By
March 08, 1999 12:00 PM

Good cop, Glad Cop

Waiving the right to an attorney, NYPD Blue’s ace detective answers questions on his own

Focus

Partners come and partners go, but Dennis Franz continues to bring skels and dirtbags to justice as NYPD Blue’s Det. Andy Sipowicz. His character has battled alcoholism, prostate cancer and the loss of a son, guided by a gruff yet tender wisdom. So is it any wonder Hollywood recently decided to honor the three-time Emmy Award winner with a star on the Walk of Fame? Scoop caught up with Franz at a luncheon held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel after the ceremonies.

How cool is a Walk of Fame star?

Oh, man. It’s humbling, and it’s embarrassing and wonderful.

What has been the best perk of playing a cop on TV?

Aside from the general recognition and adulation that you get from the fans, I’d have to say it’s the special connection you develop with police departments around the country.

Have you ever beat a traffic ticket?

Oh, yes, I’ve gotten professional courtesies periodically. That’s a perk!

Things seem to be working well between you and [new cast member] Rick Schroder.

Yeah. I knew that he was going to be a great addition to, the show. The relationships that I’ve had with Jimmy [Smits] and David [Caruso], those were more equals with Sipowicz. This, for the first time, I’m feeling a sense of father-son.

Do you miss Jimmy?

Of course. That’s one of the gifts I’ve been given over the years, to have the opportunity to work with him and become good friends. It creates a bond that I think will forever last.

Have you ever thought of leaving the show while it’s on top?

No, I’m in for the duration. I made a commitment to [NYPD Blue creators] Steven Bochco and David Milch when I first joined the show, and I’ll honor that.

What can you tell us about where Sipowicz is headed?

I do have some short-term knowledge about things that are coming up soon that I don’t think I should say. But I will say that they are pretty startling and pretty wonderful.

Do you worry about being typecast as a cop?

That happened years ago, and you know, worse things could happen. This is the 28th cop I’ve played. As long as I continue to make people satisfied and I’m satisfied, I’m happy and consider myself ‘fortunate.

What’s your favorite Sipowicz line?

I uttered, “Ipsa this, you…little bitch!” [to actress Sharon Lawrence, portraying assistant district attorney Sylvia Costas], And I grabbed my crotch. That became the beginning of a very meaningful relationship.

Her Turn to Talk

After her exclusive chat with presidential paramour Monica Lewinsky, Barbara Walters leaked the following information: “She’s funny and extremely articulate. This is not a Valley Girl, not someone who’s saying ‘ya know’ and ‘like’ and ‘um.’ ” Good thing: The ABC correspondent might be hard pressed to explain devoting two hours of network prime time to the former intern on March 3 if Lewinsky did not deliver. Walters found her subject honest about her torrid past. “She does not just sit and paint a glorious picture of herself,” Walters said, adding that the interview was “not a huggy-kissy piece.”

It was, however, arranged to air the night before Lewinsky’s explanation of her trials and tribulations hit bookstores nationwide. Monica Mania continued across the Atlantic, where Britain’s Channel 4 paid her about $650,000 for eight hours of interviews. Meanwhile, Monica’s dad, Dr. Bernard Lewinsky, gave a lengthy interview to Britain’s Hello! magazine, accompanied by poolside pictures of a pensive Monica at his L.A. home. As for the former object of Monica’s affections: The White House had no plans to watch her tell-all on TV.

The Tooth Is Out There

If you live in New York or New Jersey, Alec Baldwin wants your kid’s baby teeth once they fall out. Baldwin made his request on behalf of the Radiation and Public Health Project in a letter to residents of “cancer clusters.” The organization wants the teeth for a study of radiation levels of kids living near nuclear reactors.

