Ally McBeal Stars Reveal..."MY REAL-LIFE LOVES"

The romantic trials and tribulations of TV's hottest law team...

Excerpts from the February 1999 issue of Woman's Own

CALISTA FLOCKHART: "I don't need a man"

Ally McBeal, a very successful career woman, longs for a husband (or at least a boyfriend) and has a biological clock that is ticking so loudly she hallucinates dancing babies. But the woman who plays Ally—actress Calista Flockhart—couldn’t be more different.

Twelve years ago, Calista broke her engagement to the man she dated through college to concentrate on her acting career. "As much as she really loved him, she felt that he wanted a woman who would stay home and have babies, and she couldn’t see her life going that way," says her former Rutgers University roommate, Liane Kamena.

Which is not to say that Calista, now 33, doesn’t want marriage and the baby carriage someday. "I’ve had a couple of long relationships," says Calista. "But I’ve been virtually alone for a couple of years."

GIL BELLOWS: "I'm a one-woman guy"

Handsome Gil Bellows is a lot like his TV alter ego Billy Thomas: Strong, sensitive, sweet and—worst of all—taken.

Like Billy, Gil is happily married to a gorgeous woman—actress Rya Kihlstedt.

The 30-year-old actor met Rya at the Williamstown Theater Festival in 1991. "I had sworn off women, but on my first day there, I saw her," says Gil. "I couldn’t take my eyes off her and she was staring right back. We’ve been together ever since." A true romantic, Gil proposed on Valentine’s Day. "I brought back some sushi. We had dinner and made love. Then I asked her to put on some music. When she came back I said, ‘I love you and I want you to be my wife,’ and gave her the ring." The couple just celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary.

COURTNEY THORNE-SMITH: "I'm engaged to the perfect man!"

Courtney Thorne-Smith plays a happily married woman on TV, and she’ll soon be assuming that role in real life. Courtney got engaged in November to her boyfriend, Andrew Conrad.

"He’s the perfect man!" she gushes.

Courtney met Andy, a scientist who owns his own company, on a blind date last February.

"I didn’t want to go but [my sister] made me," recalls Courtney.

She’s grateful she did. It was love at first sight for the two, and Andy was soon scheming with Courtney’s sister to buy the actress the perfect engagement ring.

JANE KRAKOWSKI: "I have drive-by relationships..."

Playing Elaine, Ally’s sexaholic secretary, can give men the wrong idea about Jane. "Unlike Elaine, I don’t tell all," says Jane, 29.

Nor does Jane have that aura of desperation that makes Elaine dress like a hooker at the office. In fact, unlike Elaine—who would love to have a steady relationship—Jane admits she has a problem with the "c"word —commitment.

"I have drive-by relationships," admits Jane, who is currently dating someone, but won’t name him because she fears that by the time word gets out about their romance, "I could be soooo over this person." The coy actress will only concede: "A lot of fun is being had."

LISA NICOLE CARSON: "I can have sex without love"

Lisa Nicole Carson is as sexy and sassy in real life as the character she plays on Ally McBeal, assistant district attorney Renee.

For starters, the 28-year-old actress can’t imagine making a man the center of her universe.

"For some women, a man is their whole meal," explains Lisa. "For me, life is a full meal and a man is just the hot sauce. If a man wants to be my whole meal, I say, ‘That’s nice, baby, but right now, I’m already full.’"