After splitting from her husband of seven years, director Sam Mendes, 45, following her Oscar win for The Reader, it was rumored that Kate Winslet, 34, was affected by the dreaded Oscar Curse that haunts Best Actress winners like Sandra Bullock, who also parted ways with her playboy hubby Jesse James, after nabbing the coveted statuette. Winslet may not be as unlucky in love as superstition suggests, though, as she has recently reunited with on-again, off-again model boyfriend, Louis Dowler.

But who is the stunning, scruffy British model who stole Winslet's heart after her divorce? Dowler, 34, met the Titanic actress through "mutual friends," according to the UK's Daily Mail. They initially tried to keep their relationship on the down low when they met last summer, but couldn't keep their hands off each other at September's Todo o Nada photography exhibit in Madrid, which showcased famed photographer Mario Testino, with whom Winslet has worked (in various stages of undress) several times. "Louis was just the tonic Kate needed after her painful split from Sam," a friend of the couple said at the time.

Four months after their union, however, Winslet decided to part ways with the Burberry model, despite the fact that he "bonded really well with her children," daughter Mia, 10, from her first marriage to Jim Threapleton, and Joe, 7, with Mendes. "Kate felt like she needed to go alone in the end and have time to herself. She feels she has rushed into things and wants to be alone to find out what it is that she wants," the insider said. When asked to comment about the split, Dowler stoically said, "Unfortunately I don't talk about my private life."

Now it appears that the duo have worked out their differences. "They look like they've patched things up," a source told the UK's Daily Telegraph. And why not? Friends describe Dowler as a "lovely" guy with "a good sense of humor," according to The Frisky. "He loves to surf and he's really quite engaging and very down-to earth. He's a good-looking guy and gets lots of attention when he's out and about, but he's not your typical model. Not at all big-headed." He is signed to Select Model Management and has posed for such high-profile campaigns as Paul Smith and Paco Rabanne, as well as Burberry.

If the couple's reunion works out, they've already put one milestone behind them. Dowler met Winslet's parents last year, when they convened in Cornwall, where Dowler was born. "I feel really happy at the moment," Dowler said in anticipation of the meeting. "[It] will be great."

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