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February 2012

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'Mummy ' co-star sets hearts aflutter worldwide, USA Today 2001

'Mummy ' co-star sets hearts aflutter worldwide

USA Today (May 11, 2001) 

by Susan Wloszczyna

First there was Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik. Then came Omar Sharif in
Lawrence of Arabia. Now there's Oded Fehr in The Mummy Returns. Did you say "Who?"
You obviously aren't one of the hordes of female moviegoers swept away by the
actor with the dark flowing locks who plays Ardeth Bay, a mysterious desert
warrior, in this week's No. 1 box office buster. Nor have you perused one of the
dozens of Internet shrines that blossomed like love posies after he made his
big-screen debut in 1999's The Mummy. But his legions of admirers are starting
to rival the grains of sand in the Sahara.

The Mummy's Oded Fehr is 

Hollywood's latest hunk

"It was the black hair and the deep, coffee-color eyes," says Bettina
Katzenberger, 31, of Heilbronn, Germany, who oversees the Oded Fehr Appreciation
Site (members.tripod.de/ofas). "He's so intense in his acting, I was hooked from
the first moment."

Don't feel too out of the loop. The Tel Aviv-born Fehr, 30, has only four
pictures on his résumé (the others are Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo and the
in-limbo Texas Rangers).

But his swashbuckling role as the protector of the mummy's curse has been
memorable enough to earn him heartthrob status. Says Fiona MacDonald of Brampton,
Ontario, who created the appreciation site, "Ardeth Bay is committed to saving
the world, and women like a guy who commits."

Fehr acknowledges that supporters have brought him media recognition. "That's
why People named me sexiest import in the 1999 Sexiest Man Alive issue. "All the
e-mails and letters let them know there was interest in me."

And he's grateful, especially since Ardeth was nearly killed off in the first

outing until director/writer Stephen Sommers came to his senses. "The character
is very much of a romantic, heroic and powerful," the actor says. "I might look
like him, but I'm definitely not in any way like him. I'm very-quirky."

Well, both have tattoos. Instead of facial hieroglyphics, Fehr has a tiny ghost

on his back. "I wish there was a meaningful reason for it, but it was just
something I did when I was 19." Besides, Fehr has his own admirable qualities.

He's honest. "I like to say I'm 6-foot-2, but I'm 6-foot-1."

He's open-minded. Though he served in the Israeli navy, he has no problem,
political or otherwise, with playing an Egyptian. "I'm honored to be able
to´play an Arab who is a good guy and a hero. Usually, they are portrayed badly."

He's giving. Fehr arranged for a benefit screening of The Mummy Returns for the
Kids Cancer Connection, raising about $20,000. His wife also supports the

Yes, darn it, he's a newlywed. Fehr met his bride, Sean Connery's producing
partner Rhonda Tollefson, when a mutual friend invited them to see an opera,
Samson and Delilah. Speaking of Samson, Fehr chopped his mane shortly after The
Mummy Returns wrapped. Says MacDonald, "More fans were upset over him cutting
his hair than about him getting married."

He did it to avoid typecasting. "The look of Ardeth is extremely distinctive.
And limiting." He hasn't signed up for any new projects yet. Depending on the
script and whether Sommers would direct, he would consider a third Mummy. As for
the hair, "There are always extensions and wigs. You'll see me with long hair
again. It grows quickly."