WHEN ALL MY CHILDREN'S NOAH AND JULIA FLED TO JAMAICA this year, it was your basic lovers-on-the-run February sweeps story—except for Keith Hamilton Cobb fans. The sojourn provided an opportunity for those smitten souls to gaze at his golden-brown biceps, splendidly bare in a net tank top, glowing under the tropical sun. (What blizzard of '96?) "Keith has taken off like a rocket on this show," says AMC casting director Judy Blye Wilson, who hired him in 1994. Achieving liftoff wasn't easy: How do you cast a 6'4", 220-lb. dreadlocked god in a tertiary role? "I got a lot of direction like, 'Don't move in that scene!' " the classically trained Cobb recalls. But as his hair—uncut since 1988—-grew, so did the offers. "You cross over from ethnic to exotic at some point," says Cobb, 34. The soft tendrils make love scenes "sort of like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," says costar Sydney Penny. That's one ocean we wouldn't mind drowning in.