Those rumors you've heard are true: Tom Arnold has another wife. She's played by Alison LaPlaca on Arnold's new CBS sitcom, Tom. LaPlaca confirms that Roseanne and Tom's three-way wedding with Tom's assistant, Kim Silva, was a hoax, although ''there was a nice ring involved,'' she says. ''I was hoping as a third wife I might get some jewelry, but so far, nothing.''
LaPlaca has no trouble pretending to be Tom's adoring spouse, though. ''I've always loved Tom. He's just a big goof,'' says LaPlaca, 34, who costarred with him last season on ABC's Jackie Thomas Show. ''When I'm standing next to him, I'm quite taken by him.''
Playing a wife may not be a stretch for LaPlaca (who's married in real life to Roseanne director Philip Charles MacKenzie), but her new role as a mom of five is a long way from her best-known part, as a tactless, childless real estate agent on Fox's Duet (later Open House). Still, her Tom character is ''pretty hip for a Kansas lady,'' notes the Chicago-bred LaPlaca ''She's fighting to make sure the family doesn't sink into some white-trash abyss.''
LaPlaca sometimes misses being a bitch. ''It was fun back when I was the comic relief, coming in and dumping on the white trash not the white trash, the white bread!'' she says, catching her slip. ''You don't have to carry the storyline, but you get the big laughs.''
A veteran of short-lived series (Stat, Suzanne Pleshette is Maggie Briggs) and pilots (Diner, Big ''I only do pilots based on movies,'' she jokes), LaPlaca hopes for a long run with Tom. But she knows better than to plan too far ahead. ''It's great with Tom and Roseanne, because they command a good, solid order [of episodes]. We know up front we're doing 12 that's rare these days,'' she says. ''So you can feel a bit more secure. You can go out and buy a couple new outfits.''