September 11, 1995 12:00 PM

DON’T CRY FOR HER

Sela Ward, who plays Teddy on NBC’s Sisters, stars in Almost Golden: The Jessica Savitch Story, a TV movie on Lifetime (airing this Monday, Sept. 4). Ward portrays Jessica Savitch, the NBC newscaster who was twice wed, had a drug problem and died in 1983 in a car accident. “She’s a woman who ran the gamut of emotions and life experience,” says Ward, 39, adding that her own life story, by contrast, just keeps getting better. “I have a wonderful husband [businessman Howard Sherman]. For my birthday in July, he had me driving around on a treasure hunt collecting poems he wrote directing me to the next clue.” The payoff? “Dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant, a night at Shutters hotel in Santa Monica and a trip to Italy. He called the producers of Sisters to find out my work schedule so he could arrange the trip. My life’s pretty golden.”

DRESS FOR SUCCESS

“I wanted to be the Latin Sharon Stone, except I had to keep my panties on because this is a PG movie,” says comic actor John Leguizamo, discussing his role as a drag queen in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, which opens Friday, Sept. 8, and costars Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes as fellow glamor girls. It took sequins galore and a B-cup bra for Leguizamo, 31, to clue in to what really counts. “A few months ago I would have said outer beauty,” he says. “Why not have nice legs and a cute butt? Those are your arsenal, and you use them. But by the end of the movie, I realized it’s about your heart, your soul—and picking the right girdle.”

AT A LOSS IN L.A.

The hottest thing coming out of Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, where most of Desperado was filmed, may not be its gunslinging hero, Antonio Banderas, but his muy bella costar Salma Hayek, the ex-star of Mexico’s prime-time soap Teresa. “I had a great life, but I wanted to do films. In 1991, I packed two bags and came to Los Angeles,” says Hayek, mid-208. “I thought I spoke English—I had learned it at school. I get here and nobody understood a word I was saying. So I took classes for two years.” Language was not Hayek’s only barrier. “I was a soap star,” she says. “I had a chauffeur. So in L.A., I go to get a car. They tell me I need a driver’s license. I go to get the driver’s license, and they tell me I need the car for the test drive.” She got the car but still needs a driver. “I can’t read maps,” says Hayek. “So I had to get a car phone, and I’m calling everybody, going, ‘Okay, I see this big hill. Am I near Santa Monica now?’ ”

THE SPORTING LIFE

Media savvy Spike Lee has never had a problem getting his name and face in the news. His new film, Clockers, about a young crack dealer, opens Sept. 13, but the 38-year-old director recently found himself pictured in the newspaper for reasons that had nothing to do with that. During his vacation last month on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where Lee has had a summer home since 1991, he went out on his second-ever fishing trip. He hooked a 57-pound striped bass, reportedly the biggest catch of the season there. “It was a proud moment,” says Lee. “My picture with the fish ran in the Vineyard Gazette. Maybe Field & Stream is next.”

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