June 12, 1995 12:00 PM


Marisa Tomei happily packed on 20 pounds last year to play a sexy Cuban boat-lifted to Miami in the current movie The Perez Family. “I wanted to enhance my voluptuousness, so after I got the part I just started eating,” says Tomei, 30. “My assistant had the White Trash Cooking cookbook, plus he had me eating pizzas, doughnuts and drinking milk shakes. And lots of wine, which was lovely.” Tomei has since shed the excess baggage but is hanging on to her character’s passion for dancing. “I’m an aficionado now of Latin music, and I crave it. To find a really great partner in New York City is my quest.”


When newscaster Walter Cronkite made his Broadway debut this year as the narrator of the hit musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (thanks to the magic of recorded tape), The New York Times politely speculated whether the role “may not be the capstone” to his long career. “That was an unfortunate way to put it—as if there wasn’t going to be any more,” says Cronkite, 78, a presenter at the Tony Awards (June 4). He left his CBS anchor desk in 1981, but a national viewer poll this year showed he still places first as the most trusted man in TV news. “I found that poll as amazing as everyone else,” says Cronkite, who’s writing his autobiography. “I’m very pleased, but I don’t understand why Maria Shriver ranked as the most attractive.”


So how do Bruce Willis, now starring in Die Hard with a Vengeance, and Demi Moore sustain their double-wattage movie-star marriage? “Our marriage is like anybody’s marriage,” says Willis, 40. “It goes through ups and downs. It’s a little garden that you have to tend all the time.” Plus, the family decided to decamp to Idaho. “We don’t live in L.A. anymore, which helps,” says Willis. “When we’re home, it’s not like we walk around all dolled up going, ‘We are celebrities! We are famous!’ I change diapers. I clean up dog doo. I take the trash out, and I wash clothes. Some days I’m Mr. Mom. A few years ago I was out there partying. Now a happening night is acting out all the roles from The Wizard of Oz for my [three] kids.”


Kevin Kline, now in London making Fierce Creatures, a sequel to A Fish Called Wanda, says he and his wife, actress Phoebe Cates, fell in love with France during the three months they spent there when he was filming French Kiss, his current romantic comedy with Meg Ryan. “It’s quite seductive,” says Kline, 47, who also studied the language. “It crossed our minds to buy a fiat in Paris or a little house in Provence.” But for now they’ll remain based in New York City with their two young children, son Owen, 3, and daughter Greta, 1. “It’s much easier, when you make a film, to rent a house, trash it and let someone else worry about it. Just kidding. We don’t trash our houses.”

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