Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett offer double the eye candy in this summer's blockbuster

By People Staff
July 02, 2001 12:00 PM

Ben Affleck

AGE: 28

HEIGHT: 6’2″

Last March Ben Affleck spent four days in boot camp while preparing to play a U.S. Army pilot in this summer’s blockbuster Pearl Harbor. But despite the best efforts of Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul Donnelly to treat Affleck like just another recruit—even having him scrub a latrine—the actor stood out. “There were about 600 junior ROTC kids at the base,” Sergeant Donnelly, 42, recalled last fall. “And we’re marching by a group of them, and all of a sudden the girls are like, ‘Ooohhh! That’s Ben Affleck!’ They were freaking out.” Who could blame them? Since starring in 1997’s Good Will Hunting (for which he and childhood friend Matt Damon won a screenwriting Oscar), Affleck has cut a dashing figure, whether wearing a space suit (Armageddon) or one with pinstripes (Bounce). And now Pearl Harbor has revealed “a different kind of Ben—more reserved, more mature,” says the film’s producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, 57. Offscreen as well, the actor—whom his Harbor love interest, Kate Beckinsale, 27, calls “handsome and superintelligent and confident”—seems to have settled into his skin. “He should have a class, How to Handle Being a Movie Star, because he does it real well,” says costar William Lee Scott. When it comes to commitment, however, Affleck (whose on-again, off-again romance with Gwyneth Paltrow ended in January 1999) still has some growing up to do. “Who knows what Ben has to go through to get to where he feels like, ‘I want to be a husband and a father’?” says Affleck pal Jay Lacopo, a screenwriter. “Everything comes in time.” Women everywhere can hardly wait.

Josh Hartnett


AGE: 22

HEIGHT: 6’3″

All the bomb-dodging Josh Hartnett did while filming Pearl Harbor may prove useful training for a new onslaught. The Minnesotan—who has gone from teen flicks (Halloween H20) and indie films (The Virgin Suicides) to this summer’s megahit in three short years—is about to feel the cyclonic force of full-fledged fame. “Josh has an elegance and dignity that’s hard to find,” says Harbor producer Jerry Bruckheimer. “When you look at him, you think of Gary Cooper.” He’s “sweet and mysterious—and a flirt,” adds Hartnett’s Harbor leading lady Kate Beckinsale, “but in a silent, quite proper way.” For his part, Hartnett is trying to keep as low a profile as possible. “Attention is not something I seek,” he says, explaining that he doesn’t do the club scene and doesn’t live in Los Angeles. In fact, since Hartnett has been on location so much, he doesn’t have his own place, and most of his belongings are in storage near the St. Paul home of his father, Daniel, 52, a commercial-building manager, and stepmother, Molly, 43, a homemaker and artist. He also eschews roles requiring nudity. “I’m just a scrawny little thing, and there are lots of people who are in good shape,” he told Detour last year. “Girls would rather see their bodies than mine.” Don’t bet on it, Josh.

Shemar Moore


AGE: 31


As Malcolm Winters on CBS’s The Young and the Restless, Shemar Moore spends as little time as possible wearing a shirt. Off-screen, however, Moore has another way of making women drool. “I bake cookies from scratch,” he says. “Chocolate chip, oatmeal, peanut butter. I love to bake for my sweetheart.” Past girlfriends include R&B singer Toni Braxton, 34, and actress Halle Berry, 34. But lately Moore’s hectic schedule—he also hosts the syndicated dance show Soul Train and starred in the recent film The Brothers—has left him little time for romance. Still, there is one woman he manages to squeeze into his schedule: mom Marilyn, 57, a business consultant who raised him as a single parent. “For Mother’s Day he sent me everything I’d been hinting about all year—a camera, good coffee, wonderful lotions,” she says, adding, “I’d definitely call my son a good catch.” Just so long as whoever reels him in is “very secure, because he’s probably going to be more beautiful than she is,” says Moore’s Y&R costar Michelle Stafford, 35. Not to worry: The actor claims that great cheekbones interest him less than an active funny bone. “I got corny jokes,” he says, “and I need someone to laugh at them.”

Tom Cavanagh


AGE: 32


“Dates? I’ve heard about those things. I’m hoping to try one once,” says Tom Cavanagh, whose 18-hour workdays leave little time for romance. Not that he doesn’t have his admirers. Like the upbeat lawyer cum bowling-alley owner he plays on Ed, Cavanagh “is incredibly sweet and goofy,” says costar Julie Bowen, 32. But he does “take two things seriously: his work and his relationships,” says close pal Paula Cale, 31, of NBC’s Providence. And Bowen points out that “he’s very private.” Which makes it tough to get the Canadian-born Cavanagh, who now lives in New York City, to talk about the sort of woman he would like to settle down with. “I’d like her to fall under the standard human genome,” he offers. A good candidate would be someone who doesn’t need much rest. Says Bowen: “Tom’s proud of the fact that he never sleeps.”

Matt Damon

AGE: 30

HEIGHT: 5’11”

“Better to be a fake somebody than a real nobody,” said the title character of The Talented Mr. Ripley. The talented Matt Damon played the part, but he doesn’t have that problem. The Cambridge, Mass., native is a Hollywood leading man (next up in September’s The Bourne Identity), executive producer (of this fall’s romantic comedy The Third Wheel) and, of course, Oscar winner (with his boyhood buddy Ben Affleck, 28, for their screenplay for 1997’s Goodwill Hunting). “I feel like it’s an embarrassment of riches,” Damon told Talk last January about his success. All that, and he’s modest too. “He’s always been sweet and honest and smart,” says actress Meredith Salenger, 30 (Lake Placid), a pal since their Harvard days (Damon left with two semesters unfinished). Michael Nozik, 46, who produced The Legend of Bagger Vance, considers the star an “unaffected gentleman.” Damon, who calls a Manhattan apartment home and has dated actresses Claire Danes, 22, Minnie Driver, 31, and Winona Ryder, 29, is currently unattached. Although perhaps not for long. “Women like nice guys,” says Virginia Madsen, 39, his costar in 1997’s The Rainmaker. “We may play with the bad boys, but we like the nice ones. And he’s one of them.”

Jeremy Davenport


AGE: 31


RESIDENCE: A New Orleans loft

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Attended the Manhattan School of Music

RÉSUMÉ: The St. Louis-bred Davenport spent eight years touring as part of Harry Connick Jr.’s band before starting a solo career as a jazz trumpeter and singer in 1995. Now working on his third CD, he attracts crowds on Friday and Saturday nights at New Orleans’s Ritz-Carlton hotel.

