Ron Livingston

updated 07/14/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/14/2003 AT 01:00 AM EDT

LATEST GIG Sex and the City's new hunk
HOMETOWN Marion, Iowa
STATUS Engaged

•Why you know him: After roles in 1996's Swingers and HBO's Band of Brothers, Livingston, 36, is now eye candy for the ladies as writer Jack Berger, the witty new boyfriend of Sex's heroine, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker). "You get a taste of what it's like to be a Hollywood actress. Your job is to come in and look good."

•In the beginning: Livingston was raised in Iowa by Kurt, 55, an aerospace engineer, and Linda, 54, a Lutheran minister. "No traumas," he says of his youth. "Same reruns." The ribald Sex sure doesn't feel like a repeat. Says Linda: "It took our breath away the first few times."

•I knew him when: As a senior at Yale's drama school, he directed The Cherry Orchard starring fellow student Edward Norton. "Ed's smart as hell. Not that I was aware at the time. I was just trying to get the set built."

•Perks Of fame: When Parker brings 8-month-old son James Wilkie to the set, "Ron is really sweet with him," she says. "He's a good baby," says Livingston. "We hit the bars." Responds Parker: "They might have snuck, off while I was in hair and makeup."

•Love life: He and his fiancée, actress Lisa Sheridan, 29, struck up a conversation at a screening of The English Patient in 1997. "It took me a while to call," says Livingston, who now lives with her in L.A. "Then it won the Oscar. I thought, 'This is as good an excuse as you're gonna get.' We fell in love in our first hour and a half together. Yeah, it was that easy."

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