50 Most Beautiful 2000
April, 2000

Oh, the pain, the pain! "It only takes 30 seconds to pluck my eyebrows, but it hurts," says Freddie Prinze Jr. "I have to tweeze 'em in the middle once a week. Otherwise, I look like Bert from Sesame Street. I've been doing it for 11 years!" And you thought it was easy being a teen idol. Still, the 24-year-old Prinze doesn't have to do much other grooming to draw young females to the box office. His routine? "I shower, throw some goop in my hair, get dressed, head out." But it's his manner, not his matter, that impresses. "He's the kindest person, and that shows on his face," says Jennifer Love Hewitt, 21, his costar in I Know What You Did Last Summer as well as its sequel. Selma Blair, 27, who played with Prinze in the recent romantic comedy Down to You, agrees. "He's the kind of guy who sees you to your car and makes sure everything's all right," she says. "And he's the easiest person to make eye contact with. Girls really respond to the angel they see in him." On the set, however, Prinze can be a devil. "He was always making faces when I was trying to do a serious scene," says She's All That's Rachael Leigh Cook, 20. "He's there with his finger in his nose trying to make me laugh." The actor fuels his sense of humor with a major comic book jones. "I learned to read from comic books," says Prinze, who escaped into their pages while growing up in Albuquerque, where he was raised by his mother, Kathy Cochran, 50, a real estate agent. (He was only 10 months old when his father, Chico and the Man's Freddie Prinze, committed suicide at age 22.) The character he relates to most: Spider-Man. "Because in the comics he and I looked exactly the same. He was a kid who didn't fit in, then got this power and really didn't fit in, but he did good with it." The 6'1" Prinze doesn't do too badly himself. He's dating Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Sarah Michelle Gellar, 23. In addition to swimming to keep fit, Prinze indulges in a childhood passion he rediscovered two years ago. "Tap dancing is something I love," he says, "and I've been working on it to get really good." When it's time to chow down, he's an enthusiastic omnivore. "I love food, man!" he says. "If it doesn't eat me first, I'll pretty much eat it." Prinze isn't finicky about his celebrity either. He doesn't mind at all when fans ask for his autograph. "It's cool," he says. "It's their way of showing me love."

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