MUSICAL MUSCLE: Up at 6:30 a.m. for a workout and swim, Davenport tries to write a new song every day. “Before I know it, it’s 10 at night. I probably spend 90 percent of my time alone,” he says. “But I look at my career as if I were an athlete in training. These are the critical years.”

WISE GUY: “Jeremy really understands the importance of listening,” says his pal Connick, 33. “He’s a sensitive man.”

EMBRACING HIS FEMININE SIDE: “I’m the guy at the party in the kitchen with the women,” he says. “I like the female perspective, and I understand that women are smarter than men.”

Westley Moore


AGE: 22

HEIGHT: 6’2″

RESIDENCE: Baltimore

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Johns Hopkins, 2001

RÉSUMÉ: This fall Moore will study international relations at Oxford.

BUMPS IN THE ROAD: His dad, William, a TV reporter, died in 1982. When Moore, who grew up in The Bronx, was in the seventh grade, his mom, Joy (now 51 and an executive with a nonprofit group), sent him to boarding school at Pennsylvania’s Valley Forge Military Academy to improve his grades and delinquent attitude. He says he ran away from there five times before “learning to stand on my own two feet and be accountable for my actions.”

GOOD DEEDS: To help other youngsters at risk, last year Moore founded a mentoring program called STAND, which pairs Johns Hopkins students with inner-city kids. YES, SIR? Moore turned down athletic scholarships to go into the Army ROTC.

BRIGHT FUTURE: Says former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, 51, with whom Moore interned: “He’s a good guy who’s just getting better.”

Lee Godwin


AGE: 29

HEIGHT: 6’2″

RESIDENCE: A condo in Homestead, Fla.

STATUS: Never married

RÉSUMÉ: The son of skydivers, Godwin got his pilot’s license at age 20 and started 1-800-SKY-DIVE in 1998. The company now has 50 licensed centers nationally.

WHY HIS HEAD IS IN THE CLOUDS: “There’s a real state of serenity,” says Godwin. “I just take the plane up, make a jump, and all the stress goes away.”

BUT HIS FEET ARE ON THE GROUND: “Lee was an adventuresome kid, but he never got into any trouble,” says his mom, Wilma, 53 (his father, Jimmy, died in 1998). Adds Godwin’s company’s vice president Fred Whitsitt, 40: “This is a man people trust on a daily basis with their lives.”

AMONG THE LIVES THAT HAVE BEEN IN HIS HANDS: Stephen Baldwin, Tom Berenger and Dennis Rodman, whom Godwin trained and acted as stunt double for in the 2000 film Cutaway.

IF HE EVER MAKES “THE JUMP”: Godwin recalls the 1992 wedding of his sister Pam, 34, to champion skydiver Guy Manos, 41: “They got married in a hot-air balloon and jumped out—something I plan on topping one day!”

Benicio Del Toro


AGE: 35

HEIGHT: 6’2″

He’s on the wish list of everyone in town, from directors after the intensity he brought to his Oscar-winning role as a Mexican cop in Traffic to women melting over a guy this casually, consummately cool. Benicio Del Toro is “like Humphrey Bogart,” says his Traffic costar Marisol Padilla Sanchez. “The passion he has for his life and work radiates from him.” But the Puerto Rico-born actor isn’t all smoldering steeliness. “He likes cracking up and laughing,” says Jacob Vargas, who played Del Toro’s partner in Traffic. And the good mood is infectious: “You can’t underestimate Benicio’s charm,” noted Traffic director Steven Soderbergh, 38, in the Los Angeles Times. Nor interest in his love life. After ending a serious relationship with actress Chiara Mastroianni, 29, Del Toro, who lives in Los Angeles, is too busy filming The Hunted with William Friedkin—followed by The Assumption of the Virgin (opposite Juliette Binoche)—to cast his own leading lady. Sanchez predicts he’ll have no trouble entrancing whomever he sets his sights on: “Benicio’s eyes have a hypnotic aspect. When he looks at you, he is so still, even though he makes everything move.”

Alexis Denisof


AGE: 35

HEIGHT: 6’2″

He left Buffy the Vampire Slayer to solve crimes on Angel, but only the completely clueless need help detecting the worldly dude behind the role of nerdy demon hunter Wesley Wyndham-Price. “I’m willing to try new things and meet new people. I’ve traveled a lot,” says Denisof, who was born in Maryland, raised in Seattle and still possesses a slight English accent that he picked up during three years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He stuck around for a successful stage career (Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company) before relocating to Los Angeles in 1998. “He’s really smart but not in a condescending way. He’s comfortable with himself,” says Buffy’s Alyson Hannigan, 27, who began dating him after he left the show and became her former costar. “He was like, ‘Oh no, not while we’re working together,’ ” she recalls. “You know, Ethics Guy.” For all his polish, Denisof is lord of a two-bedroom bachelor pad that he describes as “pretty bizarre. There’s a couch and a desk and a bed. The big thing was when I got a couple of plants and a bookshelf.” And he is straightforward when it comes to romance. “In a woman, I look for a sense of humor, a willingness to go without makeup and a willingness to go to thebathroom in the woods!” Denisof says jokingly. “I like girls who are willing to rough it.”

Seth Berkly


AGE: 44


RESIDENCE: Homes in New York City and Sag Harbor, N.Y.

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Brown University, B.S., 1978; M.D., 1981

RÉSUMÉ: As the founder and head of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Berkley keeps governments in Africa, Asia and Europe focused on the need for a vaccine.

DIAGNOSIS: “Seth is one of the most important physicians in the world,” says Stanley Aronson, 79, former dean of Brown Medical School. “But if you could see his travel schedule, you would see why he’s resolved, for a while, not to marry.”

THERAPY: A horseman and sailor, Berkley is not seriously dating now. But, he says, “the greatest thing would be to share all these amazing experiences with someone.”

Dave Price


AGE: 34

HEIGHT: 5’10”

RESIDENCE: A Manhattan apartment

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Cornell, B.S., 1987; Columbia, M.A., 1993

RÉSUMÉ: Since 1999 Price has been forecasting the weather and fielding colleagues’ good-natured barbs on the FOX morning show Good Day New York.

IN HIS PAST LIFE: Price was an overweight executive with Taco Bell for two years. “I was the funny fat guy,” he says, “but that’s not what I wanted to be.” By the end of 1995 he had shed 70 lbs. and left his job to chase his dream of being on television.

MAXIMUM EXPOSURE: Female viewers e-mail him, offering home-cooked meals and dates with their sisters, but true love remains elusive. “My folks say they don’t understand how I can have a 3 ½-hour personal ad on TV every day and can’t get married,” Price says.

MAMA’S FORECAST: Says homemaker mom Helene, 64 (Dad is retired engineer Larry, 66): “When David comes into our home, I feel the sun has come out.”

