TV Article

Married to the Job

Alison Laplaca of 'Tom' -- The actress enters unfamiliar territory playing a mother of five in the new Tom Arnold sitcom

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.''

Originally posted Mar 11, 1994 Published in issue #213 Mar 11, 1994 Order article reprints
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