George Clooney

Date: 2014-12-01

George Clooney, the American actor, filmmaker and activist has received three Golden Globe Awards for his work as an actor and two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor for the Middle East thriller Syriana (2005), and one for producing the film Argo. He is also the only person ever to be nominated for Academy Awards in six categories.

In 2005, TV Guide ranked Clooney number one on its "50 Sexiest Stars of All Time" list. In 2009, he was included in Time'sannual Time 100as one of the "Most Influential People in the World."

Clooney is also noted for his political activism and has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since January 31, 2008. His humanitarian work includes his advocacy of finding a resolution for the Darfur conflict, raising funds for the 2010 Haiti earthquake, 2004 Tsunami, and 9/11 victims, and creating documentaries such as Sand and Sorrow to raise awareness about international crises. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, into a well-known family of media and entertainment personalities. His father, Nick, spent many years as a television personality and news anchor. His aunt, Rosemary Clooney, had a long career as a singer and actress.

Due to the nature of his father's work, George Clooney and his older sister, Adelia known as Ada, moved several times to various locations throughout Kentucky and Ohio with their parents. In 1974, they settled down for good in a rambling, old Victorian home in downtown Augusta, Kentucky, a small town on the Ohio River.

They were a close-knit family, with Nick Clooney making sure to carve time out of his busy schedule in Cincinnati to be home in the evenings for dinner when they often discussed current events. Nick, a true newsman, had grown up in awe of men like CBS news anchor Edward R. Murrow and, later, Walter Cronkite also an anchorman for the CBS appearing on the Evening News for 19 years.

Exposed to the entertainment industry at a young age, Clooney made his first television appearance at 5 years old, playing sketch characters on the local talk shows his dad hosted. In middle school, however, Clooney struggled with his talent for expression when he developed Bell's palsy, which causes partial facial paralysis. He recovered from the illness after a year.

In school, Clooney was more focused on sports than books, but still managed to be a good student. "I pulled out my report cards. . .I had all A's and a B," the actor once told Esquire magazine. A fairly good baseball player, he managed to land a tryout with the Cincinnati Reds at the age of 16. A baseball contract, however, never materialized.

Clooney eventually opted for college and attended Northern Kentucky University, where he studied broadcast journalism. But Clooney did nott last long at college. He did not think he had what it took to become a good television journalist, and he hated the constant comparisons to his father. He dropped out of school in 1981, without a thought as to what he would do next.

Clooney stuck around the Cincinnati area for a while, finding work as a shoe salesman and, later, as a farmhand picking tobacco. He had been harvesting tobacco when he got a call from his cousin, Miguel Ferrer, the son of his aunt, Rosemary Clooney and Academy Award winner Jose Ferrer. Miguel and his father were making a film in Kentucky about horse racing, and Ferrer offered Clooney a little acting work. Clooney hung around the set for a good three months, where he worked as an extra and even landed a few lines.

Encouraged by his cousin Miguel, Clooney decided to move to Los Angeles to become an actor when the movie shoot was over. "I had just spent the summer cutting tobacco, which is a miserable job. So that's what made me move to Hollywood," Clooney later told Esquire. To make ends meet, he picked up whatever work he could find. He even ran errands for his aunt and chauffeured her around town.

Slowly parts came, even if they weren't the kind of roles he dreamed about. He landed a recurring role on the popular teen comedy The Facts of Life, from 1985 to 1987. From 1988 to 1991, Clooney also made guest appearances on the sitcom Roseanne. In 1992, he starred in the short-lived series Bodies of Evidence, playing a detective. On the drama Sisters, he played another detective and the love interest for the female star.

Clooney found his situation difficult. "I had a work ethic," he told The New Yorker in 2007. "I was making a couple of hundred grand a year, which is beating all the odds, so you don't really think things are going terribly. You actually feel like you're succeeding. [But] I wished I was doing better projects, and I didn't think I was going to get that chance."

All that changed in 1994, when Clooney was cast in a new NBC medical drama called ER. Clooney played Dr. Doug Ross, a caring pediatrician and a notorious ladies man, in the drama, which also featured Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies, and Sherry Stringfield. Soon after its September 1994 debut, Clooney was on his way to becoming one of the show's breakout stars, attracting the attention of film industry. His classic good looks and easygoing charm made him a natural for the big screen.