Jim Morrison


AGE: 30


RESIDENCE: A 1920s-style bungalow in Los Angeles.

STATUS: Single and gay

COLLEGE: Georgetown University, 1993; Columbia Law School, 1996

RÉSUMÉ: In February Morrison was the first runner-up on the ABC game show The Mole. He won $25,000 and the friendship of the winner, Boulder, Colo., policeman Steven Cowles, 31. “Jim’s intelligent and really witty,” says Cowles. “He’s always thinking a few steps ahead.”

CASE CLOSED: In 1999, after just two years practicing civil law alongside his attorney parents, Kathleen, 48, and Martin, 55, in Newton, N.J., Morrison quit. “I loved the adrenaline rush of being in court but hated everything else about being a lawyer.”

ALOHA: Morrison then took off for Honolulu, where he became a commercial helicopter pilot. “It was a childhood dream,” he explains.

ON DECK: Now living off his Mole winnings and working sporadically as a lawyer, Morrison is also filming a current-events show pilot for MTV. His qualifications? “I’m very political,” he says. “Having a spirited debate about your government or politics or culture is one of the best things in life.”

STAYING POWER: Morrison “is a nester,” says his friend, actor Mark Vietor, 41.

“When he’s in a relationship, he’s in it for the long haul.”

Peter Poulakakos


AGE: 25

HEIGHT: 6’1″

RESIDENCE: A studio apartment in New York City

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Georgetown, 1998

RÉSUMÉ: Poulakakos owns Bayard’s in Manhattan’s Wall Street district. Its chef is Eberhard Müller, formerly of the acclaimed Lutèce.

HEADLINE NEWS: Bayard’s downstairs neighbor is Harry’s of Hanover Square, a restaurant run for three decades by Peter’s dad, Harry, 63, and mom, Adrienne, 67. Peter’s birth was noted in a story in The Wall Street Journal.

LIVING IN OBLIVION: Bayard’s manager Raymond Hamway, 25, a childhood pal, says, “Pete doesn’t even realize half the time when girls are hitting on him.”

LATENIGHT SPECIAL: Because Poulakakos works six days a week from 10 a.m. until after midnight, “it’s tough for me to go out,” he says. But he’s game for meeting “a great girl,” he says, then adds with a laugh, “I need someone to get me out of here!”

John O’Brien


AGE: 38


RESIDENCE: A 1795 farmhouse on Landgoes, a 200-acre spread in Tunbridge, Vt., where he grew up the third of four children of Robert, a local politician who died in 1996, and Ann, 71, who directs regional theater

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Harvard, 1986

RÉSUMÉ: O’Brien cares for a flock of 50 sheep and makes independent films in which he casts his neighbors. His ’96 mock documentary Man with a Plan, which starred his pal Fred Tuttle, now 81, was critically acclaimed.

WOOL GATHERING: When it comes to shearing, O’Brien is not a do-it-yourselfer. “It’s really a job, like fixing a car,” he says. “A professional is much faster and better.”

LOVELY LETTERS: O’Brien dips into his collection of several thousand postcards to send notes to friends. “He writes everything by hand,” says his pal Paula Routly, 41, a newspaper editor. “He doesn’t have a computer.” BAA, BAA BABIES? “I’d probably make a good father,” says O’Brien, “given how many lambs I’ve raised.”

Dan Abrams


AGE: 35

HEIGHT: 5’9″

RESIDENCE: New York City

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Duke, 1988

RÉSUMÉ: Armed with a law degree from Columbia University, Abrams began his broadcasting career at Court TV. Last fall at NBC, he nimbly clarified the Supreme Court’s 65-page Bush v. Gore ruling.

FAMILY COUNCIL: “My dad has always been the person whom I turn to for advice,” says Abrams of Floyd, 64, a noted attorney. Mom Efrat is a museum guide; just-married sister Ronnie, 33, is a federal prosecutor who says she wants her brother “to find someone sooner rather than later so we can have kids at the same time.”

LUCKY MAN: “He’s got options,” says longtime pal Landon Stonesifer, 35, a first-grade teacher. “Every single girl I’ve introduced him to falls in love with him.”

EXCEPTION TO THE RULE: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow. “We met through a friend of hers, and then I bumped into her at a party,” says Abrams. “She didn’t remember who I was.”

CHILD’S PLAY: “Dan loves kids,” says former girlfriend Laura Dail, 36, a literary agent and mother of a 15-month-old daughter. “He’d drop anything to babysit.”

Patrick Wilson


AGE: 27

HEIGHT: 6’1″

RESIDENCE: New York City

STATUS: Dates actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, 22

COLLEGE: Carnegie Mellon University, 1995

RÉSUMÉ: Wilson got his first professional break in the chorus of Miss Saigon‘s Los Angeles cast. His performance in The Full Monty was nominated for a Tony Award.

SINCERELY YOURS: When it comes to relationships, “I try to be genuine,” he says. “I’m extremely loyal. I put a lot of trust into people.” Says his dad, John, 60, a TV anchorman in Tampa: “Patrick’s mother [Mary K., 57, a choir director] and I have been together for over 35 years, and I think he wants something like that.”

SPOTLESS RECORD: “I’m clean! I’m clean!” says Wilson. “I like to keep my place tidy. My life is a wreck if I don’t clean every day.”

ON DOING THE FULL MONTY: “My mom’s seen the show, and so has my grandmother,” Wilson says. “The nudity is so brief. People make more of it than it is.”

Mike de la Cruz


AGE: 23

HEIGHT: 5’11”

RESIDENCE: A two-bedroom apartment in Long Beach, Calif.

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: University of California at Los Angeles, 2000

RÉSUMÉ: De la Cruz teaches economics and history at Compton High, in a gang-ridden neighborhood. That’s a far cry from the middle-class Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia, where he grew up the youngest child of homemaker Mary Anne and Ralph, a rail-operations manager, both 58. Says de la Cruz about his career choice: “I wanted to open my eyes to things I hadn’t experienced.”

A HIT WITH THE KIDS: Compton senior William Garcia, 18, says de la Cruz makes history fun: “He jokes around and makes the class interesting.”

UP FOR ANYTHING: Last year de la Cruz took a pal to the airport and was due to pick him up later that week. “I started thinking, ‘What am I doing for the next five days?’ ” De la Cruz caught the next flight to Mexico City, returning in time to drive his pal home.

MR. CONGENIALITY: “From the moment you meet Mike, you feel like he’s your friend,” says his college buddy, science teacher Marc Milstein, 23. And that’s exactly what de la Cruz wants in a partner: “The best thing a woman can offer is friendship.”

