05/03/1993 at 01:00 AM EDT
He was a beautiful baby," says Alana Stewart of son Ashley, 18, her only child with first husband George Hamilton. Okay, hardly an objective observer. Ask Ashley's girlfriend, actress Claire Stansfield, 27, for her opinion. "There was just this innocence and something about his face that was so cute!" she says of their first meeting. Not impartial either? Then consider his genetic gifts. With Mom's blue eyes, and honey-colored skin that proves he's a chip off the old sun block, Hamilton was deemed camera-ready fresh out of high school. He makes his screen debut later this year in the adventure flick Lost in Africa. And after having had a distant relationship with his father (his parents divorced when he was 2, and he spent several years with "pretty strict" stepdad Rod Stewart), the pair are now close enough to catch rays together at Ashley's Beverly Hills home. Still, Mom cannot believe her baby's grown. "The time has gone so quickly," she says. "But he's got a real good head on his shoulders." And real good shoulders too.