From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
We confess: Six Feet Under's-Mathew St. Patrick is utterly arresting. As police officer Keith Charles on HBO's hit, the 6'1" former personal trainer is an authority figure worth looking up to. "There's something noble and heroic about Mathew's presence, and I wanted Keith to have that same quality because he's the moral center of the show," says series creator Alan Ball, who cast St. Patrick as a stalwart force who helps persuade his ex-boyfriend to come out of the closet. Ball's only qualm? "He's way too beautiful."

Fortunately the All My Children alum knows how to put the focus on others. "He engages you in conversation, and he listens with such a passion that it's almost unnerving," says pal Anne Etue, an exec at an animation studio. "It makes you melt." The Philadelphia-born St. Patrick, 33, rises at 4 a.m. to read the Bible for an hour before hitting the gym or the hiking trails around his L.A. apartment. "I spend time with the world before it gets crazy," he says. "If I've done something spiritual, then something physical, I'm ready." Recently split from a longtime girlfriend, "I've never had the slickest line with women," he admits. "Either we feel the vibe or we don't." Plenty would like to, including Six Feet Under costar Rachel Griffiths. At the end of last season, Bail reports, she sent him a fanciful wish list for her character, Brenda. It was concise: "More fun, better clothing—and Keith."