News Article

Prez Dispensers

It's like surfing between Nick at Nite and TV Land: Will the next president of the fractious Screen Actors Guild be Little House on the Prairie's Melissa Gilbert or Rhoda's Valerie Harper? (And can we still write in outgoing prez and former Knight Rider voice William Daniels?) Not that there's a tax cut on the line, but here's a guide for November.

MELISSA GILBERT
AGE 37 HEIGHT 5'3'' LIKELY PLATFORM Subsidies for farmers, blacksmiths, wheelwrights; a bounty on rival prairie-dweller Jane Seymour POSSIBLE ALLIES Lifetime TV, Log Cabin Republicans, the powerful Scarecrow and Mrs. King fan club of hubby Bruce Boxleitner STRIKE EXPERIENCE She's a pioneer negotiator: By the end of Little House, she earned a hefty $75,000 per week. REVEALING QUOTE Laura Ingalls once noted, ''Home is the nicest word there is.'' MESSAGE Family values = mandatory hoopskirts.

VALERIE HARPER
AGE 60 HEIGHT 5'6'' LIKELY PLATFORM ''Head Scarf'' program for the coif-challenged; ban on actors as window dressing POSSIBLE ALLIES Daniels has endorsed her. But when asked about Harper, Mary Tyler Moore said, ''Is she running?'' STRIKE EXPERIENCE After going MIA from ''Valerie'' over pay, she was replaced with Sandy Duncan (but later won $1.4 million in damages). REVEALING QUOTE Rhoda once noted: ''Why am I bothering to eat this? I should just apply it directly to my hips.'' MESSAGE Caterers beware.

Originally posted Jul 27, 2001 Published in issue #606 Jul 27, 2001 Order article reprints