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Up & Comers

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AGE: 24


CATCH HIM: As sexy geek Seth Cohen on Fox’s hit The O.C.

GIRLS GONE WILD: Brody attracts throngs of teenagers. “Girls freak out over him,” says the show’s co-executive producer Stephanie Savage. “There’s a genuine excitement to see him.”

BACKSTORY: Brody grew up in San Diego and moved to L.A. after high school to act And although he may play a dorky teen, “he’s much more a man in real life than Seth,” says costar Melinda Clarke. Brody, who is dating his onscreen girlfriend Rachel Bilson, recently bought his first house and a new puppy, Penny. “I wanted a dog for cuddling,” he says. “I thought she’d be my jogging partner, but then I don’t jog, so that didn’t really work out.”


On fire: After costarring with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in 2005’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith, he’ll romance Meg Ryan in In the Land of Women.


AGE: 38

CATCH HIM: As solemn coroner Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on CSI: NY—like its predecessors, an immediate hit for CBS.

GIRLS GONE WILD: One overzealous fan had a friend lift Harper’s cell phone number from a hotel registry, then called him.

BACKSTORY: A graduate of Brown, who earned a law degree and a master’s in public administration from Harvard, Harper volunteers as a Big Brother in L.A. and drives a hybrid. There’s more, says his friend Gabrielle Union, whom he met on the 2000 drama City of Angels: “He is physically active and in amazing shape. And the man writes his women poetry. Short of Mother Teresa, who’s good enough for this guy?” For now, says Harper, “I’m still exploring.” But, he adds, “I don’t want the George Clooney lifelong bachelorhood. If I found the right person, I would commit in a minute.”


Piping: His acting career is going so well, he has invested in a restaurant, The Lodge, opening in December in L.A. He’s also part owner of a New Orleans hotel.


AGE: 23


CATCH HIM: As other-side-of-the-tracks basketball star Lucas Scott on The WB’s One Tree Hill.

GIRLS GONE WILD: Murray gets more than 2,000 fan letters a month and says he gets stared at so much that “it’s weird!” But his heart belongs to his costar Sophia Bush, 22. He got down on one knee to propose to her last summer. “It’s a really, really important moment for a woman, so I wanted to do what I could do to make it special,” he says.

BACKSTORY: Raised by a single dad in Buffalo after his mother left when he was 10, he calls his childhood “a pretty dark place!” Murray channeled his energy into acting; now he also writes stories, plays the bongos arid roots for the Buffalo Bills. “Sophia puts the jersey on and gets into the games with me,” he says.


On fire: After playing the heart-throb In A Cinderella Story last summer, he’ll make fans melt in the 2005 horror film House of Wax.


AGE: 31

STATUS: Single

OCCUPATION: Opera singer turned pop baritone.

CATCH HIM: On his debut CD Your Love,My Home or in Vintage, an antique clothing store he owns in Nashville.

GIRLS GONE WILD: After a recent concert in New York, “every woman in the place went straight for him,” says record producer Michael Omartian. “He’s a magnet.”

BACKSTORY: Payne was born nearly deaf and had his hearing restored by surgery at age 3. He grew up to sing in four languages, play four sports and earn a master’s degree in vocal performance. But it’s his singing that’s always gotten him the girls. In high school, he says, “I’d learn a Journey tune because I thought, ‘Man, is she going to love “Open Arms!” ‘ I worked it.”


Heating up: He’s scheduled to audition for several movie roles before launching an international tour in December.


AGE: 31


CATCH HIM: As the Rubberband Man, the wild-haired office-supply guy dancing to the Spinners hit in those Emmy-nominated OfficeMax commercials.

GIRLS GONE WILD: The company has a Web page devoted to Steeples, where fans send messages like this from Sharee: “You are without a doubt the coolest dude I’ve ever seen…. I love you!”

BACKSTORY: Raised in Texas by his evangelist mom and preacher stepfather, Steeples also draws, paints, writes, raps and does stand-up comedy. “The OfficeMax character is the complete opposite of who I am in real life,” he says. “I’m really a laid-back and mellow kind of guy.” Friends call him Steeples. “The truth is, he’s a ladies’ man,” says actress pal Angela Bettis. “He’s really sexy and very honest. And he’s got his own style. He’s very creative about it.”


Heating up: Steeples’s popularity landed him an OfficeMax sequel.


AGE: 25


CATCH HIM: As Frankie Seau, the mysterious bartender on FOX’s North Shore.

GIRLS GONE WILD: His fans “all say the same thing,” says a publicist for the show. “‘He is so hot!’ ”

BACKSTORY: Born in Hawaii but raised in Iowa, the 6’4″ Momoa returned to the islands in 1998 to go to college, where he was discovered by modeling scouts, and, soon afterward, by Hollywood. “He’s a walking contradiction,” says his Aussie fiancée, actress Simmone Jade MacKinnon, 31, whom Momoa met on the set of Baywatch Hawaii. “He’s absolutely beautiful. But he’s also such a goofy dork. He’s definitely not what he seems.” Momoa appears to be the go-with-the-flow surfer dude he plays, but he’s not entirely laid-back. “I freak out when I get surprised,” he admits.


Burning up: On North Shore, “he’s moving away from just being a bartender to a guy who starts running and promoting the island’s hottest club,” says a rep for the show.


AGE: 27

OCCUPATION: Record producer-rapper

CATCH HIM: On his latest CD, The College Dropout, which has sold 2.6 million copies.

GIRLS GONE WILD: “Women go crazy over him,” says his pal Emmanuelle Cuny-Panicker. “We went out two weeks ago, and the girls were almost knocking me over to get to him.”

BACKSTORY: West grew up in Chicago—he now lives in L.A.—and launched his career producing for Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella records. Earlier this year he had two songs—”Through the Wire” and “Slow Jamz”—at the top of the charts. But he’s still a low-key guy. He likes women, he says, “in jeans, a simple, understated shirt and boots. I like it when they try not to overdo it.” A favorite scent? “The smell of Chicago in winter.”


Scorching: His fans can’t wait for more. West is working on his next album.


AGE: 24

CATCH HIM: As all-star Jack McCallister in the WB political drama Jack & Bobby.

GIRLS GONE WILD: Long didn’t get much attention as a high school student in Winchester, Ky., says former drama teacher Vanessa Rogers. “He looked like he was 10 years old.” Agrees Long: “I didn’t have any hair on my legs. And I was singing first tenor when I was a sophomore.” But the late bloomer had jaws dropping when he returned home in 2002. “The girls went gaga,” says Rogers.

BACKSTORY: The son of an insurance salesman and a teacher, Long goes to church on Sundays, dates his college girlfriend and sings the praises of his brother Zach, who just graduated from Marine boot camp.


Sizzling: Jack & Bobby casting agents found Long on an audition tape for another show and said, “Who’s that guy?”