Reconstructed: Wind’s Home Movie

Coming soon to a theater near you (if you live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa): a two-to-three minute silent short featuring the cast of Gone with the Wind. Vivien Leigh smokes a cigarette while receiving the attentions of a makeup artist; Leslie Howard dons a pair of sunglasses; and Clark Gable hangs out near his trailer chatting with director Victor Fleming and Olivia de Havilland. The recently restored film, which makes up in novelty value what it lacks in plot development, was shot by Howard Hall, a Midwestern industrialist and movie buff who brought along his 16mm camera during a 1939 visit to the set of one of the world’s greatest flicks. “He liked to hang around stars—he hobnobbed a bit with them,” said David Janssen, assistant director of Brucemore, Hall’s Cedar Rapids mansion, where the footage remained untouched for-years. (Hall died in 1971.) The National Trust for Historic Preservation, which manages the mansion, will make the film available to researchers. The public can see it this fall, when a theater at the newly designed Bruce-more Visitor Center is due to open.

No Moss on This Designer’s Runway

Her name will drive copy editors at Vogue and Elle out of their minds. The rest of the package—5’10”, blue eyes, blonde hair—is already making waves elsewhere in the fashion whirl. Muscovite Colette Pechekhonova, 19, was the model at Calvin Klein’s Feb. 19 show in Manhattan, wearing no fewer than six outfits and, more significantly, opening and closing the show—an honor traditionally bestowed on Kate Moss, Klein’s premiere model-muse for the past six years. The sudden appearance of Pechekhonova, a student discovered in Russia a little more than a year ago, sure looks like a changing of the fashion guard. “New seasons bring new ideas,” a Klein spokesman says. “Colette is someone who struck him [Klein] as a very fresh modern face and real beauty. He felt very strongly about her.” As for Moss, 25—who recently divulged that she had been in rehab after what was essentially a decade-long party—her multimillion-dollar contract with Klein was not renewed after it expired last year, although Klein says he looks forward to working with her again. Sarah Doukas, head of London’s Storm model agency, who discovered Moss, told The Daily Telegraph, “Now she is free to do other things. Life is just beginning for her.”

Graduate, with Honor

Dustin Hoffman had mixed feelings about receiving this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Sure, it’s one of Hollywood’s more prestigious honors. But the recognition also means the 61-year-old actor has been around for a lifetime. “This leaves me with a little bit of dread because I know the next thing after this is you become beloved—and then you know you’re really finished,” Hoffman told 1,100 friends and fans at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Finished? Unlikely. Beloved? “Beyond fabulous,” gushed Geena Davis, who made her screen debut with the honoree in Tootsie. “I’m crazy about Dusty,” said Jon Voight, the naive Joe Buck to Hoffman’s slick Ratso Rizzo in 1969’s Midnight Cowboy. Faye Dunaway recalled the prankster side of Hoffman, who surprised her in 1970’s Little Big Man by showing up naked for a bathtub scene he had rehearsed in swim trunks. Also attending: Anne Bancroft and Katharine Ross, the famous Mrs. Robinson and daughter Elaine, Hoffman’s love interests in his 1967 hit The Graduate.

Aretha’s Tale of Owe

No question, Aretha Franklin has paid her dues. But does she always pay her bills? The Detroit Free Press reported the hometown Queen of Soul has faced, since 1988, more than 30 lawsuits over unpaid bills—mostly for claims under $4,000—submitted by, among others, a florist, an accountant and three limo services. Calling the story “a malicious, vicious attack,” Franklin said it was all just an oversight caused by her travel schedule and lack of a secretary. Florist Bruce Bolton, who sued Aretha for $1,111, says she sent an apology note with her check. “She was always nice,” he says. “She was always a lady.”

ON THE BLOCK

SIMON SAYS SELL

The walls didn’t come down during renovations of Carly Simon’s Boston townhouse, but when the work was done, the four-story, four-bedroom, four-bath Beacon Hill pad boasted a new rooftop deck, heated floors, built-in stereo system and Jacuzzi. Though Simon bought the home only a year and a half ago, she’s already selling it and asking $3.9 million. Seems the house feels like an empty nest now that her children with ex-husband James Taylor—Sally, 25, and Ben, 22—are off pursuing music careers. Simon and her husband, James Hart, also have homes on Martha’s Vineyard and in Manhattan.

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