Hand color tinted photo of George Clooney
George Timothy Clooney (born May 6, 1961) is an American actor, filmmaker, and activist. He has received three Golden Globe Awards for his
work as an actor and two Academy Awards, one for acting in Syriana (2006) and the other for co-producing Argo (2012).
Clooney made his acting debut on television in 1978, and later gained wide recognition in his role as Dr. Doug Ross on the long-running
medical drama ER from 1994 to 1999, for which he received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. While working on ER, he began attracting a
variety of leading roles in films, including the superhero film Batman & Robin (1997) and the crime comedy Out of Sight (1998), in which he
first worked with director Steven Soderbergh, who would become a long-time collaborator. In 1999, he took the lead role in Three Kings, a
well-received war satire set during the Gulf War.
In 2001, Clooney’s fame widened with the release of his biggest commercial success, the heist comedy remake Ocean’s Eleven, the first of what
became a trilogy starring Clooney. He made his directorial debut a year later with the biographical spy comedy Confessions of a Dangerous
Mind, and has since directed the historical drama Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), the sports comedy Leatherheads (2008), the political drama
The Ides of March (2011), and the war film The Monuments Men (2014).
Clooney won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the Middle East thriller Syriana (2005), and subsequently earned Best Actor
nominations for the legal thriller Michael Clayton (2007) and the comedy-dramas Up in the Air (2009) and The Descendants (2011). In 2013, he
received the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing the political thriller Argo. He is the only person who has been nominated for
Academy Awards in six different categories.
In 2009, Clooney was included in Time’s annual Time 100 as one of the “Most Influential People in the World”. He 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, Armenian Genocide recognition, 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.
Clooney was born in Lexington, Kentucky. His mother, Nina Bruce (née Warren; born 1939), was a beauty queen and city councilwoman. His father,
Nick Clooney (born 1934), is a former anchorman and game show host who hosted AMC for five years in the late 1990s. Clooney has Irish, German,
and English ancestry. His maternal great-great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Sparrow, was the half-sister of Nancy Lincoln, mother of
President Abraham Lincoln. Clooney has an older sister named Adelia (known as Ada). His aunt was the famed cabaret singer and actress Rosemary
Clooney. Through Rosemary, his cousins include actors Miguel Ferrer, Rafael Ferrer, and Gabriel Ferrer, who is married to singer Debby Boone.
Clooney was raised a strict Roman Catholic, but said in 2006 that he does not know if he believes in Heaven, or even God. He has said, “Yes,
we were Catholic, big time, whole family, whole group.” He began his education at the Blessed Sacrament School in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. He
attended St. Michael’s School in Columbus, Ohio; then Western Row Elementary School (a public school) in Mason, Ohio, from 1968 to 1974; and
St. Susanna School in Mason, where he served as an altar boy. The Clooneys moved back to Kentucky when George was midway through the seventh
grade. In middle school, Clooney developed Bell’s palsy, a condition that partially paralyzes the face. The malady went away within a year. In
an interview with Larry King, he stated that “yes, it goes away. It takes about nine months to go away. It was the first year of high school,
which was a bad time for having half your face paralyzed.”
After his parents moved to Augusta, Kentucky, Clooney attended Augusta High School. He has stated that he earned all As and a B in school, and
was an enthusiastic baseball and basketball player. He tried out to play professional baseball with the Cincinnati Reds in 1977, but he did
not pass the first round of player cuts and was not offered a contract. He attended Northern Kentucky University from 1979 to 1981, majoring
in broadcast journalism, and very briefly attended the University of Cincinnati, but did not graduate from either. He made money selling
women’s shoes, insurance door-to-door, stocking shelves, working construction, and cutting tobacco.
Early work, 1978–93
Clooney’s first role was as an extra in the television mini-series Centennial in 1978, which was based on the novel of the same name by James
A. Michener and was partly filmed in Clooney’s hometown of Augusta, Kentucky. Clooney’s first major role came in 1984 in the short-lived
sitcom E/R (not to be confused with ER, the better-known hospital drama, on which Clooney also co-starred a decade later). He played a
handyman on the series The Facts of Life and appeared as Bobby Hopkins, a detective, on an episode of The Golden Girls. His first prominent
role was a semi-regular supporting role in the sitcom Roseanne, playing Roseanne Barr’s supervisor Booker Brooks, followed by the role of a
construction worker on Baby Talk, a co-starring role on the CBS drama Bodies of Evidence as Detective Ryan Walker, and then a year-long turn
as Det. James Falconer on Sisters. In 1988, Clooney played a role in the comedy-horror film Return of the Killer Tomatoes. During this period,
Clooney was a student at the Beverly Hills Playhouse acting school for five years.