Clooney worked at a hectic pace, managing to appear in several films during his time onER. He battled evil vampires with Quentin Tarantino in Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk to Dawn (1996). In the romantic comedy One Fine Day (1996), Clooney played a divorced father who falls for a single mother (Michelle Pfeiffer). Assuming the role of the caped crusader, Clooney starred as Batman in the summer blockbuster Batman & Robin (1997), which eventually netted more than $107 million. The following year, Clooney starred opposite Jennifer Lopez in Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight (1998). He also had a role in Terrence Malick's war drama The Thin Red Line.

In 1999, Clooney quit ER to pursue his film career full time. He starred in the Persian Gulf War tale Three Kingswith Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cubethat same year. Clooney starred as a charming conman in O Brother, Where Are Thou?(2000), an imaginative retelling of the epic poem The Odyssey. He won a Golden Globe Award for his work on the film. Clooney then appeared in the popular disaster-at-sea film The Perfect Storm, based on Sebastian Junger's bestselling novel.

In 2001, Clooney starred in the remake of Ocean's Elevendirected by Steven Soderbergh. He played Danny Ocean, a role originated by famed crooner Frank Sinatra. The comedy heist film featured an all-star cast, which included Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac, and Matt Damon. It proved to be such a successful venture that it spawned two sequels, Ocean's Twelveand Ocean's Thirteen.

The following year, Clooney made his directorial debut with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002). The biopic focused on the life of Chuck Barris, host of The Gong Show and reportedly a CIA agent. Despite the film's poor box office performance and weak reviews, Clooney continued to work behind the scenes, serving as a producer on the 2004 political drama Syriana.

The usually fit Clooney gained roughly 30 pounds to play a government agent in the film, which explored political intrigue and corruption in the Middle East. Badly hurt during the filming of a scene, he damaged the membrane around his spine. The injury caused spinal fluid to leak from his nose and left him with terrible back pain. After completing the film, Clooney underwent two surgeries to fix the problem.

All of his hard work on Syrianadid not go unnoticed. In 2005, Clooney won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role in the film. He was also nominated for another important project, Good Night, and Good Luck, that same year. The film examines the clash between distinguished news anchor Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy. Clooney directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay, which served partly as a tribute to his newsman father. Widely praised, the black-and-white drama helped Clooney earn his first nominations, for best director and best original screenplay.

Clooney's next starring role was in the 2009 dramatic comedy, Up in the Air, which earned him rave reviews. In the film, Clooney played Ryan Bingham, a consultant who specializes in firing employees. For The Ides of Marchin 2011, Clooney proved to be a triple-threat, serving as the project's star, director, and co-writer. The political drama featured Clooney as a presidential candidate and Ryan Gosling as one of his aides.

Also that same year, Clooney gave another impressive performance in the family drama The Descendants directed by Alexander Payne. He won a Golden Globe for his turn as a husband and father who must cope with new challenges and unpleasant revelations after his wife is severely injured in a boating accident.

In 2013, Clooney received an Academy Award for Best Picture for producing Argo with Ben Affleck and Grant Heslov. The political thriller, directed and starring Affleck, was an adaptation of The Master of Disguise by former CIA operative Tony Mendez and The Great Escape,a Wired magazine article by Joshuah Bearman.


Cooney: The Activist

An outspoken liberal, Clooney has been a frequent target of right-wing politicos and personalities, including FOX News's Bill O'Reilly. Beyond his disappointment with the election of George W. Bush as President in 2000, the actor was also an early opponent of the Iraq War, and later called the president "dim" in a 2003 interview. "America's policies frustrate me," Clooney told a German television programme. "I think a war against Iraq is as unavoidable as it is senseless. I think it's coming. But I also think the real danger is going to be what happens after it."

Following the 11th September attacks, Clooney organized a fundraiser that featured dozens of Hollywood stars and assembled more than $129 million for the United Way. Four years later, he donated $1 million to the United Way Hurricane Katrina Response Fund.

In 2006, Clooney stepped up his involvement in political and social causes. He teamed up with his father and a few others to travel around the western region of Sudan, known as Darfur. Armed with a few small video cameras, Clooney and his father set out report on how the area had been ravaged by war and how the international community was struggling to set up refugee camps to help those in need. By leveraging Clooney's Hollywood status, they believed they could bring greater attention to the Darfur crisis and could help fuel global interest in helping the region. Their edited footage was broadcast on such programmes as Oprah.

