Page 3 Profile: Ned Rocknroll, astronaut manager


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The Independent Online

He sounds a bit silly

Not according to Kate Winslet. The Oscar-winning actress married the curiously named astronaut manager in New York.

Astronaut manager?

You heard. Mr RocknRoll, nee Abel Smith, is currently Head of Astronaut Relations and Marketing at Virgin's space tourism division, Virgin Galactic.

He must have worked hard for that job.

Presumably, though it might have helped that his uncle is Virgin supremo, Richard Branson. In fact, he met his new bride on Necker Island, Branson's private retreat in the British Virgin Islands. Apparently this was on the same trip that the actress made headlines for saving Sir Richard's 90-year-old mum after the house caught fire.

Well good luck to them. What was the wedding-do like?

Winslet's close friend and repeat co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio, gave her away, in front of a handful of guests in New York. The service was reportedly so clandestine that even the bride's parents didn't know about it.

So will we see film credits for Kate Rocknroll in the near future?

Doubtful. Winslet avoided taking the names of her previous two husbands. First there was Jim Threapleton, from whom she split in 2001, followed by her marriage to fellow Oscar-winner Sam Mendes, the versatile director of films from Skyfall to American Beauty. The pair divorced in 2010.