Why are they famous? Uma Thurman

MAIN CLAIM: Space alien sex symbol meets soulful thespian. Now Uma and boyfriend Ethan Hawke, the jeunesse doree of American bohemia, look set to marry. Expecting their first child in July, the couple have been spotted queuing for a marriage licence and leaving St John the Divine Church in New York. "I've been sworn to secrecy about the place and the day but it's going to be soon, very soon," Uma's brother helpfully informs us.

APPEARANCE: A moot point. Depending on taste, Uma is either the sexiest love goddess yet captured on celluloid, or a giraffe. Her cool yet goofy, eerie magnolia beauty, elongated limbs, and floating pale blue hammerhead eyes are alchemised only by the thinking person's leap of the imagination. She admits she resembles a shark, and can't see what all the fuss is about, a claim convincingly driven home by her preference for bedraggled hair and speccy flea market tastes more geekily genuine than the Helena Bonham Carter "I am an actress" Oxfam-meets-Voyage look.

HIPPIE CHIC: Uma is pure flower child, the achingly cool New York-raised offspring of a Buddhist professor pal of the Dalai Lama, and a Swedish model. Where once hippie-dippie was the acme of naff, neo-hippie Hollywood is the height of, er, hip, lending that sub-Brandoesque rebellious free spirit edge of credibility to the Thurmans, Phoenixes and Winona Ryder for which the Johnny Depps and Val Kilmers so strive. Uma's siblings have names lke Deshen, and she was named after a Buddhist goddess.

SCREEN GODDESS: Since Dangerous Liaisons and The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen, Uma has grown from full-lipped alabaster nymphet with sticky- outy ears to terrifying Linda Evangelista-style extraterrestrial deity. Now starring in Les Miserables, she is most at home in goofy I-don't-realise- I'm-beautiful roles (The Truth About Cats and Dogs), or as freakish amazonian stunners (Gattaca, and her role as Poison Ivy). Once Gary Oldman's surprising child bride, Uma, now 27, seems to have found her perfect mate in the handsome yet sensitive, navel-gazing actor turned novelist, Ethan Hawke.

FAME PROSPECTS: As the first couple of alternative Hollywood - poised to conquer where indie meets blockbuster - Uma and Ethan have more cool points and potential staying power than Johnny and Kate or Gwyneth and Brad/Ben/whoever's next. Uma's child, no doubt named after Tibetan, Irish or Eco influences, will give a new Lourdes-style spin to the legend that is Uma. Fame prospects? Like, cool.

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