Cooper Taylor


AGE: 26

HEIGHT: 5’10”

RESIDENCE: Ennis, Mont.

STATUS: Never married

RÉSUMÉ: Taylor is a bona fide cowboy who rides the range at his family’s 120-acre ranch and competes at rodeos in team roping competitions. He’s also an actor and stuntman who appeared in last year’s The Patriot and 1997’s The Postman.

BLOODLINES: His late grandfather Dub Taylor acted in hundreds of movies. Dad Buck Taylor, 63, played Newly on Gunsmoke, and as a child, mom Judith Nugent acted with Clint Eastwood in Rawhide.

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME: “I love the business,” says Taylor. “But I just can’t stand L.A. It’s too much for me.”

WHAT A CHARMER: “Coop can go anywhere and people like him,” says his rodeo mentor, champion roper Kenny Call, 56. “Women find him irresistible,” adds Buck. “He’ll meet a lady, take his hat off and give her that big grin of his. He hasn’t got a big ego, but he exudes self-confidence, and he’s very virtuous.”

RIDING OFF INTO THE SUNSET: “I’d like someone who likes horses,” says Taylor. “But I’ll take a city gal. I might change her.”

David Benioff


AGE: 30

HEIGHT: 6’3″

RESIDENCE: An apartment in Santa Monica

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Dartmouth, 1992; master’s degrees from Trinity College, Dublin, 1997, and University of California, Irvine, 1999

RÉSUMÉ: Published earlier this year, his debut novel about the seedy New York City underworld, The 25th Hour, is about to get the big-screen treatment, with Tobey Maguire starring as the convicted drug dealer.

ARTIST’S TEMPERAMENT: Benioff typically writes until 5 a.m. (“I think I get smarter as the day goes on”), so don’t talk to him before noon. “In the morning I’m a monster,” he admits.

JACK-OF-ALL-TRADES: Before he hit the publishing jackpot, New York City-bred Benioff worked as a nightclub bouncer, high school teacher and—in Moose, Wyo.—a radio deejay on the graveyard shift. “I wanted to go to a place that was quiet, where I could write,” he explains. “Plus, I’d never lived in the country.”

ROLE MODELS: “My friends say, ‘Your parents act like they are on a date!’ ” says Benioff, whose folks, Stephen and Barbara, both 63, have been married for 41 years. “That’s the model for me.”

EARLY START: “He was very precocious,” recalls sister Carolyn Levy, 35, a clinical psychologist. “By the time he was 6, he was reading The Count of Monte Cristo.”

Scott Jones


AGE: 40

HEIGHT: 6’5″

RESIDENCE: Carmel, Ind.

STATUS: Divorced since ’96, with three sons ages 5, 7 and 9

COLLEGE: Indiana University, 1984

RÉSUMÉ: Jones made millions for inventing a voice-mail system used by phone companies worldwide. His worth is now in the “nine digits,” he says.

MAIN FRAME: Jones’s 30,000-sq.-ft. mansion includes three theaters, a two-story spa and gym, 16 bathrooms and an indoor tree house. He has 26 computers, including one on his stationary bike, and he travels in a custom-made van that has a conference table. “I don’t have very good boundaries between my work and personal life,” he admits.

HARD DRIVE: While developing his voice-mail project in the 1980s, “I shoved about 20 years of my life into six,” says Jones, who kept a sleeping bag in his office and once went four weeks without leaving the building.

COMPATIBILITY: Jones says he would like to meet a woman “who can go to a presidential ball or be comfortable camping in a tent on the side of a cliff.” His mom, Barbara, 65, a freelance writer and editor who raised her only son in Louisville, Ky., with her husband, George, 67, a retired engineer, has another criterion: “She should love him just as much if he made minimum wage.”

Don & Ron Heidary


AGE: 40

HEIGHT: Don (below left) is 6′; Ron, 5’11”.

RESIDENCE: A shared house in El Sobrante, Calif.

STATUS: Both have girlfriends.

COLLEGE: University of California at Berkeley, B.A.s in economics, 1984

RÉSUMÉ: They train the swim teams of rival high schools: Don coaches at Miramonte High School, and Ron works at Campolindo High School (Ron’s team won this year’s league championship). Don also works until 2:30 each afternoon, trading stocks in San Francisco. In addition, the brothers run a private club that offers coaching to Olympic hopefuls.

YIN AND YANG: “We share everything, even our checking, savings, investment and retirement accounts,” says Ron. But, says pal Matt Ehrenberger, 34, a swim coach, “they’re just opposite in the way they do things. Donnie is like Mr. Rogers: supernice. Ronnie is more intense. They kind of have a hard time working with each other, but they love each other.”

TWO WORLDS: The brothers were raised in Pinole, Calif., but were born in Teheran, Iran, to Roger, now 70, an Iranian medical technologist, and Jean, an American, now 59 and an office worker.

DOUBLE VISION: “People who don’t know us see us and think we’re one person coaching two teams,” says Ron.

Zia Chishti


AGE: 29


RESIDENCE: Sunnyvale, Calif.

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Columbia, 1992; Stanford, M.B.A., 1997

RÉSUMÉ: On a date nine years ago, Chishti says he was told, “You’re a good-looking guy, but your teeth are horrible.” He got them straightened with metal braces but was inspired to invent clear, plastic teeth aligners. Chishti’s company, Align Technology, went public in January, putting his estimated net worth at $23 million.

CONTINENTAL SHIFT: Chishti was born Wilson Lear in Bar Harbor, Maine. After his American dad died in 1974, Chishti moved to Pakistan with his mother, Saadia, now 64, who changed her son’s name to protect him from discrimination.

MEMORABLE GUY: Chishti “is a workaholic, no doubt about it,” says his business partner Kelsey Wirth, 31. “I forget birthdays, dinner dates,” admits Chishti. “It just happens.”

Marcos Carrington


AGE: 31

HEIGHT: 6′ ½”

RESIDENCE: Lakewood, N.J.

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Rutgers University, 1993

RÉSUMÉ: As a junior in college, Carrington founded Tasetilocus, a consulting firm that, he explains, helps corporations “improve their environmental and fiscal performance simultaneously.” Among his clients: chemical and petroleum companies and plastics manufacturers.

HOT WHEELS: Despite Carrington’s pro-Earth work, he drives a gas-guzzling Porsche, “because I’m young and single,” he says. The car aside, “Marcos is trying to make environmental commerce more than a fad,” says pal Marcus Thomas, 31, a former Tasetilocus top executive.

HOME, SWEET HOME: The youngest of five siblings, Carrington still lives with his parents, Ines, 72, and Anthony, 69, both retired.

