07/14/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT
LATEST GIG Sex and the City
's new hunk
HOMETOWN Marion, Iowa
•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."