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Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Fairchild, and Richard Dreyfuss made headlines this week

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Rachel Redux: For those keeping score, we’ve had Morgan Fairchild as Chandler’s mom, Elliott Gould as Ross’ father, and Brenda Vaccaro as Joey’s cuckold mom. But the latest Friends Sr. is Marlo Thomas, who dropped by the Jan. 18 episode as Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) slightly envious mom. ”I had seen the show and thought it was adorable,” says Thomas, who hasn’t done much sitcom work since That Girl (1966-71). Of course, having played the very first angst-ridden, adorably coiffed twentysomething living in a fab Manhattan apartment without a regular source of income, Thomas felt right at home on the set. ”Jennifer did tell me that I was her role model growing up,” says Thomas. So, will the woman who touched off the Ann Marie flip get the Rachel ‘do? No, she says. ”It was weird [enough] I was playing That Girl‘s mother.” — Anna Holmes

Getting Nixed: A clue to Nixon‘s box office defeat may be found in Richard Dreyfuss‘ decades-spanning Mr. Holland’s Opus. Not surprisingly, footage of a Saturday Night Fever-era John Travolta hustling across the screen is making audiences cheer, but they’re also erupting at a clip of Richard Nixon making his 1974 adieu. ”It’s strange,” says Opus director Stephen Herek, ”but I guess any reaction is a good reaction.” Of course, there’s one person who’s resigned to such responses. ”I’m not amazed,” says Nixon director Oliver Stone. ”He’s a fascinating man, and people have strong feelings about him.” — Cindy Pearlman