Nomar Garciaparra


AGE: 27


RESIDENCE: A waterfront condo in Boston

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Attended Georgia Tech

RÉSUMÉ: Garciaparra, who is in his third year of a $45.25 million seven-year contract, captured the American League batting title in both 1999 and 2000. Although he has been sidelined this season by surgery for a wrist injury, retired baseball great Ted Williams predicts that Garciaparra will become the first player to bat .400 since Williams did it in 1941.

PHONE HOME: The oldest of four children, Garciaparra was raised in Whittier, Calif. He phones his parents, Ramon, 50, a graphic artist and high school baseball coach, and Sylvia, 48, a typesetter, every day. “They sacrificed so much for us kids. I bought them a house, but I can never thank them enough,” he says.

MR. MANNERS: “If I didn’t open the door for a woman, my mom would kill me,” says Garciaparra. Adds Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette, 43: “Nomar spends 15 minutes before every game signing autographs for his fans. He sees it as part of his responsibility.”

HE’S NOT PLAYING THE FIELD: Garciaparra wishes the gossip columns would get it right: “For some reason I’m always going out with someone who has a boyfriend, is engaged or married. I heard I was dating Tyra Banks, and I’ve never even met her!”

Ray Munns


AGE: 21

HEIGHT: 5’9″

RESIDENCE: New York City

STATUS: Never married

RÉSUMÉ: Munns was a pizza delivery boy in Fort Collins, Colo. , when he beaf out 3,000 competitors last year in MTV’s Wanna Be a VJ? search. He hosted the VJ for a Day, game show until this spring and is now a parttime VJ at the network.

MULTITALENTED: Munns holds a red belt in taekwondo, plays the piano and speaks Korean. (Mom Jae, 44, a homemaker, is from Korea; because dad Charles, 72, was a U.S. Army officer, Munns lived for eight years in Seoul.) Adds Munns: “I can cook, I can clean, I’m the bomb at laundry—never messed up a load in my life—and I’m a happy, cheery guy.

“PERHAPS TOO CHEERY: “On the set you hear his laugh at least every other minute,” says MTV producer Krissy Freeman, 30. “He’s always on. Sometimes you want to take the batteries out of him!”

WEDDING VOWS: “I’m antidivorce. I saw my parents go through it, and it was rough,” says Munns, whose folks split when he was 13. “But heck, yeah, I want to get married someday and have the whole white-picket-fence thing.”

Bill Hemmer


AGE: 36

HEIGHT: 5’11”


STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Ohio’s Miami University, 1987

RÉSUMÉ: Hemmer joined CNN in 1995 and now anchors CNN Tonight. His youthful looks and round-the-clock coverage of November’s bungled presidential election earned him the nickname Chad Lad.

SPEED DEMON: “It’s always been difficult for me to sit still,” says Hemmer, who was raised in Cincinnati, the son of Bill Sr., 62, a sales executive, and Georganne, 61, a teacher. Declares his sister Tracy, 38: “He is more exhausting than my three children combined, all of whom are under the age of 12.”

WHAT’S FOR DINNER? Hemmer says he can cook “the best teriyaki salmon ever. I would never order it in a restaurant because mine is always better.”

Shawn McDonald


AGE: 24

HEIGHT: 6’2 ½”

RESIDENCE: Cambridge, Mass.

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Cornell University, 1999

RÉSUMÉ: McDonald was accepted into all six of the law schools he applied to. He completed his second year at Harvard in May and this summer is interning in New York City at two of the nation’s most prestigious law firms: Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Sullivan & Cromwell.

HIS INSPIRATION: Singer Mariah Carey, 32, his best friend and cousin. “She showed me that it is possible to make it,” says McDonald, who was raised in a working-class area in Huntington, N.Y. , by his father, Richard, 44, a bouncer (who was divorced from Shawn’s mother in 1979). “My parents didn’t even graduate high school,” he says. “Mariah taught me to aim high and expect a lot of myself.” He has made her proud. “We’re very similar in terms of our work ethic,” says Carey, “but I couldn’t get into a vocational school, let alone Harvard!”

ENERGY SOURCE: “I’m a Snapple iced tea freak,” admits McDonald.

FAMILY LAW: “Shawn has been talking about wanting to get married and have kids since we were little,” says Carey. “I think he’ll make an incredible husband and father.”

Stuart Heath


AGE: 40

HEIGHT: 5’11”

RESIDENCE: Montauk, N.Y.

STATUS: Has a girlfriend

RÉSUMÉ: Heath was raised in New York City, but after finishing high school in 1979 he moved to Montauk, a coastal village on Long Island where he had vacationed as a child in the summer. In 1991 he bought a boat and launched his business, Montauk Shellfish. “Once I saw the bay and the ocean, I knew I always wanted to be around it,” he says.

RELATIVELY CLOSE: His father, celebrated jazz musician Percy Heath Jr., 78, and mother, June, 75, a homemaker, followed him east a decade ago; the three now live on the same property, and one of Heath’s two older brothers lives nearby.

WALDEN POND REVISITED: “Stuart has achieved what is usually only a fond dream out of another time,” says former talk show host Dick Cavett, 64, a longtime family friend. “He has designed a life in nature, with no boss, no office, no deadly meetings.”

Bill La Macchia Jr.


AGE: 35


RESIDENCE: An Edina, Minn., condo

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Marquette University, 1988

RÉSUMÉ: In 1997, after working in hotel sales and marketing, La Macchia was tapped by his dad, William, 59, a travel-corporation owner (mom Sharon, 57, is the VP), to run Sun Country, a Mendota Heights, Minn.-based airline William had just bought.

JOHNNY-ON-THE-SPOT: La Macchia’s business cards also identify him as Sun Country’s chief lavatory inspector. “When people are in there, they’re going to be looking,” he explains.

NO DATES: La Macchia prefers to call them “get-togethers,” adding that he’s “the shiest guy in the world when it comes to asking women out.”

BUSY, BUSY: Jeff Kappus, 36, a gift-shop owner, thinks his cousin Bill won’t marry for a while: “He recognizes that he likes to do too much.”

OR IS HE THAT BUSY? “I lead a boring life,” La Macchia says. “There’s not a little Irish tavern I can’t be happy with on a rainy Saturday afternoon watching a football game.”

Steve Park


AGE: 33

HEIGHT: 6’2″

RESIDENCE: Mooresville, N.C.

STATUS: Never married

RÉSUMÉ: One of NASCAR’s top drivers (he earned more than $2 million last year and is already above the $1 million mark this season), Park was hired in ’97 by the late Dale Earnhardt. “He’s the man who taught me patience,” says Park, now on the Winston Cup circuit. “I wouldn’t trade anything for the time we had together.”

