Degen Pener
August 23, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

If you ever had trouble distinguishing Sarah Jessica Parker from other actresses with three names, the challenge this fall will be telling Parker apart from herself. The busiest actress in Hollywood hurtles through four movies, all due out by year’s end.

Parker starts off as a girl who can outbimbo Elizabeth Berkley in The First Wives Club. ”You heat-seeking hairpin!” yells Bette Midler, after Parker takes her husband to bed and his credit card to Bergdorf’s. She keeps on morphing in Extreme Measures as a nurse to Hugh Grant’s doctor; in Mars Attacks! as an MTV-style reporter; and in The Substance of Fire as a publisher’s daughter embroiled in a family power struggle.

That’s not all. Parker squeezed in next year’s comedy ‘Til There Was You (”I couldn’t believe how much work she was doing, and on top of everything, she’d be reading a Henry James novel” between takes, says director Scott Winant) and did a Broadway stint in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Last spring, she spent several days shooting Extreme Measures in Toronto (”She told me I was the only one,” jokes director Michael Apted), and shuttled back to Manhattan in time for the 8 o’clock curtain.

Parker returns to Broadway this December in a revival of Once Upon a Mattress. For now, she’s vacationing in France — and undoubtedly catching up on her rest.

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