Cathy Silvers is planning ahead. After three years spent playing a bubbly teen-ager on "Happy Days" and one season as a young lawyer on CBS' "Foley Square," Phil Silvers' daughter is thinking about college.
Silvers, 24, was in town last week for a press tour as well as to visit relatives and to scout Georgetown, George Washington and American universities in case her current series isn't retained.
The fragile-looking Silvers got her role as Jenny Piccolo on "Happy Days" at age 17, right out of Beverly Hills High School. But her four sisters, all now in show business, went on to UCLA.
She doesn't regret having begun a career that includes a TV movie, two pilots, guest spots and voice-overs, but she's ready to try the road not taken -- higher education -- if "Foley" falls.
But unlike her sisters, Silvers has decided "I would like to make my home here," perhaps eventually in Middleburg. If she enrolls locally, she'll probably share a place with a friend or with her cousin, Becky Hudgens, 25, an Old Dominion graduate who lives in Arlington.
Last week, after visiting AU classes, she talked about her plans over a hot apple pie a la mode and decaffeinated coffee in the no-smoking section of a nearby coffee shop. Silvers looked very much the affluent coed, in jeans and patterned suspenders (from Liberty at Tysons Corner shopping center), cherry- red sweatshirt draped over her shoulders, an engaged-to-be-engaged pearl ring on her slender finger.
The ring is from her long-term beau, a California stockbroker whom she has known since high school. "I've never dated an actor," she said, "and I don't do the Hollywood scene." And his career? "Oh, he can move here," she said.
Silvers, who is "nervous, anxious, hopeful" over her series, will learn in early May what CBS plans to do with "Foley Square," which moves to Tuesday this week along with the revised "Mary." If CBS keeps the show, Silvers will continue as Molly, "an ideal person, so wholesome and so bright -- she graduated in the top 10 percent of her law class at Yale." She hopes Molly will be allowed "to do great things."
Silvers' father, who died in November at 74, was best known as MSgt. Ernie Bilko in a series first called "You'll Never Get Rich." He and his wife, Evelyn, a model and former Miss Florida, produced five daughters in seven years, but separated after 11 years of marriage.
When Cathy and her twin, Candy, were 5, Evelyn Silvers moved her daughters to Orlando, Fla., to care for her parents until their deaths, then returned to Southern California and became a psychologist specializing in marriage and family counseling (with a thriving practice, says her daughter).
Phil showed up on Sundays, depending on his work schedule, Cathy recalled, and Evelyn mainly brought up the girls. But he cautioned his daughters to "treat the industry as a business, not an obsession." Last week, Cathy checked tuition rates.