Close-up on Jackie Swanson -- We talk with this actress about her time on ''Cheers'' and her future

Several dozen episodes of Cheers ago, Jackie Swanson and Woody Harrelson were rehearsing a courtship scene between bartender Woody Boyd and his sweet, naive, insanely rich girlfriend, Kelly. ”Woody was making a joke about a wedding tradition where the groom shares the bride with all his friends,” says Swanson, ”and suddenly he said, ‘You know, we’ll be married eventually.’ I said, ‘Sure — I’ll believe it when I see it.”’

Believe it. On May 14, in Cheers‘ hourlong season finale, Swanson — originally cast for just one segment three years ago — will walk down the aisle, vowing to love and honor Harrelson till cancellation do them part. It’s quite a step up for the unmarried, 28-year-old Michigan native, whose parents were ”heartbroken” when she left Northern Michigan University to try acting eight years ago; Swanson herself wasn’t exactly encouraged when she took home her first acting paycheck for a role in a Prince video (”I was the ‘Raspberry Beret’ girl, and I made, like, $35”). Now her Cheers future seems secure, if mysterious. ”Will Woody and Kelly have a baby?” she muses. ”I have no idea. I never thought they’d even get this far.”

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