George Timothy Clooney (born May 6, 1961) is an American actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter. For his work as an actor, he has received three Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award. Clooney is also noted for his social activism and has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since January 31, 2008.
Though he made his acting debut on television in 1978, Clooney gained fame and recognition by portraying Dr. Douglas "Doug" Ross on the long-running medical drama ER from 1994 to 1999. While working on ER, he started attracting a variety of leading roles in films including Batman & Robin (1997) and Out of Sight (1998), where he first teamed with long-term collaborator Steven Soderbergh. In 2001, Clooney's fame widened with the release of his biggest commercial success, Ocean's Eleven, the first of a profitable film trilogy, a remake of the film from 1960 with the members of The Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. He made his directorial debut a year later with the 2002 biographical thriller Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and has since directed Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), Leatherheads (2008), and The Ides of March (2011). He won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the Middle East thriller Syriana (2005).
Clooney's 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.
Clooney was born in Georgetown, Kentucky. His mother, Nina Bruce (nee Warren, 1939-), is a former beauty pageant queen; his father, Nick Clooney, is a former anchorman, as well as a game show and American Movie Classics host. Clooney's ancestry includes Irish, German, and English. His paternal great-great-grandparents, Nicholas Clooney (of County Kilkenny) and Bridget Byron, immigrated to the United States from Ireland. Clooney was raised a strict Roman Catholic. He has an older sister, Adelia (also known as Ada); his cousins include actors Miguel and Rafael Ferrer, who are the sons of his aunt, singer Rosemary Clooney, and actor Jose Ferrer. He is also related to another singer, Debby Boone, who married his cousin Gabriel Ferrer (son of Jose Ferrer and Rosemary Clooney).
Clooney began his education at the Blessed Sacrament School in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. Spending part of his childhood in Ohio, he attended St. Michael's School in Columbus, and St. Susanna School in Mason, Ohio. In middle school, Clooney developed Bell's palsy, a debilitating condition that partially paralyzes the face. The malady went away within a year. "That was the worst time of my life," he told the Daily Mirror in 2003. "You know how cruel kids can be. I was mocked and taunted, but the experience made me stronger."
His parents eventually moved to Augusta, Kentucky, where 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 was not offered a contract. He did not pass the first round of player cuts. 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 had such odd jobs as selling men's suits and cutting tobacco.
Clooney's first role was as an extra in the TV series Centennial in 1978. The series was based on the novel of the same name by James Michener and was partially 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 costarred 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 significant break 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 and then as a sexy detective on Sisters. In 1988, Clooney also played a role in Return of the Killer Tomatoes.
Clooney achieved stardom when he played Dr. Doug Ross, alongside Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies, and Noah Wyle on the hit NBC 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.
Clooney began appearing in films while working on ER. His first major Hollywood role was in From Dusk till Dawn, directed by Robert Rodriguez. He followed its success with One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer and The Peacemaker with Nicole Kidman. Clooney was then cast as Batman in Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin, which was a moderate box office success, but a critical failure (with Clooney himself calling the film "a waste of money"). In 1998, he starred in 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 leaving ER, Clooney starred in commercially successful projects such as The Perfect Storm and O Brother, Where Art Thou?. In 2001, he teamed up with Soderbergh again for Ocean's Eleven, a remake of the 1960s Rat Pack film of the same name. As of 2011, it was Clooney's most commercially successful film, earning more than $450 million worldwide. The film spawned two sequels starring Clooney, Ocean's Twelve in 2004 and Ocean's Thirteen in 2007.
In 2001, Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh co-founded the 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, an adaptation of the autobiography of TV producer Chuck Barris. Though the film didn't do well at the box office, Clooney's direction showed promise.
In 2005, Clooney starred in Syriana, which was based loosely on former Central Intelligence Agency agent Robert Baer and his memoirs of being an agent in the Middle East. Clooney suffered an accident on the set of Syriana, which resulted in a brain injury with complications arising 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 became the first person in Oscar history to be nominated for directing one film and acting in another in the same year. 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. Clooney also received the American Cinematheque Award in October 2006, an award that honors an artist in the entertainment industry who has made "a significant contribution to the art of motion pictures". In August 2006, Clooney and Heslov started the production company Smokehouse Pictures.
On January 22, 2008, Clooney was nominated for an Academy Award (and many other awards) for Best Actor for his role in Michael Clayton (2007). Clooney then directed his third film, Leatherheads (2008), in which he also starred. It was reported on April 4, 2008, in Variety that Clooney had quietly resigned from the Writers Guild of America over controversy surrounding Leatherheads. Clooney, who is the director, producer, and star of the film, stated that he had contributed in writing, "all but two scenes," of the film and requested a writing credit, alongside Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly, who had been working on the project for 17 years. In an arbitration vote, Clooney lost 2-1 and ultimately decided to withdraw from the union over the decision. Clooney became a "financial core status" nonmember, meaning he loses his voting rights, and cannot run for office or attend membership meetings, according to the WGA's constitution.
