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Wednesday, April 5, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Loni and Tori team up for "NoTORIous" family fun on VH1

USA Today

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Tori Spelling and Loni Anderson were meant to play daughter and mother.

They're both TV series alums ("Beverly Hills, 90210" and "WKRP in Cincinnati," respectively) who have endured years of tabloid chatter surrounding their wealth, high-profile divorces and surgically enhanced looks.

Now they're kin on VH1's "So NoTORIous," a faux reality series that mocks Spelling's life. Spelling plays Tori and Anderson (in seven of the first 10 episodes) plays Kiki, a fictional version of Spelling's mom, Candy. Spelling's dad, of course, is famed TV show producer Aaron Spelling, and he is represented only by voice (not his).

Published reports have said Spelling's parents are not speaking to her over a story line that has the mother selling gift-bag freebies on eBay. Spelling says that's fiction, and her parents have told her she is "brave" to do the show.

Though Aaron Spelling chose not to comment for this story, his rep said reports of discord are "exaggerated."

Spelling says her dad sometimes calls her "angel" and clips and saves tabloid articles about her. Her show, however, has been battling Aaron Spelling Productions for rights to play the "Dynasty" and "90210" theme songs. "I think we have 'Charlie's Angels,' " says the actress. "Our legal department's taking care of it. I'm staying out of it."

Anderson, 59, says her ties to the Spelling family go back to "before I was blond," working on an episode of "The Love Boat." "When I was married to Burt [Reynolds], we socialized with Aaron and Candy," Anderson recalls. "And the first time I saw Tori, she was wearing a little fur coat."

On TV

"So NoTORIous," Sunday at 10 p.m. on VH1.

Anderson commends Spelling, 32, for her bravery in making fun of herself. "Tori could just be the princess in the tower and not ever have to deal with any of this," she says. "But what makes you love someone is seeing them vulnerable."

Spelling says: "Making fun of myself has been like therapy. Everything that used to bother me is now material for the show."

That includes cracks about cellulite and plastic surgery. "I've been called 'The Princess of Plastic Surgery,' " Spelling says. She does say she has had a nose job and says the show "hints around" the subject of breast implants.

Anderson says, "Plastic surgery to me is like maintenance on your car."

Some procedures, she says, are so "obvious that you just say, 'OK, I did that.' " She has had three breast reductions and explains: "I was like a science-fiction movie. [Overly large breasts] can be matronly and prevent you from wearing cute clothes."

One topic that's somewhat off-limits for Spelling: her love life. Though TV Tori will remain single, Spelling in real life has been through a brief marriage and is engaged.

She considers her 2004-05 union with writer Charlie Shanian a "growing up-period," where she learned to accept herself.

While still married to Shanian, she became engaged to Dean McDermott, whom she met on the set of the Lifetime TV movie "Mind over Murder." But unlike her lavish wedding to Shanian (which she says was kept well under the reported $1 million), her second wedding will be small and simple and likely this summer, after their divorces are final. (He was married to actress Mary Jo Eustace; they have a son and an infant daughter.)

About her first marriage, Spelling says, "I definitely did not go into it thinking, 'He's just a friend. We're not in love.' "

Anderson says she has observed McDermott's "unconditional adoration" of Spelling. "No matter what she does, he's crazy for her." He has the words "Truly Madly Deeply Tori" tattooed on his right wrist.

Asked what McDermott, 39, has that other men don't, Spelling says: "Me — the true me. I've always had issues with insecurity, and now I'm comfortable with myself. Dean sees the side of me I have with my friends — this funny, goofy, crazy, raunchy side that I never thought a boy would want."

Spelling's next big dream: to make her dad a grandpa. "It was important for my father to walk me down the aisle, and I got that wish. And I'd love for him to meet his grandchildren."

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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