• 0 J. Simpson trial lawyers Marcia Clark, Johnnie Cochran Jr. and Bob Shapiro are dissected by the press. Not so prosecutor Christopher Darden. He intrigues me. Where's he from? Jennifer McKay, Burlington, Iowa Darden (whom trial reporters refer to off the record as the "prosecutie") is a native Californian who graduated from Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, Simpson's hometown. Before he was assigned to the trial, Darden, 38, was to take over a branch of the L.A. District Attorney's office. And he'd planned a trip to Australia to use some 800 hours of accrued time. He has said he had no desire to get involved in the trial. In fact, Simpson once was one of his heroes. Darden told The New York Times he tried to get OJ.'s number, 32, on his own high school football jersey. • It's great to see Cybill Shepherd back on TV. What's new in her offscreen life? Staci McKinney, Lima, Ohio Shepherd, 45 and a twice- divorced single mom of three, is in love. She's serious about Robert Martin, a pianist she met when she was putting together her nightclub ! singing act. At press time, they were sweeties — nothing more. Carroll O'Connor Shepherd with new love Robert Martin • As a recovering drug addict, I feel for my favorite actor, Carroll O'Connor, whose son, Hugh, killed himself after a long battle with drugs. O'Connor's pain was obvious when he spoke about the drug dealer he holds responsible. How is O'Connor now? Sue Anderson, Cincinnati A family spokesman says the actor, wife Nancy, daughter-in-law Angela and grandson Sean have focused on working through their grief. They spoke to ABC's Diane Sawyer last month because they thought their story might give courage and strength to others facing similar situations. The "avalanche" of mail received since Hugh's death March 28 has comforted them. Tuesday, Carroll and Hugh O'Connor, who was 33 when he died, will be seen in the final episode of In the Heat of the Night, in which they co-starred. • Paul Gross, the fish- out-of-water Mountie on CBS's Due South, is really good. Tell us about him. Marilyn Cameron, Bethesda, Md. Gross is a regular guy with a sardonic sense of humor. And he's not like the straight-arrow Dudley Doright type he plays: "I'm not sure anybody is as straight as [Benton Fraser] is." He's married to Canadian actress Martha Burns; they have a 5- year-old daughter and a IS-month-old son he calls "a cyclone, a force of nature." Born in Calgary, Alberta, he now lives in Toronto, where the series is filmed. Gross confesses to songwriting aspirations — country crossover is his thing. "I wouldn't call myself a musician. I can play the guitar." Good for Gross: 'It's wonderful to spend your [work]day being that honorable and capable.' birthdays JFK Jr., Princess Diana: Future king's mother is said to be fascinated by former president's son. • There are only two celebrities I'd care to meet. One is John F. Kennedy Jr. The other is Britain's Princess Diana. Have the two ever met? Joan Corbett, New York City They were scheduled to be at a lunch together when Di, 33, was in New York for a fashion event a few months ago, but another engagement kept Kennedy, 34, from showing. Word in Britain is that Di and sister-in-law Fergie are fascinated by the best-looking of the Kennedy men. He certainly has it all over their estranged Windsor husbands. • Kathle Lee Giffbrd talks endlessly about her toddlers on Live With Regis A Katfi/e Lee. How much does she actually see of them? Beth Newton, Plainville, Mass. By her own admission, not always enough. Like most other working mothers, Gifford, 41, compromises — and she's refreshingly honest about it in her new book, Listen to My Heart, written to raise funds for HIV-positive and crack- addicted babies. She writes: Some days I feel so capable of doing it all ... and some days I feel so overwhelmed by it, so inadequate." C3 David Byrne, 43 George Lucas, 51 George Brett, 42 Tori Spelling, 22 CMNMaSataUnl,2S Janet Jackson, 29 Debra Winger, 40 Pierce Brotnan, 43 BobSaget,39 Sugar Ray Leonard, 39 Reggie Jackson, 49 Pope John Paul U, 75 PeteTowulwnd,50 NoraEphron, 54 Cher, 49 Joe Cocker, 51 Have a question about people In the news? CALL l-8OO-255r5463, Sundays 9 a.m. to 9 TAKF IIP A NFUI SPORT •Hiic ur H new orum. UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE™ Stamps Worth Saving.
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