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WITH AN EYE ON ... : Being 'Blossom's' best friend has its privileges: just ask Jenna Von Oy

June 13, 1993|N.F. MENDOZA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Gidget had Larue. Mary had Rhoda. "Blossom" has Six.

"I have been through more interesting experiences than any child who's had a 'normal'--whatever that is--upbringing would have in a lifetime," says fast-talking Jenna Von Oy, 16, who plays Blossom's best pal on the popular NBC sitcom.

This week, Blossom (Mayim Bialik) and Six reminisce through flashbacks from the show's pilot, giving a glimpse at how the two have grown up in the last two years. (Von Oy will also be featured Sunday morning in "The Star Kid's Challenge," on KNBC and KUSI.)

A professional actress since she was 6, Von Oy told her parents she wanted to be an actress at 3.

"They thought it was just a phase," she says.

Eventually, she managed to show them just how serious she was, and the Von Oys' oldest child (she's one of six) started her show-business career in a Jell-O Pudding Pop commercial with none other than every kid's pal Bill Cosby, who quickly became a role model.

After more commercials and guest-starring roles, she landed the high-profile part of hat-loving motormouth Six LeMuere.

Von Oy says she's like her character in many ways.

"Well, aside from that we look exactly alike," she says drolly, "we're both very energetic, we both talk very quickly and we have huge hat collections." Six is "more wild" than she, Von Oy says, and likes "to gossip a lot about boys and clothes."

Like Six, Von Oy dances and sings. She and Bialik take jazz and tap-dance classes during their lunch breaks.

"I would eventually like to also have a music career, but my schedule is pretty hectic right now," she says.

While "Blossom" is in production nine months out of the year, Von Oy, her mother and youngest brother live in Los Angeles. The remainder of the year is spent at home in Connecticut to be with her father and other siblings.

During the show's hiatus, she hopes to find an acting role, "anything, not any particular one, but one that is challenging," she says emphatically. "I want something that I really have to work for. They stereotype you as a sitcom actress and I'm out to prove I'm different."

Von Oy, who busies herself with volunteer charity work, has recently launched Jenna's Hats, a line of $20-25 hats sold exclusively at Zanderz in Pacific Palisades. Ten percent of the proceeds will go to the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

She's also president of the Kid's Club of the Starlight Foundation (one of the charities featured in "The Star Kids Challenge"), which grants wishes to terminally ill children.

"I like to schedule tons and tons of things, because if I'm not working, I'm really bored," she says.

Lest she sound like a workaholic missing out on her crucial and short teen years, be assured that Von Oy is more like a typical teen than she appears. She tries not to miss "Melrose Place," hopes her family will take her to Hawaii, and in her spare time she likes to go to the movies with friends and have sleepovers.

Just like Six.

"The Star Kids Challenge" airs 10 a.m. at noon on KNBC and KUSI. "Blossom" airs Mondays at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.

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