Christine Cavanaugh's friends call her Froggy, but she is best known for giving voice to a pig. Most of her voice-acting work consists of little-boy roles, but her stage career in recent years has consisted largely of grandmotherly parts. Each character displays some aspect of her personality, but there have been few opportunities for croaky-voiced Cavanaugh to portray a young woman. Soon viewers will have more opportunities to see the face that emits the sweet little voice of "Babe." The one that produces the Peter Lorre-like rantings of the prepubescent mad scientist on "Dexter's Laboratory," the Cartoon Network/Turner Broadcasting's animated series. And voices uncertain toddler Chuckie in the just-renewed "Rugrats" and Oblina, the "British Agnes Morehead," in "Aaahh!!!! Real Monsters." As well as Gosalyn in "Darkwing Duck," Bamm Bamm in PBS's upcoming "Cave Kids" and young Marty Sherman in the short-lived but well-loved "The Critic." Cavanaugh also plays the sister in a dysfunctional family in "Little Surprises," a Jeff Goldblum-directed short film for Showtime. She has parts in an upcoming Tom Cruise movie, "Jerry Maguire," and a film called "Soulmates." And she has completed a sitcom pilot called "Square One," which is being retooled as a possible midseason replacement series for ABC. "I'm in my 10th year in Hollywood and working on my seventh pilot. One of them is going to hit," she said. "I don't make a fortune, but I'm awfully busy." Despite all the outside work, Cavanaugh is "an extraordinarily dedicated cast member" at the Playhouse West theater school and repertory company, said director Robert Carnegie. Cavanaugh plays several older female parts for the theater's long-running "Welcome Home, Soldier." "She's worked like hell for seven straight years, doing as many as four different plays a month. If you have some talent, that's going to turn you into something special," he said. Cavanaugh's projects this year were nominated for eight Academy Awards, and her Oscar night outfit included a strapless, piggy-pink gown and a porker-shaped purse. "Babe" won an Oscar in only one of seven categories. "Little Surprises" was nominated for best live action short film. In addition, "Dexter's Laboratory" was nominated for an Emmy. Cavanaugh and her husband, Kevin, a financial analyst, are usually far removed from the so-called glamor of Hollywood -- even though they recently moved to a home under the landmark sign. She's up early each day to take care of a host of activities: gardening, acting classes and rehearsals, play-writing, piano lessons (she's learning "Jingle Bells" for a role) and an occasional visit to yard sales. There's also housework, including cleaning a growing supply of "Rhoda beads," those colorful plastic strands that hung in the doorways of Valerie Harper's TV apartment. A new strand of blue, green and yellow is destined for the kitchen. "I loved Rhoda,' Mary Tyler Moore,' Taxi,' all those shows," Cavanaugh said. Television was a big part of the self-described redneck's childhood in Layton, Utah, before she discovered rodeos and cowboys. "I grew up lonely. My mother was sick and passed away when I was 15," she said. "I spent a lot of time at home and watched old movies. I read everything I got my hands on. I've always been a little overly dramatic. It took me a year to get over The Hunchback of Notre Dame' after I saw it. Charles Laughton. I wanted to kill myself." At 15, she began to put her dramatic tendencies to work. Eventually, she discovered a proficiency doing voices, particularly those of young boys. "I love little boys. They're still innocent and they still have a sweetness to them. My own personality tends to be a little gruff; {my voice is} not quite as girly maybe," said Cavanaugh, her voice a bit hoarse during the early morning interview. Cavanaugh has perfected the art of discussing but not revealing her age, responding that she's "this side of 25 -- which side do you think? I'm whatever age I need to be for whoever is hiring me. I've read five different ages for myself; none of them are right." The importance of not being typecast was apparent during the extensive auditions conducted for "Babe." Cavanaugh first read for the part of Fly, the motherly sheepdog, but was denied -- along with all other adults -- an opportunity to try out for Babe. Only after submitting a tape under the name Chris Cavanaugh did she get the role. Unlike some voice actors, Cavanaugh doesn't do impersonations, and she makes only slight changes in her intonation depending on the character. Thus Babe, despite having a slight Irish lilt in early readings, ended up being "a very young version of the realest boy I can do. {Director} Christopher Noonan was more concerned with having a sincere, unjaded character than what he sounded like." Dexter, meanwhile, has "an affectation, some kind of accent, we're not quite sure. A small Peter Lorre, but not. Perhaps he's Latino, perhaps he's French. He's a scientist; he knows he needs some kind of accent." CAPTION: Christine Cavanaugh gives voice to, from left, the scientist of "Dexter's Laboratory, Marty Sherman of "The Critic," "Babe" and Chuckie of "Rugrats." CAPTION: Bamm Bamm of PBS's "Cave Kids" will sound like Cavanaugh.