A lighter Terence Knox -- The TV actor plans to play sunnier roles, including a concerned husband in CBS' ''Blind Angel''

Talk about a rap sheet: Just this fall, Terence Knox, who plays the reviled Dr. Eric Foretich in A Mother’s Right, has also portrayed a vindictive Romeo in the TV drama Overexposed and a holdup-and-shoot-’em-up man in the season premiere of Reasonable Doubts. His prior TV offenses include three seasons as St. Elsewhere‘s troubled Dr. Peter White, who was killed by one of his rape victims and then returned as a ghost to haunt his former colleagues. But don’t color him all bad: As Knox, 42, points out, ”I played the nice guy (Sgt. Zeke Anderson) on Tour of Duty for three years straight.”

Though A Mother’s Right savages his latest character, Knox refuses to pass judgment. ”He is still alive and kicking,” says the actor, who watched hours of Foretich’s talk-show appearances as preparation. ”And although I’m not a fan of his, he does have certain rights.” One fan of Knox’s who would like to see his streak of villainy end is his mother. Says Knox, ”When I tell her, ‘Mom, this is a really bad one,’ she goes, ‘Oh, Lord, son.”

She can stop worrying — Knox plays a good-guy reporter in January’s Children of the Corn, Part II and Helen Shaver’s concerned husband in the just-wrapped CBS movie Blind Angel. In Angel, Harry Hamlin is the one without a halo.