Ben Affleck Checks Self into Rehab

08/06/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck, who turns 29 on Aug. 15, checked himself into the popular Malibu alcohol rehabilitation center, called Promises, the "Pearl Harbor" star's spokesman said on Friday. "Ben is a self-aware and smart man who had decided that a fuller life awaits him without alcohol," spokesman David Pollick said in a statement. "He has chosen to seek out professional assistance, and is committed to traveling a healthier road with the support of his family, friends and fans." Promises is where Paula Poundstone and Robert Downey Jr. reportedly have been treated. Pollick did not state the length of Affleck's treatment. The heartthrob, who has just finished work on the Tom Clancy action film "The Sum of All Fears" (in which he took over the leading role of spy Jack Ryan from Harrison Ford), played a recovering alcoholic in last year's romantic drama "Bounce." He and close friend Matt Damon both won 1997 screenwriting Oscars for their work on "Good Will Hunting." His on-again, off-again romance with Gwyneth Paltrow ended in January 1999, PEOPLE noted when it named him one of America's Top 50 Bachelors in its July 2 issue. The article quoted a "Pearl Harbor" costar, William Lee Scott, as saying of Affleck: "He should have a class, How to Handle Being a Movie Star, because he does it real well."

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