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TV's Hottest Cop

As David Caruso savors the global success of "CSI: Miami," the former star of "NYPD Blue" won't forget the lessons he's learned, or the cigars he loves.
Betsy Model
From the Print Edition:
David Caruso, Jan/Feb 2007

(continued from page 9)

"Now, Liza is [biologically] a number of years younger than I am, but, as I mentioned before, females are [developmentally] very, very advanced."

Caruso grimaces when asked to share Liza's age ("Uh, you'll need to ask her that one"), but offers that, at perhaps a comparable age, he "didn't have the experience to handle the opportunities I was given. I hurt myself greatly with the decision to walk away [from "NYPD Blue"] and I can tell you in all candor that there was a period where it was hard for me to get work and there was a perception that I needed to work, to change, and that was my responsibility. And I'm not saying that there was a perception that wasn't accurate. It was accurate.

"I had a great deal to learn in order for me to be happy or to be living a quality existence. So the road to where I am now, which I would describe as the happiest I've ever known, is based on that education."

When asked if he could have defined "happy" a decade ago, Caruso thinks long and hard before answering. "Yeah…and I would have been wrong. You know, that's the great mystery and miracle of life. The philosopher in me says to people on occasion, 'Gentlemen, what we do in the next 10 minutes will determine the next 10 years.' I have a greater understanding now of being in the moment and allowing the big picture to shape itself, as opposed to running after the big picture, being concerned about the big picture."

For a man who believes in fate and foreshadowing, perhaps Jerry Bruckheimer's choice for the theme song of "CSI: Miami"— the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again"—could also serve as a personal philosophy.

"I used to carry around a fortune in my wallet from a fortune cookie, and the fortune read: 'Chinese proverb: If my wishes were granted, my dreams would be smashed.' What that means to me is that if I were given what I think would be good for me, I would shortchange myself; if I were given my version of dreams, I would far under-exceed what life could possibly provide."

Does he still carry a fortune cookie slip in his wallet? "No, but if I did," he says with a laugh, "it would say: 'Chinese proverb: Listen to Liza. She's probably right.'"

Betsy Model is a frequent contributor to Cigar Aficionado.

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