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If you are a baseball fan you won't have to ask, who is Dave Dravecky? You already know that he was the big league pitcher who pitched on League Championship and World Series teams. You also know that cancer took the deltoid muscle in his pitching arm in '88, and after his courageous comeback, cancer returned to claim not only his arm but his shoulder and collarbone. Yes, Dave Dravecky has known suffering.

When You Can't Come Back is his book about it. His story, written with the help of his wife Jan and writer Ken Gire, is for everyone who questions how God can allow such suffering. "Any question that brings us to God for an answer is a good question," Dravecky writes. "I don't believe God gave me cancer, but I believe He allowed it. Why, ! don't know. I do know that I used to be preoccupied with my own needs, now I am learning compassion for others."

Doctor's footnote: A few years ago, 50 percent of people with Dave Dravecky's type of cancer had to undergo amputation. Today, that number has dropped to 3 or 4 percent. I

The women on "Designing Women" all agree, "it's so nice to have a man around the set."

That man, of course, is Meshach Taylor (survivor of the lean years in Indianapolis and Chicago and the make-or-break move to LA, where he lived part-time in his 1973 Mercedes), who plays the part of ex-con turned law student, and away from the camera has become the Rock of Gibraltar during the tempestuous scenes never seen.

Taylor's given name of Meshach is taken from the Biblical character who entered a fiery furnace. So if further fireworks explode on "Designing Women" this season, he says he will remain unfazed. "All I want to say about my name," he explains, "is that I like the metaphor."

An ABC series debuting this fall will carry the one-word title "DELTA." But when that one word refers to Delta Burke, one word is plenty.

As star of the show, she plays a hairdresser-turned-waitress trying to make it as a country/western singer in Nashville.

"She's a belter; she uses the bottom of her voice, like Madonna," says Seth Riggs, her vocal coach. Although Burke has never sung professionally before, she's a natural, Riggs says, adding, "She's going to surprise a lot of people, including herself."

His acting career established at age eight, Roddy McDowall was not long in establishing worldwide acclaim for his starring roles in such memorable films as "Lassie Come Home," "How Green Was My Valley," and "My Friend Flicka." And who can forget his roles in "The Longest Day," "Planet of the Apes," "Cleopatra," and "The Poseidon Adventure"? But along the way, unsure that he wanted to continue acting, he began dreaming of a career in photography.

Today, he has both careers. He is soon to be seen in the mini-series "Sands of Time," and his two classic photo books, Double Exposure and Double Exposure--Take Two, have also made him one of Hollywood's most admired photographers. A new release, Double Exposure--Take Three, is a compilation of 104 photos of celebrities with profiles written by other celebrities. Among the duos are Clint Eastwood by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bob Hope by Ronald Reagan, Debbie Reynolds by Carrie Fisher, and James Galanos by Nancy Reagan.

The book also exposes the genius of Roddy McDowall behind as well as in front of the camera.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:celebrities
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Nov 1, 1992
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