Clooney rose to fame when he played Dr. Doug Ross, alongside Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies, and Noah Wyle, on the hit NBC medical drama
ER from 1994 to 1999. After leaving the series in 1999, he made a cameo appearance in the 6th season and returned for a guest spot in the
show’s final season. For his work on the series, Clooney received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama
Series in 1995 and 1996. He also earned three Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor – Television Series Drama in 1995, 1996, and 1997
(losing to co-star Anthony Edwards).
Clooney began appearing in films while working on ER. His first major Hollywood role was in the horror comedy-crime thriller From Dusk till
Dawn, directed by Robert Rodriguez and co-starring Harvey Keitel. He followed its success with the romantic comedy One Fine Day with Michelle
Pfeiffer, and the action-thriller The Peacemaker with Nicole Kidman. Clooney was then cast as Batman in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin,
which was a modest box office performer, but a critical failure (with Clooney himself calling the film “a waste of money”). In 1998, he co-
starred in the crime-comedy Out of Sight opposite Jennifer Lopez, marking the first of his many collaborations with director Steven
Soderbergh. He also starred in Three Kings during the last weeks of his contract with ER.
After ER, 2000–10
After leaving ER, Clooney starred in the commercially successful films The Perfect Storm (2000), a disaster drama, and O Brother, Where Art
Thou? (2000), a Coen brothers adventure comedy. In 2001, he teamed up with Soderbergh again for the heist comedy Ocean’s Eleven, a remake of
the 1960s Rat Pack film of the same name, with Clooney playing Danny Ocean, originally portrayed by Frank Sinatra. As of 2011, it was
Clooney’s most successful film, earning more than $450 million worldwide. The film inspired two sequels starring Clooney, Ocean’s Twelve in
2004 and Ocean’s Thirteen in 2007.
In 2001, Clooney and Soderbergh co-founded Section Eight Productions, for which Grant Heslov was president of television. Clooney made his
directorial debut in the 2002 film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, based on the autobiography of TV producer Chuck Barris. Though the film
did not do well at the box office, critics stated that Clooney’s directing showed promise.
In 2005, Clooney starred in Syriana, which was based loosely on former Central Intelligence Agency agent Robert Baer’s memoirs of his service
in the Middle East. He suffered an accident on the set of Syriana, which caused a brain injury with complications from a punctured dura. The
same year he directed, produced, and starred in Good Night, and Good Luck, a film about 1950s television journalist Edward R. Murrow’s famous
war of words with Senator Joseph McCarthy. At the 2006 Academy Awards, Clooney was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay
for Good Night, and Good Luck, as well as Best Supporting Actor for Syriana. He won the Oscar for his role in Syriana.
Clooney next appeared in The Good German (2006), a film noir directed by Soderbergh that is set in post-World War II Germany. In August 2006,
Clooney and Heslov started the production company Smokehouse Pictures. In October 2006, Clooney received the American Cinematheque Award,
which honors someone in the entertainment industry who has made “a significant contribution to the art of motion pictures”. On January 22,
2008, Clooney was nominated for an Academy Award (and many other awards) for Best Actor for Michael Clayton (2007). Later that year, he
directed his third film, Leatherheads, in which he also starred. On April 4, 2008, Variety reported that Clooney had quietly resigned from the
Writers Guild of America over a dispute concerning Leatherheads. Clooney, who is the director, producer, and star of the film, claimed that he
had contributed in writing “all but two scenes” of it, and requested a writing credit alongside Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly, who had
worked on the screenplay for 17 years. Clooney lost an arbitration vote 2–1, and withdrew from the union over the decision. He became a
“financial core status” non-member, meaning he no longer has voting rights, and cannot run for office or attend membership meetings, according
to the WGA’s constitution.
He next co-starred with Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey in the war parody comedy film The Men Who Stare at Goats, which was directed by Heslov
and released in November 2009. Also in November 2009, he voiced Mr. Fox in Wes Anderson’s animated feature Fantastic Mr. Fox. The same year,
Clooney starred in the comedy-drama Up in the Air, which was initially given limited release, and then wide-released on December 25, 2009. For
his performance in the film, which was directed by Jason Reitman, he was nominated for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA, and
an Academy Award. 2010 saw the release of The American, based on the novel A Very Private Gentleman by Martin Booth and directed by Anton
Corbijn. Clooney played the lead role, and was a producer of the film.
As of 2011, Clooney is represented by Bryan Lourd, co-chairman of Creative Artists Agency (CAA). In 2011 Clooney starred in The Descendants as
a husband whose wife has an accident that leaves her in a coma. He earned critical praise for his work, and won the Broadcast Film Critics
Association Award for Best Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. Also, he was nominated for the Screen
Actors Guild for Best Actor, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor, and the Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for the Academy Award for
Best Adapted Screenplay for the political drama The Ides of March. In 2013, Clooney won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama, the
BAFTA Award for Best Picture and the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing Argo. He is the only person in Academy Award history to be
nominated for Oscars in six different categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and
Best Adapted Screenplay.
