King and Queen of Torts: The Michael Tucker-Jill Eikenberry Partnership Has Been Legendary since Pre-"Law" Days. Now It's Playing in Prime Time
Miller, Holly G., The Saturday Evening Post
It's a clubby foursome: Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker, Ann Kelsey and Stuart Markowitz. "We take them home with us all the time, " Jill says of Ann and Stuart. "We're all living very comfortably with each other." Her husband, Mike, agrees, but adds a just-between-us tidbit of gossip. "We have them to dinner a lot, " he confides, "but they eat too much. "
The two couples actually are one, with four distinct personalities. Eikenberry and Tucker, married since 1973, play the attorneys Kelsey and Markowitz on the highly rated NBC drama "L.A. Law" (Thursdays, 10 p.m. E.S.T.). The irony is that in a show renowned for its not-so-subtle treatment of sex, two of the most sizzling characters are the married, 40ish Kelsey and Markowitz. She, at 5' 7 ", is sultry and stylish. He, at 5' 5 1/2 ", is pudgy in pinstripes.
If viewers are fascinated by the odd-couple dynamics of Kelsey and Markowitz, so were Eikenberry and Tucker when they were introduced to the characters three years ago. In fact, it was the promise of knowing Ann and Stuart better that made Jill and Mike relocate from their cozy apartment on New York's 89th Street to their sprawling California home. They've had no regrets.
"The biggest problem with committing to a television series is that many television characters are two-dimensional, " Mike says. "That really locks you in to a very narrow person. But these characters clearly are 360-degree people. I feel that they could be put in any situation and behave as human beings." The show's writers seem determined to find out. Ann and Stuart have coped with ego, ambition, passion, and jealousy; seduced each other at the company cocktail party; adjusted to an inter-faith marriage; endured mother-in-law problems; and experienced the trauma and joy of adopting a baby. They're forever hissing and kissing, fighting and making up. No wonder the Tuckers love the Markowitzes.
The Kelsey character also offered Jill the opportunity to break new ground. Whereas she had played an assortment of meaty roles on stage, her film credits had a certain sameness to them. Ann Kelsey was something else. "Normally, I've played the nice, quiet …
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Publication information: Article title: King and Queen of Torts: The Michael Tucker-Jill Eikenberry Partnership Has Been Legendary since Pre-"Law" Days. Now It's Playing in Prime Time. Contributors: Miller, Holly G. - Author. Magazine title: The Saturday Evening Post. Volume: 261. Issue: 3 Publication date: April 1989. Page number: 50+. © Benjamin Franklin Literary and Medical Society Jan/Feb 2007. COPYRIGHT 1989 Gale Group.