WHY ARE THEY FAMOUS? NO 5: LIV TYLER

Metropolitan life

Main Claim: Liv, 20, is the star of the latest Bertolucci film, Stealing Beauty, a soft focus treatise on virginity, of interest to teenagers and dirty old men. To the rest of us it's a dewy yawn in Tuscany. Liv is its selling point, grabbing the rapt attention of every other character in the film. Jeremy Irons plays a dying writer. Best known for Last Tango in Paris, Bertolucci now describes Liv as his "muse".

Daddy's Girl: The defining moment in the young Liv's life was the discovery that her daddy was not her father. The surprise fact was uncovered backstage at a rock concert on Liv's tenth birthday. Brought up by singer Todd Rundgren but sired by the lead vocalist of Aerosmith, Steve Tyler, Liv is therefore the daughter of a reformed rock'n'roll hell-raiser. Aerosmith may be rock dinosaurs, but blokes and oldies seem to think they are gods. Liv now uses Tyler's name. Wonder why?

Mummy Dearest: Mother is Bebe Buell, former Playboy pin-up who fled from a romance with Tyler after becoming pregnant. Concerned about the rock god's way with illegal substances, Bebe lived with Todd Rundgren, who signed Liv's birth certificate and pretended to be her father. Six months later they split up and Bebe plus babe moved to Maine. "I didn't have a normal upbringing," says Liv "but I had a loving one." Bebe's beau is also a rocker, 29-year- old Coyote Shivers.

Appearance: Alabaster angel with goofy teeth. The large mouth and angular face of Steve Tyler, in fact. She's got that gangly, coltish glow of youth - all clumsy limbs, blooming skin and swimming pool eyes. Liv is the season's Lolita. The role is, by definition, transient. Liv is babe of the month, a role formerly awarded to Vanessa Paradis, Kate Moss, Anna Friel and Jodie Kidd.

Model Past: Liv started modelling at 14. "I was an ugly little girl," she explains - a childhood as a goofy giraffe being a modelling requisite. "Then my cheekbones set in and I was hardly ever at school." Steve Tyler cast his daughter in a sexy video for his band. This led to all manner of excitement: calls from Hollywood scouts, a role alongside Debbie Harry in Heavy, and a part in a Woody Allen film. The part ended up on the cutting room floor.

Fame Prospects: Famous fathers carry you only so far. Look at Julian Lennon. But Liv is tough. She cheerfully accepted Woody's cutting job. She has lived through her messy father problems, made six films, and is about to star in Tom Hanks's directing debut, That Thing You Do. If she doesn't ply her luminescent gaze forever, and she can straddle Hollywood and the art house, that crumbly old wild man of Aerosmith will be known as Liv Tyler's father.

the critics, page 11

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