Since joining ER as pediatric surgeon Dr. Abby Keaton, actress Glenne Headly has had to master a medical mouthful. “My very first week,” she says, “I had a bunch of lines to say while walking down a hall with Eriq La Salle, one of which was, ‘Laura Lee’s a 16-year-old with Crohn’s who was re-sected for an ileocolic fistula and was doing really well on prednisone and sulfasalazine until she developed severe abdominal pains and vomiting.’ Which is what I almost did after I got through that speech.” Headly, 41, is expecting her first child with husband Byron McCulloch, a musician and metal worker, in February, but she doesn’t plan to rely on her own newly learned pediatric knowledge. “Now I know about some things that could go wrong,” she says, “but I’ll leave that in the hands of the true, doctors.”


When did actress, comedian, Oscar host, pitchperson and mom Whoopi Goldberg know she had truly arrived? “I knew I arrived at birth, honey,” says Goldberg, 47, who is currently portraying a financial analyst in the film The Associate. “When did I know I had arrived in Hollywood? I don’t know. But I do remember I bought my kid [daughter Alexandrea] three pairs of shoes. Before that, I’d only been able to buy her one pair at a time. And afterward she wore mismatched shoes because she was so proud to have more than one pair.” So how is Goldberg handling her role as grandmother to her daughter’s children, ages 7 and 6 months? “I sing bad songs [about flatulence] to them,” says Goldberg, whose own wind-breaking earned her the nickname Whoopi. “And then I send them home. My daughter will call me and say, ‘Mom! What are you doing?’ I’ll say, ‘Well, there was gas in the room and we made up a song about it.’ ”


Having starred on Broadway in the musical Guys and Dolls, Peter Gallagher is a proven commodity as a talented singer. But you’d never know it from the lame karaoke version of Leo Sayer’s 1976 hit “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” that he warbles with actor Bruce Altman in the current romantic drama To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday. “You thought that was bad?” Gallagher, 41, asks jokingly. “The only other time I’ve done karaoke in my life was with Bruce. A couple of years ago we did an HBO movie about Whitewater rafting called White Mile. We were shooting in a small Northern California town, and the only entertainment was a diner across from our motel that had a bar and a karaoke machine. We would go over every night and argue about who got to sing Sinatra.”


In her first job since leaving Melrose Place at the end of last season, Daphne Zuniga stars as a virologist in the NBC mini-series Pandora’s Clock (airing Nov. 10 and 11). “I wondered what I’d do after Melrose,” says Zuniga, 33, who exited the prime-time soap after four years of playing photographer Jo Reynolds. “I spent a week in Martha’s Vineyard going through withdrawal. When I was on the show, people always came up and said, ‘Oh, you’re great.’ Once I left, I wondered, ‘Am I still great?’ It’s been a mini-identity crisis.” But Zuniga doesn’t miss Jo’s endless heartaches, which sometimes left the actress feeling that her primary function on Melrose was weeping. “In acting class they tell you to think of something sad to help you cry. But, after a while, thinking of grandma under a tractor didn’t work anymore. That’s when I knew it was time to leave.”

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