By Tom Cunneff
June 18, 2001 12:00 PM

Behind the scenes on NYPD Blue, folks say it’s no shock that Rick Schroder has turned in his badge. An inside source close to the show says Schroder’s departure comes after a bad year for the actor. It started when executive producer Steven Bochco turned down his request to work less; Schroder wanted to spend more time with his family. “You’re one of the lead actors,” Bochco told him, according to the source. Office gossip went into overdrive in February when Bochco announced that Schroder lookalike Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved by the Bell) would join the cast next season. “That was a red flag,” says the source. Soon after came the season-ending script—minus Schroder. Then one day he was gone, with no party and no goodbyes.

In 1983 Jennifer Beals was so sizzling she made welding sexy in Flash-Dance. Although she still acts, Beals spends a great deal of time behind a camera, taking black-and-white photos as a hobby. She wears both hats in the movie The Anniversary Party, due June 8 and co-starring Gywneth Paltrow, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates. Not only is the house where the movie takes place filled with her snaps, but after last summer’s shoot she presented the 100 cast and crew members with a beautiful, 94-page hardcover book of photos she took during production. She even flew to Missouri to oversee the printing process—all at her own expense. Just one problem: Since the minimum print order was 400, she has a few extras lying around.

Prince Harry is following in his dad’s hoofprints. During a losing effort by the polo team of his school, Eton College, the 16-year-old royal flew off his horse at Cirencester Park Polo Club while fighting for the ball and smashed right into the goalposts, which broke in two on impact, as they’re designed to do. Unhurt, Harry jumped up, dusted himself off and rejoined the action. Prince Charles watched Harry’s tumble from the sidelines but didn’t seem to flinch, according to an eyewitness. “His father has been through it all before,” says the source, noting that Harry has a leg up on his big brother on the polo field. “The general feeling is that Harry is going to be better than William. He is a gutsier player.”

Moulin Rouge had Courtney Love seeing red. Director Baz Luhrmann beseeched the rocker for the rights to use “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the Nirvana tune by her late husband Kurt Cobain, in the splashy musical. He even paid Love a visit and a hefty premium ($125,000) for the grunge anthem. But then Luhrmann had Marilyn Manson record the song for the musical montage at the start of the movie. Bad move. Unbeknownst to Luhrmann, Love and Manson have disliked each other since a joint tour two years ago. When Love found out Manson was Luhrmann’s choice, she flipped out, reminding him of the performer-approval clause in her contract. An unknown band hastily rerecorded the song just six days before the movie’s L.A. and New York City openings.