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Navy NCIS's Michael Weatherly

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AGE: 35

HOMETOWN: Fairfield, Conn.

LATEST ROLE: Plays Robert Wagner in the ABC movie The Mystery of Natalie Wood March 1

•Reel-life romance:

“I’m playing an actor in a high-profile relationship,” says Weatherly of Wagner, the ’50s screen idol twice wed to Wood. “I had a taste of that myself, and it wasn’t a taste I liked a lot.” When Weatherly got engaged in 2001 to his Dark Angel costar Jessica Alba, “everyone was shocked at the 12-year age difference.” Though they broke up last August, he adds, “she’s one of my closest friends.”

•Young gun:

His regular gig as Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo on CBS’s Navy NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) “is the coolest,” says Weatherly, who has a son, August, 8, with his ex-wife, All My Children‘s Amelia Heinle. “There was a part of me that wanted to work for the CIA or the Secret Service when I was 13.” Between takes, he acts that age too: “If you’re in a bad mood, he’ll pretend he’s a dog or do a monkey impression.” says costar Sasha Alexander. “You can’t help but laugh.”