Tells How She Risked Neck
(and other body parts) as a Real-Life Charlie's Angel
By Lorraine Tilden
star Rebeca Arthur sharpened her acting skills -- by working undercover as a
real-life Charlie's Angel.
Looking for thrills
-- and money -- the 25-year-old blonde, who plays Bronson Pinchot's
stewardess-girl-friend, Mary Anne, on the ABC sitcom, turned to detective work
on a lark.
She answered a
classified ad that read: "Wanted: Real Life Charlie's Angels."
Rebeca was an
instant success with New York's J.M. Martin Investigations. But the
experience provided some harrowing moments.
"When I worked
undercover at a medical facility, posing as a patient, I had to go into the
hospital for tests," Rebeca says. "In the middle of the night,
hospital workers told me I was scheduled for gall bladder surgery in the
morning. I just got up, got dressed and left. At 20, I needed all
the parts I was born with!"
Another time, while
on a yacht in the Bahamas, the man she was investigating started falling for her
and making advances. The investigation was heating up, too -- to the point
where Rebeca feared staying on board. "My boss told me to jump off
the yacht and swim," she says. "I can't swim, but, thank
goodness, I float really well!
"I had no large
degree of special training," she adds. "One of the other girls
was great in karate, and I knew how to handle firearms, but I never had to use a
talk myself out of those situations, or I'd go to the ladies' room -- and never
While searching for
teenage runaways, Rebeca spent a lot of time undercover as a high-school
student. She also tailed philandering spouses and ferreted out credit
Rebeca quit her
private-investigator job -- "It was great acting experience," she says
-- when she landed several roles on the daytime soap, Search for Tomorrow.
She says she enjoys Perfect
Strangers, in which she shares many funny scenes with co-stars Mark
Linn-Baker and Pinchot.
scene was when the characters were at a ski lodge and there was mistletoe over
the door," she says. (Editor's note - Rebeca was confusing the
Christmas episode with the skiing episode, probably because she was dressed for
a ski trip in the Christmas episode as well.)
going to kiss me and I'm holding him in a back bend, and he's much larger than I
am. We have to hold for a longer time than you would anywhere but in front
of a camera and, all of a sudden, boom!
"We're on the
floor and I'm in a ski suit that's so tight, I thought they'd have to bring a
crane to hook me from the back and lift me straight up. I couldn't bend.
"Now it never
fails," she adds, "that whenever Bronson and I kiss, we start
Off the set, the
zany actress' constant companion is a teacup poodle who travels everywhere with
her in a tote bag.
"I named her
Emmy," Rebeca says, "just in case I never get one of those other