05/03/1993 at 01:00 AM EDT
One could argue that this celestial-looking creature was born bearing certain unearthly advantages. For starters, Uma is the name of a Hindu goddess. Maybe it was typecasting that in one of her early movies (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen), Thurman, 23, played the goddess Venus. The Amherst, Massachusetts-bred daughter of a Swedish psychotherapist mother and an American-born father who is a professor of Asian religion, Thurman is better recognized as the ravishing virgin of 1988's Dangerous Liaisons and the ethereal wife of 1990's Henry & June. "She's like Garbo," says John McNaughton, director of Thurman's most recent movie, Mad Dog and Glory. "Feature for feature it shouldn't work, but put them all together, and you get this incredible face."
Thurman's beauty resonates in more mysterious fashion too. "I haven't met anyone like her at that age," Liaisons costar John Malkovich noted. "There's nothing twitchy-teenagerish about her."
Recently divorced from actor Gary Oldman (Bram Stoker's Dracula) after but a year of marriage, Thurman lives alone in New York City. Though others may be taken with her looks, Thurman is not one to look in the mirror and go "Wow!" "That I'm found attractive is bizarre to me," she has said. To her she's human, to everybody else divine.