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Three years ago Park moved his mom, Dotti, 59, his fan club president, and dad, Bob, 60, a NASCAR mechanic, from East Northport, N.Y. , to a house just 20 minutes from his own.

YELLOW FLAG: Pal Buffy Waltrip, 34, wife of racer Michael Waltrip, calls Park “trustworthy, loyal, sweet.” Park, however, warns that since racing keeps him on the road 38 weeks a year, any future wife will “have to adapt to traveling from city to city, homeschooling the kids.”

FIRST THINGS FIRST: “Driving 200 mph around a track doesn’t scare me,” he says. “But I’m nervous on a first date.”

Dale Minami


AGE: 54

HEIGHT: 5’6″

RESIDENCE: San Francisco

STATUS: Divorced since 1995

COLLEGE: University of Southern California, 1968; University of California, Berkeley’s law school, 1971

RÉSUMÉ: The Gardena, Calif., native has fought more than 100 civil rights cases, including 1983’s Korematsu v. U.S., in which he got a federal court to overturn the convictions of Japanese-Americans who resisted being interned during World War II (Minami’s own parents had been sent to an internment camp).

A SMALL REQUIREMENT: “I don’t like to date women much taller than I am,” says Minami. Regardless, “Dale has no problem getting dates,” says skater Kristi Yamaguchi, 29, a client.

PINUP: Minami posed for a 1991 calendar created to counter the stereotype that Asian men aren’t sexy. “They rolled up my shorts, and it looked like I was wearing a loincloth,” he says. “Afterward, a Judge addressed me as Mr. June. It was embarrassing.”

Joey McIntyre


AGE: 28

HEIGHT: 5’10” The former: New Kid on the Block has been around it a few times now, but Joey McIntyre, who just released his second solo album, Meet Joe Mac (1999’s Stay the Same went gold), hasn’t tired of his female admirers. “Fans come up to me all the time,” he says. “I don’t really draw the line. I’m just thrilled that a girl is saying hi.” His kindness to strangers can be tough on his friends, though. When McIntyre is approached in restaurants, says pal Emanuel Kiriakou, 34, a record producer, “I get upset, like, ‘I want to eat! Can we just eat?’ But he’ll talk to them.” Says McIntyre’s sister Tricia, 41: “One of the most attractive things about Joseph is that there’s really nothing pretentious about him.” Since breaking up with his fiancée, model Nina Cammarata, 28, last June, McIntyre, who lives in New York City, has ventured slowly back into the singles scene. “I’ve just been dating really casually,” he says. “But I’ve got my eyes open. You never know when you’re going to find the right person.” When he does, she won’t have to break him in to domestic life. Growing up with seven sisters taught him a few things. “He leaves the toilet seat down,” says Tricia. “That’s the God’s honest truth.”

Warren Brown


AGE: 30

HEIGHT: 6’3″

RESIDENCE: Washington, D.C.

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Brown, B.A., 1993; George Washington, dual master’s degrees in law and public health, 1998

RÉSUMÉ: Last October Brown left his $48,000-a-year job as a litigator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to try his hand at being a professional cake maker. He currently rents kitchen space in D.C.’s hip U Street neighborhood, where later this summer he’ll open his own shop, WEB’s Cakes.

FLOUR POWER: In 1999 Brown, who has been an avid cook since working as a busboy during college, baked a chocolate cake to bring on a visit to his family. “At the airport, complete strangers were so excited to see the cake,” he says. “It was such a positive response, I thought to myself, ‘This is what I want to do.’ ”

GOOD INGREDIENTS: Although Brown is self-taught (“I march through recipes and see what works and what doesn’t”), his dad, Leon, 58, a Cleveland pathologist, thinks his son “has such an excellent product and such an ability to stay focused” that he’s sure to succeed. Mom Beatrice, 58, a homemaker, agrees. But she figures if her son’s cake business doesn’t rise, “he can always fall back on his education.”

Jason Cerbone


AGE: 23

HEIGHT: 5’9″

Take it from The Sopranos‘ Jason Cerbone: Attending your own funeral can be tough. When he saw footage of his character, Jackie Aprile Jr., in a casket, “I left the room,” says Cerbone, who was whacked in this season’s finale after botching a robbery and cheating on girlfriend Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler), daughter of Mob boss Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini. “I didn’t want to see that.” He’s not alone. “I’m heartbroken,” says costar Edie Falco of losing a castmate she calls “charming, sweet and humble.” The son of two Yonkers, N.Y., restaurateurs and the star at age 10 of the music video for Suzanne Vega’s 1987 hit song “Luka,” Cerbone left acting during his teens. “I was missing things like baseball practice and hanging out 11 with my friends,” he says. He returned a month before his 1999 graduation from Concordia College in Bronxville, N.Y., in a role perfect for “a young, talented, good-looking kid,” says Sopranos costar Joe Pantoliano, who calls Cerbone’s TV fate well-timed.”He’s got heat now. He’ll be around.” But not running around. Despite gossip columns that had him canoodling with Sigler, Cerbone dates Beth (whose last name he declines to give), a 23-year-old nurse. 2g Leave the skirt-chasing and gunplay to the Sopranos, figures Cerbone: “I’m the type of guy who likes to have a girlfriend and take things calm.”

Tiger Woods


AGE: 25

HEIGHT: 6’2″

He may be the most recognized athlete on the planet, the first golfer in history to win all four major tournaments in one year and the only one to be worth well over $150 million from winnings and endorsements. But about women, Tiger Woods will still accept a pointer or two. “He only asked me once,” says his father, mentor and coach Earl, 69, separated since 1997 from Woods’s mother, Kultida, 54, a homemaker. “I told him he needs a girl who will be supportive and be willing to stay in the background.” Since his son travels so much, Earl also advised him to count on friends to “make recommendations.” Woods, who lives in a gated Orlando community, comes highly recommended himself, according to family friend Maria Floyd, 57, wife of PGA Tour star Raymond Floyd, 58. “Tiger played junior golf with my sons, and he still is the perfect gentleman,” she says. “He’s attractive, he’s witty, and he’s a very caring guy.” Although Woods recently split with law student Joanna Jagoda, 23, whom he dated for more than two years, don’t bet on his getting involved again soon. “I don’t see Tiger marrying before 30,” his father recently told TV Guide. Adds Tiger’s childhood pal, LPGA golfer Kelli Kuehne, 24: “Tiger’s priority now is winning championships.”

Sam Von Trapp


AGE: 28


RESIDENCE: Snowmass, Colo., during the winter; Ubatuba, Brazil, where he surf in June; a ski resort in Portillo, Chile, for the rest of the summer; and his parents’ Stowe, Vt., Trapp Family Lodge in between. Says his mom, Lynne, 55: “He’s a moving target.”

