WHEN CONNI MARIE BRAZELTON won the part of tart-tongued nurse Connie Oligario on NBC’s ER, her pals told her it was typecasting. What you see, they say, isn’t far from the sassy remarks they hear offscreen. “I said to Conni, ‘I want to start working out in the new year,’ ” recalls pal Debbi Morgan, a star of ABC’s soap The City. “Conni said, ‘Child, I’ve been watching your show, and you’re looking a little round.’ ”
So has the eight-months-pregnant Brazelton, 40. She and husband Michael George, an ex-New York Post sports-writer turned fledgling screenwriter, expect their first child in February. Married four years, they commute between the Spanish-style duplex she rents in L.A. and their Harlem condo. “When we see each other,” she says, “it’s like a honeymoon.” Once baby makes three, George, 40, will go to L.A. but, a die-hard New Yorker, he’ll keep the condo.
His wife hails from Waukegan, Ill. Daughter of the late Sam Brazelton, a barber, and Martha, a retired Navy purchasing agent, Conni was 15 when she entered a summer theater program at Southern Illinois University, which awarded her a scholarship. After graduating in 1977 as a fine arts major, she danced on Broadway and spent years in TV and movie bit parts before joining ER last season. “Conni has a lot of spunk, a lot of piss and vinegar,” says co-executive producer Lydia Woodward. Which may explain why a five-episode guest stint turned into a permanent role.
Lately castmates coo as she passes, “How’s our ER baby?” Just fine, Brazelton reports. “It’s a girl. We’re naming her Michael Samarie George,” she says. “With those guy names, she’ll come out fighting.”