Clooney co-starred with Sandra Bullock in Gravity (2013), a science fiction thriller directed by Alfonso Cuarón. He co-wrote, directed and
starred in The Monuments Men, an adaption of The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by
Robert M. Edsel. Clooney also produced August: Osage County (2013), an adaptation of the play of the same name. The film stars Meryl Streep
and Julia Roberts. His next film was Tomorrowland (2015), a science fiction adventure film in which he played Frank Walker, an inventor. Later
in the year, he was featured as himself in the Netflix Christmas musical comedy A Very Murray Christmas, starring Bill Murray.
Hail, Caesar!, a comedy from the Coen brothers set in the Hollywood film industry in the 1950s, premiered in February 2016. Clooney portrayed
Baird Whitlock, a Robert Taylor-type film star who is kidnapped during the production of a film. Josh Brolin co-starred as fixer Eddie Mannix.
Clooney reunited with Julia Roberts for the Jodie Foster-directed thriller Money Monster (2016), playing the host of a television show that
investigates conspiracies on commerce and Wall Street, who is taken hostage by a bankrupt viewer given a bad tip. His next directorial effort
will be the crime comedy Suburbicon, starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac, and Woody Harrelson, from a script penned
by the Coen brothers that they originally intended to direct themselves.
Clooney supported President Obama’s campaigns in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. He is a supporter of gay rights. In 2003, he
opposed the Iraq war, saying, “You can’t beat your enemy anymore through wars; instead you create an entire generation of people seeking
revenge… Our opponents are going to resort to car bombs and suicide attacks because they have no other way to win… I believe Donald
Rumsfeld thinks this is a war that can be won, but there is no such thing anymore. We can’t beat anyone anymore.” In 2016, Clooney endorsed
Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential election.
Clooney is involved with Not On Our Watch Project, an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass
atrocities, along with Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, David Pressman, and Jerry Weintraub. In February 2009, he visited Goz Beida, Chad,
with New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof. In January 2010, he organized the telethon Hope for Haiti Now, which collected donations
for the 2010 Haiti earthquake victims.
In March 2012, Clooney was featured with Martin Sheen and Brad Pitt in a performance of Dustin Lance Black’s play, ‘8’—a staged reenactment of
the federal trial that overturned California’s Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage—as attorney David Boies. The production was held at the
Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. In September 2012, Clooney
offered to take an auction winner out to lunch to benefit the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). GLSEN works to create a
safe space in schools for children who are or may be perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Clooney dated the actress Kelly Preston (1987–1989). Clooney was married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993. He also had a relationship
with actress Ginger Lynn Allen. Clooney dated French reality TV personality Céline Balitran (1996–1999). After meeting British model Lisa
Snowdon in 2000, he had a five-year on-again, off-again relationship with her. Clooney dated Renée Zellweger (2001) and Krista Allen (2002–
2008). In June 2007, he started dating reality personality Sarah Larson, but the couple broke up in May 2008. In July 2009, Clooney was in a
relationship with Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis until they split in June 2011. In July 2011, Clooney started dating former WWE Diva Stacy
Keibler, and they ended their relationship in July 2013.
Clooney became engaged to British-Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin on April 28, 2014. 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 grounds. When 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.” On August 7, 2014, Clooney and Alamuddin retrieved marriage licenses at the Royal Borough of
Kensington and Chelsea of the United Kingdom. Alamuddin and Clooney were officially married on September 27, 2014 at Ca’ Farsetti. They were
married by Clooney’s friend Walter Veltroni, the former mayor of Rome. In 2015, Clooney and Alamuddin adopted a rescue dog, a bassett hound
named Millie, from the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society. On 9 February 2017, it was reported by the CBS talk show, “The Talk,” that Amal
Alamuddin was pregnant, and that they were expecting twins.
Clooney’s main home is in Los Angeles. He purchased the 7,354-square-foot (683.2 m2) house in 1995 through his George Guilfoyle Trust. His
home in Italy is in the village of Laglio, on Lake Como, near the former residence of Italian author Ada Negri. Clooney also maintains a home
in Los Cabos, Mexico that is next door to the home of Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber. In 2014, Clooney and his new British wife Amal
Alamuddin bought the Mill House on an island in the River Thames at Sonning Eye in England at a cost of around £10 million.
On September 21, 2007, Clooney and then-girlfriend Sarah Larson were injured in a motorcycle accident in Weehawken, New Jersey when his
motorcycle was hit by a car. The driver of the car reported that Clooney attempted to pass him on the right, while Clooney said that the
driver signaled left and then decided to make an abrupt right turn and clipped his motorcycle. On October 9, 2007, more than two dozen staff
at Palisades Medical Center were suspended without pay for looking at Clooney’s medical records in violation of federal law.