Upon his return to the United States, Clooney brought his celebrity clout to Washington, D.C., where he spoke at a rally against the genocide in Darfur. Later he spoke to a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council. With other celebrities, including Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, and Matt Damon, he formed a non-profit organization called Not On Our Watch to help the people in Darfur. In 2007, he and Cheadle were recognized for their work for Darfur. The pair shared a Peace Summit Award at the 8th Annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Rome. The following year, with his parents standing at his side, Clooney was officially appointed as a U.N. peace envoy.

Often the target of paparazzi, both in the United States and at his vacation home in Italy, Clooney's career has been a balancing act between maintaining his privacy and his Hollywood status. Much of these lessons were gleaned from advice given by his aunt Rosemary, who experienced an astounding level of fame early in her career only to fall prey to addictions and depression later in life.

"She wouldn't tell you, 'Don't do it,'" Clooney said, "but you could see it, you could read it on her body. You know? Don't smoke three packs a day. Do a little exercising along the way. And don't believe everybody when they tell you how great you are when you're 21. And don't believe everybody when they tell you how lousy you are when you're 27."


George and Amal

Clooney was married once, to American actress Talia Balsam. That union was short lived, and Clooney has vowed that he will never marry again or have children. The pledge managed to catch the attention of actresses Nicole Kidman and Michelle Pfeiffer, who both stated that they believed Clooney would be a father before he turned 40, and even placed bets on it. Both actresses lost their bets, and both sent Clooney checks to pay up. The actor, who's twice been named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" and has been called "The Last Movie Star" by TIME magazine, returned the money to his friends.

In 2011, Clooney began dating American actress Stacy Keibler, who was formerly involved with 7th Heavenactor Geoff Stults. After nearly two years together, in July 2013, it was reported that Clooney and Keibler had parted ways.

In April 2014, Clooney who has been dubbed "Hollywood's most eligible bachelor" by the tabloids, proposed to 36 year-old Amal Alamuddin, a Lebanese-born British human rights attorney with Doughty Street Chambers in London. She has represented high-profile clients including Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and the former prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko.

In July 2014, Clooney publicly criticized the British tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail after it claimed his fiancée's mother opposes their marriage on religious groundsWhen the tabloid apologized for its false story, Clooney refused to accept the apology. He called the paper "the worst kind of tabloid, one that makes up its facts to the detriment of its readers."

Amal is the eldest of four children born to Ramzi Alamuddin, a university professor from a prominent Druze family, a quasi-Muslim sect in Lebanon that is part of the Shia Islam. Her mother mother Bariaa (née Miknass) Alamuddin, is a respected journalist, foreign affairs commentator and foreign editor of the Pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat, She is a Sunni Muslim from Tripoli, Lebanon.[ Amal was born in Beirut on 3, February, 1978, followed by sister Tala and brothers Samer and Ziad.

The family moved to Buckinghamshire during the Eighties when the Lebanese civil war was at its fiercest. Educated at a girls' grammar school, she won a scholarship to Oxford where she achieved a 2:1 in law, then went on to study at New York University School of Law before returning to the UK in 2010.

Until 2013, when she crossed paths with the movie star, the Oxford graduate was known only in certain professional circles.

Amal and George were introduced by a mutual friend at a charity event and he supposedly pursued her single-mindedly until she agreed to go out with him.

He was attracted by the British barrister's independent spirit and ability to laugh at herself. Sources describe Amal as someone who "takes her work seriously, but doesn't take herself too seriously". This was clear to anyone who saw her out and about dressed in her signature fun, quirky style.

In April 2014, Clooney asked for her hand in marriage with an exquisite 7-ct diamond ring, worth an estimated £445,000. The following September, in scenes that could have been taken from one of his movies, the couple took over Venice's waterways to host four days of lavish wedding celebrations.

Landing Hollywood's hottest bachelor might have made her the envy of women around the world, but colleagues gave her their full support. British legal circles were unanimous with their congratulations.

"The woman is a brilliant lawyer, jaw-droppingly beautiful, perspicacious, principled, passionate about human rights" said writer Kathy Lette, wife of Geoffrey Robertson, the head of Amal's chamber.

She added: "She's wise, witty, generous, a woman's woman, a good laugh, and great fun. George Clooney is very, very lucky to have her

George Clooney's main home is in Los Angeles. He purchased the 7,354-square-foot (683.2 m2) house in 1995 through his George Guifoyle Trust. His home in Italy is in the village of Laglio, on Lake Como. Clooney also maintains a home in Los Cabos, Mexico that is next door to the home of Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber

Earlier this year, Clooney and Amal bought the Mill House on an island in the River Thames at Sonning Eye in England at a cost of around £10 million.