Talk about a comeback. Yesterday, leading lady Julia Roberts married offbeat singer Lyle Lovett in a small last-minute ceremony in Marion, Ind.
The wedding, which startled even some Roberts intimates, came just a short time after the "Pretty Woman" emerged from an intensely scrutinized hiatus to begin her first feature film in two years. She arrived in Washington last week for a 10-week shoot on "The Pelican Brief."
"She is so happy," said Roberts spokeswoman Nancy Seltzer, calling from the St. James Lutheran Church, where the afternoon wedding took place. "It was a small, moving, intimate ceremony." The couple picked the Midwest town because it was close to Deer Creek, Ind., where Lovett performed a few hours after the wedding.
"It happened rapidly, very rapidly," said Lovett's manager, Ken Levitan. "Lyle's extremely excited. He couldn't be happier."
Roberts, 25, and Lovett, 35, met two years ago on the set of "The Player," but she had been seen recently at his concerts in New York and Washington and reportedly made no attempt to hide her affection in backstage visits. Lovett is known for his wailing vocals and eclectic blend of the blues, gospel and country.
The marriage, the first for both, was put together in two days, said Seltzer, who had been dismissing reports of the Roberts-Lovett match as late as Thursday. She says she was shocked to find out about it only that night at her Washington hotel.
This isn't the first time Roberts has set her sights on the altar. She and sometime costar Kiefer Sutherland were to be married two years ago (just about the time "The Player" began filming) in a much-hyped extravaganza on a Hollywood sound stage, but the bride-to-be abruptly called the whole thing off hours before show time. She went into seclusion, leaving Sutherland publicly humiliated. Until recently, she had been linked to actor Jason Patric and reportedly had an eye on leading man Daniel Day-Lewis.
Seventy-five friends and family members converged on Marion yesterday for the traditional Lutheran service and reception afterward, said Seltzer. Lovett's childhood pastor, Dweyth Beltz, made the trip up from Klein, Tex., to do the honors. Roberts's sister, Lisa, served as maid of honor and longtime Lovett pal Wayne Miller was best man. Among the guests were actress Susan Sarandon and actor Tim Robbins -- whose 4-year-old son, Jack Henry, was the ring-bearer -- and Lovett's band, which performed "Angel Eyes" for Roberts.
The bride -- who walked down the aisle on the arm of actor Barry Tubb ("Top Gun") -- wore a white, mid-calf gown given to her by Lovett and carried a bouquet of white roses. The groom was conservatively decked out in a dark suit with white rose boutonniere. After the reception, a big group hopped aboard buses headed for Lovett's evening show with his Large Band..
Roberts's leading role in "The Pelican Brief," based on the bestselling John Grisham novel, is her first major big-screen outing since 1991's "Hook" and "Dying Young." Lovett is on a national tour.
Which doesn't leave much time for a honeymoon.
"No," sighed Seltzer. "Julia will resume filming Tuesday."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.