What screams I live in Scottsdale
She doesn't mince her words; 7th Heaven's Catherine Hicks preaches the importance of family
She has been with The WB's 7th Heaven for six years now, playing Annie Camden, a pastor's wife. This season she turns her role as a dutiful housewife and mother of seven and has begun to let out her bad mood - and Hicks couldn't be happier. "Personally, I think it's good to let go of all the anger," she says.
She is not lacking in inspiration. Look at the rising divorce rate. "People need to know it's some kind of plague, and the children's injury is irreparable," says the actress, who has been married to special effects and makeup artist Kevin Yagher, 39, for 11 years. Hicks, 50, also condemns super-rich celebrities who don't do enough for the charity ("When you have hundreds of millions in your bankroll, a million to donate is nothing") and says they are "disappointed with Britney." Spears, whose "I'm a Slave 4 U" video calls her "pornographic".
She showed more reluctance, however, when she criticized her TV daughter Jessica Biel, 20, who posed 'topless' for a men's magazine in 2000 to try to get rid of her braves-girl image. Hicks still claims; "Undressing is the wrong answer if you want to be taken seriously. You have to use your mind, be helpful to other people, and always be close to God."
Hicks has always been a Catholic and a regular church-goer, she lives what she prays. Stephen Collins, who plays her TV husband, remembers the day his father had to undergo bypass surgery a few years ago, "Catherine kept things going all day on the set, but after all the banter said she 'I hope your father is okay, tell him that.' If something is wrong in your life, she always tries to take care of it. "
She often checks to see if everything is okay with her mother, Jackie, 87, who lives near San Diego - she sometimes calls her up to 10 times a day. Her father, Walter, an electronics retailer, died of a heart attack at the age of 71. Every week she sends flowers to Yagher's grandmother, who lives in Kansas. "She's helpful and worried," he says.
But it is their daughter Catie, 10, who is the "focal point" in the lives of Hicks and Yagher. With a touch of shame, Hicks admits that she is delighted when a mother of Catie's friends calls and asks if her daughter has time to play. "It was a kind of cry of joy, like 'Yes! She is popular!'"
Hicks thinks this reaction is due to her own childhood. She was unsettled growing up an only child in Scottsdale, Arizona. "I wanted to imitate the girls who were popular," she says. "I always wanted to be known." In her freshman year at St. Mary's College in 1970, she did not join the cheerleading team because she was missing a vote in the vote, and so she was not accepted as a cheerleader at Notre Dame University. She was dejected, "I didn't know what to do with my life," says Hicks. From her student room she could see the theater building, and when she curiously watched the crowds in front of the entrance, she decided to take acting classes at the university.
A year after graduating with a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts = lowest academic degree) in English literature, she won an M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts = university degree in an artistic subject) Acting scholarship to Cornell. When she moved to New York City in 1976, she immediately got an 18-month contract with the soap opera Ryan's Hope. This was followed by a costar role alongside Jack Lemmon in the Broadway play Tribute (1978). "Jack was very humble," she says. "Everyone was shy of him, but one night I said to him: 'Jack, would you like to come and eat with us tonight?' and his face lit up. He said, 'Yeah!' "Lemmon encouraged Hicks, then 26, to move to LA, where she won an Emmy nomination for her role as Marilyn Monroe in the 1980 TV movie Marilyn: The Untold Story (1980) and got stuck Found work on films such as Peggy Sue Got Married (1985) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).
While making the cult horror film Child's Play - in which she starred alongside a killer doll named Chucky - she was tortured [indirectly] by Yagher, who created the dolls. They were introduced to each other, but at the graduation party, Yagher pulled Hicks behind a set and, she remembers, gave her "a princely kiss." A month and a half later, the couple had their first date; they married in 1990. A year later, Hicks, 39 at the time, was pregnant with Catie. The 11 year age difference between the two was never an influencing factor, says Yagher: "I was attracted to their youthfulness, their cheerfulness."
The three of them recently moved to a five-bedroom house in Bel Air, and Hicks always makes sure she gets home from the 7th Heaven Set on time to cook dinner. Sometimes she and Yagher go to a Beverly Hills hotel for a romantic evening to themselves. Of course, not every day is full of sunshine. "Marriage is hard work," says Hicks. "But then I often remember our first kiss and think, 'It's all fine as it is.'"
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