “I spent my childhood at the club,” says Washington, 39. “From age 6 till 17, I went every day—after school, on Saturdays. They had to send me home. Every Saturday we’d see the same movie: Creature from the Black Lagoon. They didn’t have a lot of money, but they had a lot of love.” This month, he will be stoking what is now the Boys & Girls Clubs of America campfires with a five-city, money-raising lour. Says Washington, a father of four: “I’m living proof of the good they do.”


After gun-related incidents involving Tupac Shakur, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Flavor Flav, one of rap’s hot trios, the group Cypress Hill donated $10,000 to New York City’s Goods for Guns, a program dedicated to ridding the streets of unlicensed firearms. Yet one of their own, B-Real, carries a gun. “A lot of [rappers] are reformed gang members or reformed drug dealers,” says B-Real, 23. “We have enemies on the street—people that are jealous of us because now we’re doing positive things. We get threats. If we started off in the street, we have to go back to that street mentality of protecting ourselves. We can’t leave it to police, because they don’t like us, they don’t want to help us. I’m gonna protect my life. Thai’s the way we look at it.”

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