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Cinema: Head to head - Richard Gere & Jeff Daniels.

They rank among Hollywood's A-list of leading men and can command millions for film appearances, yet Richard Gere and Jeff Daniels also shun their star status and prefer the quiet life to the limelight. Or so they say... But which of the two is the genuine shrinking violet and who demands his privacy while strolling down the red carpet?

RICHARD GERE

AGE: 53

STAGE FRIGHT: Born into a non-acting family, Richard won a gymnastics scholarship to the University of Massachusetts to study philosophy, but left after two years to pursue acting. He won the role of Danny in a stage production of Grease in 1973 and got his break in films in the mid-'70s, before really hitting it big with Yanks (1979) and An Officer And A Gentleman (1982). While his career was taking off, he embraced Buddhism, later founding humanitarian centres and donating money to tribal people, helping them protect their land, human rights and way of life. 7/10

LOVE SICK: Despite claiming "I don't want to be a personality", Richard fell for and married supermodel Cindy Crawford. But it wasn't to be happy ever after - they even took out a full page ad in the national press to dispel rumours that their marriage was a sham. They divorced in 1995 and Richard began romancing former Bond girl Carey Lowell. They have a two- year-old son, Homer, and got married last November. 4/10

WORK SHY? Richard has been one of Hollywood's leading men for the past 20 years with films such as No Mercy (1986), Pretty Woman (1990) and Primal Fear (1996). In 1999, he got pounds 8 million to make the Pretty Woman sequel, Runaway Bride, and has starred in multi-million grossing movies including Unfaithful, Chicago and last year's The Mothman Prophecies. He doesn't look like slowing his pace, despite constant protests that he'd like more time with his family and is tired of Hollywood. And he still troops along to premieres and parties. 8/10

VERDICT: 19/30

It's very simple, Richard. If you really don't like all the publicity, stop making films. We don't mind - honestly.

JEFF DANIELS

AGE: 47

STAGE FRIGHT: Jeff is one of a rare breed in Hollywood, genuinely shunning publicity and the party whirl for a quiet life in his Michigan hometown. Makes you wonder why he ever became a Hollywood actor, but he claims a calling to the profession from a young age and spent 10 years on and off Broadway before getting into films in the early '80s. Although he's happier in a studio than onstage as "it brings spontaneity to the part", he still writes/directs for his local theatre. 7/10

LOVE SICK: No scandal in Jeff's closet. In 1979, he married his High School sweetheart Kathleen and they've been together ever since. They have three sons - Benjamin, 18, Jonathan, 15 and young Michael. When not on set, Jeff likes being a "hockey dad" and helping out at the local theatre that he helped to build. But he does have a few Hollywood friends - he played guitar on Don Johnson's album Let It Roll and Dustin Hoffman is a member of his fan club. 8/10

WORK SHY? Jeff reckons the phone rings just as often in Michigan as it would if he set up shop in Hollywood and his long career is a testament to that. His big break was in the 1983 weepy Terms Of Endearment, followed by hits with Arachnaphobia (1990), Dumb And Dumber (1994), 101 Dalmatians (1996) and Pleasantville (1998). He averages two main roles a year. In 2003, he stars in Clint Eastwood's Blood Work. 9/10

VERDICT: 24/30

Jeff really does love the job, not the glamour.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 3, 2003
Words:618
Previous Article:Film preview: Six of the best for 2003.
Next Article:Cinema: SURELY NOT - GABRIEL BYRNE.


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