Golden Recursion Inc. logoGolden Recursion Inc. logo
Advanced Search
George Clooney

George Clooney

American actor, filmmaker, and activist

George Timothy Clooney (born May 6, 1961) is an American actor and filmmaker. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including a British Academy Film Award, four Golden Globe Awards, and two Academy Awards, one for his acting and the other as a producer. In 2018, he was the recipient of the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.

Clooney made his acting debut on television in 1978, and later gained wide recognition in his role as Dr. Doug Ross on the NBC 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, with his breakthrough role in From Dusk till Dawn (1996), 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, Soderbergh's 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.

As of 2022, Clooney became one of the four people been nominated for Academy Awards in six different categories, a record he shares with Walt Disney, Alfonso Cuaron, and Kenneth Branagh, and with Brad Pitt is one of only two actors to have won both the Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor and Best Picture. Clooney was included on Time's annual Time 100 list, which identifies the most influential people in the world, every year from 2006 to 2009. He is also noted for his political and economic activism, and has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since January 31, 2008. Clooney is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is married to human rights lawyer Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin).

Early life

Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky. His mother, Nina Bruce (née Warren), was a beauty queen and city councilwoman. His father, Nick Clooney, is a former anchorman and television host, including five years on the AMC network. Clooney is of 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). Cabaret singer and actress Rosemary Clooney was an aunt. 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 1998 that he did not know if he believed "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 Worthington, 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 medical 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." He also described one positive outcome of the condition: "It's probably a great thing that it happened to me because it forced me to engage in a series of making fun of myself. And I think that's an important part of being famous. The practical jokes have to be aimed at you."

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 played baseball and basketball. 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 earned money selling women's shoes, insurance door-to-door, stocking shelves, working in construction, and cutting tobacco.

Career

Early work (1978–1993)

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 long-running medical drama). 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 one of the lead roles in the comedy-horror film Return of the Killer Tomatoes. In 1990, he starred in the short-lived ABC police drama Sunset Beat. During this period, Clooney was a student at the Beverly Hills Playhouse acting school for five years.

Breakthrough and worldwide recognition (1994–1999)

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.

Established career and critical success (2000–2010)

Clooney's hand and footprints at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California.

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. It is Clooney's most successful film with him in the lead role, earning $451 million worldwide (he appeared, but did not star, in Gravity, which has a $723 million worldwide box office). Ocean's Eleven inspired two sequels starring Clooney, Ocean's Twelve in 2004 and Ocean's Thirteen in 2007.

n 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. Clooney 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 for Best Actor for Michael Clayton (2007) but did not win. 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 comedy film The Men Who Stare at Goats, which was directed by Heslov and released in November 2009. Also in November 2009, he voiced the title character 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.

Continued success and further film work (2011–present)

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 Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama, the BAFTA Award for Best Picture and the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing Argo.

Clooney co-starred with Sandra Bullock in Gravity (2013), a space 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.

In 2013, Clooney co-founded Casamigos Tequila with Rande Gerber and Michael Meldman. It was sold to Diageo for $700 million in June 2017, with an additional $300 million possible depending on the company's performance over the next ten years. According to Forbes annual ranking, he was the world's highest-paid actor for 2017–2018, earning $239 million between June 1, 2017, and June 1, 2018.

In October 2017, his directorial project Suburbicon a 1950s-set crime comedy was released. It stars Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Oscar Isaac, from a script written by the Coen brothers in the 1980s, that they had originally intended to direct themselves.

He received the 2018 AFI Life Achievement Award on June 7, 2018.

Timeline

November 2021
Clooney wrote an op-ed to British tabloid The Daily Mail
September 2021
Clooney reteamed with Brad Pitt for an untitled thriller film written and directed by Jon Watts
2018
Following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the Clooneys pledged $500,000 to the March for Our Lives and said they would be in attendance
2016
Clooney supported Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.
May 2015
Clooney told the BBC that the Syrian conflict was too complex politically to get involved, and he wanted to focus on helping refugees.
2014
Clooney had rejected an apology from the Daily Mail for printing a false story, calling the Mail, the "worst kind of tabloid.
September 21, 2007
Clooney and his then-girlfriend Sarah Larson were injured in a motorcycle accident in Weehawken, New Jersey when his motorcycle was hit by a car
2005
TV Guide ranked Clooney No. 1 on its "50 Sexiest Stars of All Time" list.
May 6, 1961
George Clooney was born in Lexington.

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Natasha Solo-Lyons
June 4, 2021
Business Insider
His exclusive Discovery Land clubs, with $50 million homes and over-the-top amenities, lure celebrity members like Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. (Yes, together.)
May 14, 2021
WebWire
Nespresso has always believed that coffee can be a powerful force for good, and this conviction is central to the brand's new communications platform: "Made with Care". Premiering worldwide today, the campaign launches with a spoken word video for TV and social, in which longstanding brand ambassador and Nespresso Sustainability Advisory Board (NSAB) member George Clooney, together with other friends of the brand, explores what is behind every cup of Nespresso coffee: the deep human...
Daniel Welsh
May 6, 2021
HuffPost UK
He follows in the footsteps of fellow Hollywood legend Robert De Niro and... erm... Kermit The Frog.
MPTF (Motion Picture & Television Fund)
May 1, 2021
www.prnewswire.com:443
/PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, MPTF (Motion Picture & Television Fund) hosted a very special virtual press conference to kick off their 100th Anniversary Campaign,...
Rick Marshall
April 23, 2021
Digital Trends
Sci-fi drama The Midnight Sky leaned on a blend of real-world tech and visual effects magic to bring its gripping tale to the screen. Here's how they did it.
SHOW MORE
Golden logo
By using this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions.