June 23, 1997 12:00 PM

STRESS FOR SUCCESS

Patricia Richardson has been happily married to Tim Allen for six seasons on the ABC sitcom Home Improvement. But offscreen the actress says her life has really shaped up since her 1995 divorce from actor Ray Baker after 13 years of marriage. “Because of the divorce, I haven’t had time to eat as much,” says Richardson, 46, who costars with Peter Fonda in the big-screen drama Ulee’s Gold, opening June 13 (see review, p. 20). “Panic attacks will do it. You just suffer and stop eating. But I wouldn’t recommend the Divorce Diet.” Still, Richardson, who shares custody of her three children, Henry, 12, and twins Roxanne and Joseph, 6, with Baker, insists that she’s not mad at her ex. “We have an amicable divorce. Such things do exist!” she says. “Of course, it’s easier to say that two years after the fact.”

PROS AND CONS

Real-life ex-con Danny Trejo (Anaconda, From Dusk till Dawn), who plays one of the prison inmates in the new action thriller Con Air, starring Nicolas Cage, was careful not to get too much into the spirit of things on the set. “The guys would do a lot of contests, like one-arm push-ups and races, but I stayed out of it,” says Trejo, 53, who served 11 years in prison on drug and robbery charges. “I’ve seen those testosterone contests go bad too many times.” Still, Trejo is quick to confess that his time behind bars helped him break into acting. “This guy asked me to be an extra [in 1985’s Runaway Train]. He wanted me to act like a convict,” he says. “It was hilarious to me. I had been in San Quentin and Folsom prisons, and here’s a guy saying, ‘Can you act like a convict?’ I said, ‘Well, I’ll try.’ ”

DINO MIGHT

“Kids see me and it’s like, ‘Look, it’s the dinosaur guy,’ ” says Jeff Goldblum, who has gotten an education playing a brainy scientist in both Jurassic Park movies as well as 1986’s The Fly and 1996’s Independence Day. “It’s really strange, but science was not my best subject in school,” says Goldblum, 44. “Now I’m reading Carl Sagan.” In fact, Goldblum has gone so far as to develop a few of his own saurian theories after filming Jurassic Park’s sequel The Lost World. “I think we can learn something from the animal kingdom here,” he says of the dinosaurs’ family values. “These dinos have this deep, caring thing going on. They also have a very ferocious protective instinct. And they are more emotional this time—they’re weepy. Maybe they’ve been watching talk TV.”

PARTY OF FIVE

Teen R&B diva-in-training Aaliyah, whose sophomore album, One in a Million, has gone platinum, didn’t have just one date for her senior prom last month. “I took four of my friends—two girls and two guys,” says Aaliyah, 18, who graduated from Detroit’s High School for the Fine and Performing Arts on June 10. “I don’t have a boyfriend, so I thought I’d enjoy myself more if I went with a group of people.” But that wasn’t the only reason Aaliyah stood out at her prom. “I didn’t want to wear a dress,” she says. “I wanted to be different, so I wore pants. It was a white-lace outfit that I bought in August of ’96. I saved it for the prom.” So what did the rest of Aaliyah’s one-of-a-kind quintet wear? “My girlfriends wore white pantsuits, and the guys wore black suits,” she says. “I had it coordinated. It was kinda fly.”

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