April 21, 1997 12:00 PM

REVENGE OF THE NERD

Having won three Soul Train Music Awards last month for his sexy debut album, Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite, swoonsome crooner Maxwell is on track as R&B’s next big Romeo. But he didn’t always drive women wild. “I was this big ol’ nerd in high school,” says the Brooklyn-born Maxwell, 23. “Nobody was giving me any play. I didn’t even go to the prom. I had no date.” Now, Maxwell is making all the right moves with his music. “Married couples tell me that their sex lives and their relationships have been rejuvenated because of it,” he says. “This one guy was having problems with his girlfriend and he sent her my album, and now they’re married.” So what does the love doctor prescribe for the perfect romantic evening? “There is no perfect romantic evening,” says Maxwell. “I think that romantic evenings are based on who you’re with, the mood you’re in and how much money you’ve got.”

THE REAL WORLD

She has had starring roles in the series Life Goes On (in which she played the kid sister Becca), Christy, Crisis Center and in a string of TV movies, including the NBC drama On the Edge of Innocence, airing April 20. But now Kellie Martin is back at Yale University as a sophomore. “It’s really important to know that there’s life outside of acting, so you don’t end up having your show canceled and then robbing a video store or something,” says Martin, 21, who is more comfortable academically this year than last. “When I started, I was taking all these required science classes,” she explains. “I finally figured out that I’m an art history major, so I should take art history classes.” Even at college, though, Martin says she can’t escape television. “My roommate loves Party of Five,” she says of the Fox family drama series, “so I’ll wander in when that’s on and watch, because it reminds me of Life Goes On.”

NO-WIN PROPOSITION

Angie Dickinson, who had men (not to mention criminals) at her mercy as the star of the popular 1970s crime drama Police Woman, concedes that her sex appeal isn’t what it used to be. “There aren’t many men out there lusting after an old broad,” says Dickinson, 65, who returns to TV in the CBS movie Deep Family Secrets, airing April 15. “And yet the right man wouldn’t care [about my age].” Has Dickinson considered plastic surgery to turn back the years? “I’ve had some,” she admits. “Anybody can look at me and tell. But people can have too much. The trouble is, usually you don’t look better. So you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. That’s the bottom line.”

E.T., GO HOME

Original Saturday Night Live cast member Dan Aykroyd is finally ready for prime time. On the new ABC sitcom Soul Man, premiering April 15, he plays a biker-gang member turned Episcopalian minister. So, is Aykroyd—who’ll begin filming the long-awaited sequel Blues Brothers 2000 with John Goodman and Jim Belushi next month—a religious man? “I don’t have a traditional view of the Supreme Being. I call him the Cosmic Engineer,” says Aykroyd, 44, who, as host of Psi Factor, a syndicated series about paranormal phenomena, has also done some research into close encounters of the extraterrestrial kind. “There are definitely different types of species visiting this planet,” he maintains. However, unlike Beldar, the friendly, beer-guzzling alien Aykroyd played in the 1993 movie Coneheads, these intergalactic tourists “are here to exploit us biologically,” he claims. “We’ve got to be ready to defend ourselves. Independence Day—I buy it.”

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