December 14, 1998 12:00 PM

>Nancy Cartwright She might be 31 years older than her animated alter ego, 10-year-old Bart Simpson, but Nancy Cartwright certainly knows the joy of juvenile antics firsthand. “I was a troublemaker,” says Cartwright of her childhood. In ninth grade, when learning that her crush was interested in someone else, Cartwright got herself suspended for a day after writing about the pair on a bathroom wall. “My mom put me on hard labor,” she recalls. “I had to weed the garden. It was horrible!” Now in her 10th season voicing TV’s most mischievous minor, the actress knows her weeding days are over, especially after inking a new Simpsons deal earlier this year that earns her $50,000 per episode. “I don’t think they could afford to pay me what I feel I’m really worth,” she says. “But I’m totally happy with what we worked out.” Cartwright, who lives in Northridge, Calif., with her husband, writer-producer Warren Murphy, and children Lucy, 8, and Jack, 7, also finds herself much more welcome at school than she used to be. “I get surrounded by an entourage of my kids’ friends,” she says. “It’s like, ‘Do Bart! Do Bart!.’ ” She has her reply down pat: “In Bart’s voice, I say, ‘No way, man!’ ”

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