Owen Wilson: Back from the Brink

11/08/2007 at 12:00 PM EST

Owen Wilson: Back from the Brink
Owen Wilson
Demis Maryannakis/Splash News Online

Owen Wilson

Owen Wilson

Some of the socialites, models and moguls who crowded into the Union Square apartment of New York nightclub owner Chris Barish for his annual Halloween party were confused. Who was the genial Texan, with the mop of blond hair and crooked nose, working his way through a mob of outrageously garbed partygoers? "At first, we thought it was someone dressed as Owen Wilson," recalls a guest at the lavish Oct. 31 bash. "Everyone else was in costume. So he stood out." But it was indeed Wilson–enjoying a night out with a male friend and, even on a night for disguises, in no need of a mask. "I've never seem him look better–or happier," says the fellow guest. "He was glowing."

Eleven weeks ago Wilson's friends were simply praying for him to pull through. Rushed to L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Aug. 26 after slashing his wrists, the famously easygoing actor revealed himself to be a man overwhelmed by his demons (friends dismiss speculation that his breakup with Kate Hudson last May was a factor). "It would be irresponsible to say it was any single thing" that brought Wilson to a low point, said a friend at the time. "People are complicated." After the incident Wilson's close-knit family (including brothers Luke, 36, and Andrew, 43) and friends rallied around him. In the weeks that followed, the star stayed far from the limelight, spending his days walking his Australian cattle dog Garcia and swimming in the Pacific near the sprawling home he recently built in Malibu. But in recent weeks, Wilson, who turns 39 on Nov. 18, has cautiously reemerged, hitting parties on both coasts and hanging out with old pals, including ex-girlfriend Carolina Cerisola, a dancer at Ivan Kane's Forty Deuce club in Hollywood. He's also been making new ones, keeping company with an array of beautiful young women, among them Jessica Simpson, who joined him for drinks at the Rose Bar of New York City's Gramercy Park Hotel on Nov. 3, where they were seen whispering flirtatiously. "Owen was in great spirits, really chilled," says an observer. "He seemed like he was in a great space."

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