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Dartmouth, 1995

RÉSUMÉ: After college, von Trapp decided to teach skiing before choosing a career. But “I was having so much fun, I just kept going with it,” he says.

VON TRAPP? “Even in South America my name gets recognized,” says the son of Johannes von Trapp, 62, who is the youngest child of Capt. Georg von Trapp and his wife, Maria (played by Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews in the 1965 film The Sound of Music).

HOMEWARD BOUND: Von Trapp expects eventually to help run his family’s lodge: “When I’m 80-something years old and wrinkled, I want to wake up next to someone else who is 80-something and wrinkled and puts a smile on my face every day.”

Satish Krishnan


AGE: 26

HEIGHT: 5’10”

RESIDENCE: An apartment in Pasadena

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: University of Pennsylvania, 1996

RÉSUMÉ: Krishnan is one of 12 mechanical engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on Rover, a robot that will rocket to Mars in 2003.

SHOOTING STAR: Next spring he will begin a double master’s program in engineering and business at M.I.T.

EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE: “Because of the way I was raised, I love to travel,” says Krishnan, who lived in Algeria, Canada and Indonesia as the younger of two sons of Mudhan, 65, now a retired oil executive, and Radha, 53, a homemaker.

HE COMES IN PEACE: Krishnan has been a vegetarian for six years. “It’s an ethical thing for me,” he says. “I just don’t want to kill anything.”

THE KIND OF WOMAN HE WOULD LIKE TO SHARE HIS SPACE WITH: “Someone more gregarious than I am. I’m pretty shy.” Not that shy, says pal Jit sinha, 26, a software exec. “Satish flashes his smile, bats his eyelashes, and I’m the one stuck with a girl asking if he’s seeing anyone.”

Alan Detrich


AGE: 53

HEIGHT: 5’10”

RESIDENCE: The Travelodge hotel in Great Bend, Kans., his childhood hometown

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Kansas’s Fort Hays State University; B.A., 1971; M.A., 1972. Wichita State University, M.F.A., 1974

RÉSUMÉ: While digging in South Dakota in 1992, Detrich discovered the largest male Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found. He sold it earlier this year to a private buyer for more than $8 million.

SELL, SELL, SELL: “For the right price I’ll part with anything,” says Detrich. “When you think you possess something, it really possesses you.” For that reason, and because he travels so much, Detrich doesn’t own a home: “I’ve been a nomad most of my life.”

HE’S HARD TO MISS: “When I moved to Great Bend, I didn’t know anyone,” says pal Holly Friend, 45, a homemaker. “It didn’t take long to figure out that Alan was the funnest guy in town.”

Jimmy Dykes


AGE: 38

HEIGHT: 6’1″

RESIDENCE: Johnson, Ark. (but from November to March he’s on the road with his job)

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: University of Arkansas, 1985

RÉSUMÉ: The son of a real estate developer and a homemaker, Dykes began his career coaching college basketball and later became a scout for the Seattle Supersonics. He joined ESPN in 1995 as a college-basketball game analyst.

CLOSE-KNIT FAMILY: Dykes lives in a house on the same 18-acre compound as his parents and older sister. “I see them at least two or three times a week,” he says.

PICKY, PICKY, PICKY: “I think everyone in Arkansas has tried to fix him up,” says his niece Kara Simpson, 19. “But he is very selective in who he dates.” A deeply religious Christian, Dykes explains, “I’m holding out for the woman I know God has chosen for me.”

FREQUENT FLIER: “I’ve collected well over 100,000 miles this year,” Dykes says. “I’ve got a lot stored up for a honeymoon.”

Aaron McGruder


AGE: 27

HEIGHT: 5’8″

RESIDENCE: An apartment in Los Angeles

STATUS: Has a girlfriend

COLLEGE: University of Maryland, 1997

RÉSUMÉ: McGruder began his politically charged hip-hop comic strip for his college newspaper. By 1999 it was syndicated in 160 papers. He’s now adapting it for television.

TESTIMONIALS: “He’s very political, funny and mature for his age,” says director Reginald Hudlin, 39, for whom McGruder has written a screenplay. Adds pal Kamala Harris, 36, an attorney: “Aaron has intelligence, wit and depth, but he also has boyish charm. He’s a great combination of sugar and spice.”

HOBBY: Traveling. Raised in Columbia, Md. (Dad is a communications specialist, Mom a homemaker), McGruder says, “I didn’t go anywhere for 20 years. There are so many places I want to see.”

TRUE CONFESSION: “I’m a nerd,” says McGruder, and when it comes to women, “I like nerds—someone who can tolerate a trip to the comic-book store, maybe know her way around a PlayStation. But she has to look good too. That’s the trick.”

Jeff Yang


AGE: 33

HEIGHT: 5’7″

RESIDENCE: A New York City apartment

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Harvard, 1989

RÉSUMÉ: In 1991 Yang sensed the time was right for a general-interest magazine targeting Asian-Americans. Today, A Magazine, a bimonthly publication, has 250,000 readers. Its mission? “We celebrate Asian-Americans’ achievements, explore our challenges, tell our history as it happens,” explains Yang, who also cowrote Jackie Chan’s 1998 autobiography.

THEY DON’T KNOW BEST: While Yang, who grew up in Staten Island, appreciates the matchmaking efforts of dad David, 62, chief of radiology at a New York City hospital, and mom Bailing, 64, a real estate broker, he says “virtually every time my parents have tried to fix me up with somebody, it has been an unmitigated disaster.”

DANCE AND SONG: Management consultant Amy Chu, 33, a former girlfriend and business partner who has known Yang since college, recalls how he dropped to his knees at a Harvard dance and began to sing to her. “I was embarrassed and flattered,” she says. “He’s one of the funniest, most romantic guys I know.”

Neil Willenson


AGE: 30

HEIGHT: 5’8″

RESIDENCE: A townhouse in Mequon, Wis.

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: University of Wisconsin, 1992

RÉSUMÉ: When Willenson realized 10 years ago that kids with HIV and AIDS weren’t allowed to go to most summer camps, he launched the nonprofit Camp Heartland. With a budget of $1.9 million—from private contributions—the camp serves more than 600 kids and teens at its year-round facility in Willow River, Minn., and at a summer camp in Malibu. “If there’s a child in need, I want to do my level best to work with them,” says Willenson, who is also a foster father to a former camper.

CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME: Willenson says his parents, Ken, 61, a retired businessman, and Barbara, 59, a former special-education teacher, “were always feeling compassion for people who were suffering.” As a result, says friend Jenny Hillis, 48, whose two teenagers have volunteered at Heartland, “Neil’s a caring, charismatic, can-do person.”

