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Ellen Whitaker appears in a photo posted on her website in 2011. / Henry Cavill in a scene from The Tudors. - Provided courtesy of ellenwhitaker.com / Showtime

'Superman' star Henry Cavill engaged to Ellen Whitaker

05/05/2011 by Corinne Heller

Henry Cavill, the leading actor in the new "Superman" film reboot, recently became engaged to Ellen Whitaker, a showjumping rider.

The Cavill, who turned 28 on Thursday, May 5, and fellow British native Whitaker, 25, met at the 2009 Olympia International Horse Show and have been dating for a little over a year, according to a message posted on Whitaker's website.

On Tuesday, May 3, Cavill called her father to ask his permission before proposing to Whitaker in a Hollywood hotel, it said.

"I couldn't believe it when he asked me to marry him," Whitaker said in a statement, adding that she accepted his proposal straight away. "I thought we were there to celebrate his birthday. It was such a surprise and I am so happy."

The equestrian, who comes from a family of riders, is currently training with her horses to try to secure a spot on the British team for the 2012 Olympics in London.

"Superman" is set for release in December 2012 and also stars Amy Adams, Diane Lane and Kevin Costner.

Cavill is also known for his part as Charles Brandon, King Henry VIII's brother-in-law, on the Showtime series "The Tudors." He also starred in the films "Stardust" in 2007 and "The Count of Monte Cristo" in 2002.

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