HEATHER LOCKLEAR seems to be the classic Beauty who loves the Beast—or at least his contemporary counterpart, the heavy-metal rocker. In 1986, Locklear, already a cover girl at age 24 thanks to her roles as Sammy Jo on Dynasty and Officer Stacy Sheridan on T.J. Hooker, wed then 23-year-old Mötley CrÜe-man Tommy Lee, body tattoos, Jack Daniels and all. After she and the drummer split in August 1993, Locklear complained that her telephone remained uncomfortably quiet: “I didn’t get a lot of calls from guys after people found out I was getting a divorce.”
Not to worry. Locklear, just 33 and at the top of her twitchy-witchy game as Amanda, the sensuous schemer of Melrose Place, didn’t have to endure a lonely spinsterhood overlong. Last February she started dating Bon Jovi’s lead guitarist, Richie Sambora, 35, a dedicated bachelor who had spent three years (1989-91) as one of Cher’s beaus. The biggest obstacle to Locklear and Sambora’s courtship was geography: Melrose kept her nailed down on location in Los Angeles for much of the year, while Sambora, who owns homes in both L.A. and New Jersey, spent part of the spring in the East working on Bon Jovi’s latest album, Cross Road, due out this month. The couple did manage to spend most of the summer together—despite the fact that Locklear had to start shooting Melrose Place in July. Nonetheless, they managed to carve out time for themselves, and Sambora proposed on Sept. 10. Although the pair said not a word about the troth they plighted, they did show up the next day at the Emmy Awards with Locklear sporting the pear-shaped, platinum-set diamond ring that Sambora had picked out for her at Carder’s.
A wedding date has yet to be set; show business has little respect for the niceties of romance, and both Locklear and Sambora have frantic fall schedules. Still, friends insist that love will indeed conquer. “It can be hard for them to get together,” says a pal of Sambora’s, “but this is something Richie takes very seriously. He’s worked hard at the relationship, and he’s very, very happy.”