MAN WITH A PLAN: Admitting that “absolutely, I want a family,” Willenson says lately he has been trying “to focus a little attention on my personal life.”

Scott Gomez


AGE: 21

HEIGHT: 5’11”

RESIDENCE: West, Orange, N.J. (but he spends the off-season in Anchorage where he grew up)

STATUS: Never married

RÉSUMÉ: Last year Gomez not only became the first Latino player in the NHL, but he was named Rookie of the Year and helped the Devils win the Stanley Cup. Another hockey achievement: “I still have all my teeth.”

FAMILY INTERESTS: The only son of Carlos, 49, a construction worker, and Dalia, 44, who sold Mexican food to supplement the family’s income, Gomez seldom dated in high school. “I always had the excuse that my mom and two sisters were mean to the girls,” he explains. “They deny it like crazy.”

THAT’S GRATITUDE: Upon signing his three-year $2 million NHL contract, Gomez had his parents’ house remodeled. “He really destroyed it himself,” says Dalia. “He smacked that puck on the walls.”

BREAKING THE ICE: “Scott is an outgoing person,” says pal Steve Kives, 26, a software sales rep. “But when it comes to women, he’s shy. He sends me over to talk to them.”

Arnold Kunz


AGE: 53

HEIGHT: 5’9″

RESIDENCE: West Palm Beach, Fla.

STATUS: Divorced since 1991

RÉSUMÉ: The Swiss-born Kunz is the chef at Cafe Joshua, a restaurant in West Palm Beach that provides free gourmet meals to people receiving assistance from social-service agencies.

STAY OUT OF HIS KITCHEN: “Don’t bother him when he’s working. He’s so temperamental,” warns Arlene Hyman, 58, a cafe volunteer. But, says Kunz’s boss Maggie Bagley, 51, “he’s a softie when he finds out a guest has a special need. He makes sure they get something they can eat.”

TIME FOR TAKEOUT: Kunz’s specialties include chicken florentine and chocolate truffle cake, but he says, “I don’t cook at home. I’m around food all day, and that’s the last thing I want to smell in my apartment.”

THE PERFECT GUEST: “When I’m invited for dinner, people think they have to do something special,” Kunz says. “I tell them, ‘Whatever you have planned, that’s what I like.’ ”

Gary Zerola


AGE: 29

HEIGHT: 5’11”


STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Massachusetts’s Suffolk University, 1994 (In 1998, he earned dual degrees there in law and public administration.)

RÉSUMÉ: Zerola set up his own law practice last August after nearly two years as a Massachusetts prosecutor. Since 1998 he has led One for the Kids, an annual fund-raiser he established to benefit children in foster care.

A HARD START: “Statistically speaking, I should be in debt or in jail because of the upbringing I had,” says Zerola, who lived in more than a dozen foster homes from the age of 3—after his father left his mother with seven children—until age 15. He then found a permanent home with a couple he now considers his parents, attorney Robert Bowes, 73, a Boston lawyer, and his wife, Millie, 54, a health care aide.

GIVING BACK: Whenever Zerola makes a speech at foster care functions, he gives out his phone number so foster kids can call for help. Says Saf Caruso, 56, a social services administrator: “I’ve been in a room with a hundred people, and you can hear a pin drop when Gary speaks, it’s so much from the heart.”

PUTTING HIS FOOT DOWN: To get to know one date, Zerola took her for a pedicure. “I was the only guy in the shop,” he recalls. “It turned a few heads, but we talked the whole time.”

Richard Roeper


AGE: 41



STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Illinois State University, 1982

RÉSUMÉ: A columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1987, Roeper replaced the late Gene Siskel last September as Roger Ebert’s cohost on the newly named Ebert & Roeper and the Movies.

SNEAK PREVIEW: One of four kids raised in Chicago by Bob, 72, a computer systems analyst, and Margaret, 66, a bookstore manager, he “used to rate The Tonight Show and take notes on the guests,” says Roeper. “Like if Dean Martin was on, it was a four-star show.”

DOUBLE FEATURE: “I will admit that a long time ago, I committed to two dates for the same evening,” says Roeper. “There’s nothing like eating two dinners in a three-hour period. Neither date ended well, actually.”

FROM ONE REVIEWER: Noting that Roeper sees as many as 10 films a week, cohost Roger Ebert says, “He’d better find a woman who is a real movie fan.”

Joe Decker


AGE: 31

HEIGHT: 5’9″

RESIDENCE: A townhouse in Gaithersburg, Md.

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: Western Illinois University, 1998

RÉSUMÉ: Last December, after Decker completed a grueling 24-hour fitness challenge that included 100 miles of cycling, 10 miles of rowing and 1,100 push-ups, the Guinness Book of World Records crowned him World’s Fittest Man.

GOOD STOCK: The oldest of four boys born to Dan, 50, and Diane, 49, Decker grew up on a 100-acre farm in Cuba, Ill., rising at 5 a.m. to milk cows and feed pigs. “In my heart,” he says, “I’m still a country boy.”

GO, JOE! Decker gets up at dawn to run outdoor exercise classes, eats five meals a day and keeps his body fat at 6 percent. His ideal woman? “Someone that’s feminine but not afraid to get dirty,” he says. “I’m a very outdoorsy guy.”

TOUGH LOVE: “He’s just a charmer,” says software engineer Marcy Walker, 36, Decker’s client for the last four years. “But he does kick butt.”

Greg Schmidt


AGE: 27

HEIGHT: 5’9″

RESIDENCE: East Northport, N.Y., where he grew up

STATUS: Never married

COLLEGE: State University of New York at Plattsburgh, 1996

RÉSUMÉ: Schmidt made headlines in April when he and partner Robert Paverman, 42, revived a baby girl born two months premature. It was not Schmidt’s first lifesaving feat: He’s a third-generation volunteer fireman and former emergency medical technician. Of his heroic moments, Schmidt says, “You feel alive, like nothing can stop you.”

IT’S SUPERMAN! “He’s always there for everyone,” observes special-education teacher Noelle Niosi, 26, a former girlfriend and a pal since grade school. “His pager goes off, and he’s gone. He’s going to disappear at least once a night when you’re hanging out with him.”

WHO CAN RESIST THIS MAN IN UNIFORM? The son of John, 56, and Sheila, 53, Schmidt started dating in the fifth grade and hasn’t stopped. But since splitting with a woman last summer, he says he’s on his longest stretch of being unattached. His job as a cop hinders as much as it helps, he says: “There’s no in-between. Women either I hate you or love you.”