May 21, 2004 08:00 AM

The Sopranos star Lorraine Bracco and former Murphy Brown star Candice Bergen ended up at a bloody murder scene in Manhattan’s Diamond District shortly after rush hour Thursday when police they were accompanying on a research mission were summoned to the site.

“I definitely took up the wrong profession,” Bracco told the New York Post after she saw the body of a slain man on the sidewalk. Admitting that it wasn’t politically correct to confess, the actress, 49, said, “This (should be) my real profession. I love this.”

Bergen, 58, admitted to the Daily News that, as she was initially participating in the NYPD’s annual Commanding Officer for a Day program, she was thinking, “This is kind of slow.”

Then came the call that a man – later identified as jeweler Eduard Nektalov, 46, who had been linked to an international money laundering and gold smelting scheme – had been fatally shot on the crowded street.

“Suddenly,” Bergen recounted, “we were going 60 mph up Sixth Avenue.” Of the police officers, she said: “These guys are so impressive with the work they do. I’m in awe.”

The unknown assassin, who is still at large, reportedly shot the victim once in the head and twice in the back before calmly slipping away from the crowd and disappearing. The police probe continues.

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