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Natural Wonders

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Benjamin Bratt

sexiest single guy

Julia Roberts was guilty of understatement in July when she announced her breakup with Benjamin Bratt. “He is, to the exaltation of the female single population, not my man anymore,” she told David Letterman. Exaltation? Try fibrillation. When Stephen Gaghan, director of Bratt’s upcoming thriller Abandon, accompanied Bratt to a park in L.A. recently, “it was like I had shown up with Elvis,” he says. “All the young moms and nannies were trying not to look at Benjamin, but they were having heart palpitations. You could see them fluttering.” The 6’2″ actor, best known for his role as Det. Rey Curtis on NBC’s Law & Order (1995-99), doesn’t rest on his chiseled cheekbones or buff biceps. Bratt possesses a solid work ethic (he paid for his master’s degree in theater by driving a passenger van to and from the San Francisco airport), and his close-knit upbringing (he’s one of five kids born to a Peruvian mother and an English-German father) instilled an abiding love of family. Since his split from Roberts, the 37-year-old actor told Latina magazine he’s looking for a woman who is “maternal…because if I’m with her, my intention is to make her the mother of my children.” And what a lucky brood they’ll be. Bratt “exudes warmth as he walks through a room,” says Nelle Nugent, who produced his 2001 TV movie After the Storm. “He gets what he wants by being thoughtful, by treating everyone with the utmost courtesy.”