Melissa Gilbert: Cliff Lipson
Gillian Flynn
October 17, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

She made pantaloons and freakishly tight braids look good; dated Rob Lowe and Scott Baio; lost, recovered, or tried desperately to conceive a baby 7.3 times in weepy Lifetime movies — and now she lunches with Farrah Fawcett when not bedding a 22-year-old in the CBS telepic ”Jackie Collins’ Hollywood Wives: The New Generation” (airing Oct. 19 at 9 p.m.). She’s Screen Actors Guild president Melissa Gilbert, and she’s in the (little) house for Stupid Questions.

On a Jackie Collins movie, is it hard not to take your work home with you? Did you fight the urge to wear big shoulder pads around the house and have champagne catfights?
In my case, taking my work home with me would mean taking the 22-year-old boy home, and that’s just not going to work in my household: ”Oh, another mouth to feed?”

Your real-life Hollywood Husband is Bruce Boxleitner of ”Babylon 5.” Did that show have a Borg? And if so, is that… good?
There were no Borgs. The evil aliens on ”Babylon 5” were the Shadows. The Shadows would kick Borg ass. Now here’s the real question: Can a Borg kick Bjork’s ass? And do you have to have Bjorn Borg officiate? And they must serve beef bourguignon. I could do this for hours.

I bet! At Lifetime’s office get-togethers, who parties hardest: you, Delta Burke, or Meredith Baxter?
It’s the quiet ones: Nancy McKeon and Valerie Bertinelli. They’re real trouble. They’re running around with rolls of toilet paper, jumping in the fountain, screaming things like ”Women rule!”

You were recently re-elected as SAG president, with James Cromwell (”Babe”) as your running mate. I don’t want to taint your victory, but were you surprised about the allegations that the Singing Pig was the puppet master of your campaign?
You have not experienced wisdom until you’ve sat at the feet of the Pig.

You’ve seemed a little distant, Melissa. Tell me: What’s eating Gilbert?
I suppose I could say Boxleitner, but I think it’s too racy. If you can go that far, go for it.

Seriously, you versus that Walnut Grove brat Nellie Oleson. Bare hands and bonnets — is it on?
I’ve beaten that woman up for 30 years now. I gotta take on a Walton. John-Boy vs. Half-Pint? Actually, you can do anything vs. Half-Pint and it’s a laugh. Godzilla vs. Half-Pint. Magneto vs. Half-Pint. I can’t begin to think what her power could be: She can fish like nobody’s business! She can make you cry in five seconds! Wreck you emotionally so you’re unable to function!

You were active in the ”Battle of the Network Stars” — was Charlotte Rae really as nimble as she seemed?
The woman was a contortionist. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. But don’t knock ”Battle of the Network Stars.” I met my husband [there]. I was like 17 and had a huge crush on him and I said ”hi” and he patted me on the head and walked away. But I got the last laugh, didn’t I? I’m his wife and his president.

You May Like