She has sashayed down fashion runways for Ralph Lauren, played a Bond bombshell in Licence to Kill, and driven Griffin Dunne's talking penis mad with desire in Doris Dorrie's deeply weird 1989 film, Me and Him. Now Carey Lowell, 32, is stepping into a whole new ball game she's going to bat for Penny Marshall in CBS' A League of Their Own (Saturdays, 9 p.m.).
''I'm playing the catcher Dottie Hinson,'' she says. ''It's the role Geena Davis had in the film version, so I feel like I'm filling really big shoes.''
She's filling a really big wig, as well. The model-slash-actress' famous short-cropped hair didn't jibe with the show's 1940s styles, so Lowell was outfitted with a shoulder-length 'do. She also had to learn some basic baseball shtick like how to catch and throw a ball. Such minor nuisances, however, haven't marred her first foray into TV acting. ''A sitcom is the most civilized life you can have as an actor,'' she says. ''I work only five days a week. I don't go on location. My hours are 10 to 5. That's an incredible lifestyle for an actor.''
The cushy taping schedule leaves Lowell lots of time to pursue other projects like her brief role in Nora Ephron's upcoming feature film, Sleepless in Seattle. ''I play Tom Hanks' dead wife,'' she says. ''It's a really small part I'm only on the screen for about 60 seconds, all in flashbacks.'' There's also Lowell's other major role being a mom. She and husband Griffin Dunne (they married after meeting on the set of Me and Him) had their first child, Hannah, in 1990.
''My career was sort of handed to me,'' Lowell admits. ''I mean, I've taken acting lessons and I've worked very hard, but really it's been easy for me. I haven't had to struggle.'' At least she bats 1.000 in the honesty department.