Clooney next co-starred with Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey in 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 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 as well as being a co-producer for the film.
As of 2011, Clooney is represented by Bryan Lourd, co-chairman of Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
Clooney has been active in advocating a resolution of the Darfur conflict. His efforts include appearing on an episode of Oprah and speaking at the Save Darfur rally in Washington, D.C., on April 30, 2006. On March 25, 2007, he sent an open letter to German chancellor Angela Merkel, calling on the European Union to take "decisive action" in the region in the face of Omar al-Bashir's failure to respond to the UN resolutions.
In April 2006, he spent ten days in Chad and Sudan with his father to make a film in order to show the dramatic situation of Darfur's refugees. In September of the same year, he spoke in front of the Security Council of the UN with Nobel Prize-winner Elie Wiesel to ask the UN to find a solution to the conflict and to help the people of Darfur. In December, he made a trip to China and Egypt with Don Cheadle and two Olympic winners to ask both governments to pressure Sudan's government.
After making his first trip to Darfur in 2006 with his father Nick, Clooney made the TV special "A Journey to Darfur", and advocated for action in the US. The documentary was broadcast on American cable TV as well as in the UK and France. In 2008, it was released on DVD with the proceeds from its sale being donated to the International Rescue Committee.
Clooney is involved with Not On Our Watch, an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities, along with Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and Jerry Weintraub. He narrated and was co-executor producer of the documentary Sand and Sorrow. Clooney also appeared in the documentary film Darfur Now, a call to action film for people all over the world to help stop the ongoing crisis in Darfur. The film was released on November 2, 2007. In February 2009, he visited Goz Beida, Chad, with NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. In January 2010, he organized the Telethon Hope for Haiti Now, which collected donations for the 2010 Haiti earthquake victims.
On December 13, 2007, Clooney and fellow actor Don Cheadle were presented with the Summit Peace Award by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Rome. In his acceptance speech, Clooney said that "Don and I…stand here before you as failures. The simple truth is that when it comes to the atrocities in Darfur…those people are not better off now than they were years ago." On January 18, 2008, the United Nations announced Clooney's appointment as a United Nations messenger of peace, effective from January 31.
Clooney conceived of and, with human rights activist and co-founder of the Enough Project John Prendergast, initiated the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), after an October 2010 trip to South Sudan. SSP aims to monitor armed activity for signs of renewed civil war between Sudan and South Sudan, and to detect and deter mass atrocities along the border regions there.
Clooney and Prendergast co-wrote a Washington Post op-ed piece in May 2011, titled "Dancing with a dictator in Sudan", arguing that: "President Omar al-Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, is escalating bombing and food aid obstruction in Darfur, and he now threatens the entire north-south peace process... the evidence shows that incentives alone are insufficient to change Khartoum’s calculations. International support should be sought immediately for denying debt relief, expanding the ICC indictments, diplomatically isolating the regime, suspending all non-humanitarian aid, obstructing state-controlled bank transactions and freezing accounts holding oil wealth diverted by senior regime officials."
In February 2003, syndicated columnist Liz Smith reported that while speaking at a National Board of Review event, Clooney had made the following remarks: "Charlton Heston announced again today that he is suffering from Alzheimer's." Clooney later said, "It was a joke,... They got the quote wrong. What I said was 'The head of the NRA announced today ...' (Filmmaker) Michael Moore had just gotten an award. Anyway, Charlton Heston shows up with guns over his head after a school shooting and then says in the documentary it's because of ethnic diversity that we have problems with violence in America. I think he's going to have to take whatever hits he gets. It was just a joke. That was someone else trying to make a bigger story." When asked if the actor went too far with his remarks, Clooney responded by saying, "I don't care. Charlton Heston is the head of the National Rifle Association; he deserves whatever anyone says about him." Heston himself commented, "It just goes to show that sometimes class does skip a generation," referring to Clooney's aunt, Rosemary Clooney. Heston further commented on the Clooney joke: "I don't know the man – never met him, never even spoken to him, but I feel sorry for George Clooney – one day he may get Alzheimer's disease. I served my country in World War II. I survived that – I guess I can survive some bad words from this fellow". Clooney said he subsequently apologized to Heston in a letter, and that he received a positive response from Heston's wife.
On January 16, 2006, during his acceptance speech for the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Syriana, Clooney paused to sarcastically thank disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff before adding, "Who would name their kid Jack with the word ‘off’ at the end of your last name? No wonder that guy is screwed up!"
Clooney supported then-Senator Barack Obama's campaign in the 2008 presidential election.
Clooney was married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 until they divorced in 1993. Since then, Clooney has said that he will never marry again. After meeting on the set of a Martini advertisement in 2000, he had a five-year on-again, off-again relationship with British model Lisa Snowdon. In June 2007, he started dating reality personality Sarah Larson, but the couple broke up in May 2008. From July 2009 to June 2011, Clooney was in a relationship with Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis. Since July 2011, Clooney has been dating former WWE Diva Stacy Keibler.
Often featured in People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue, Clooney's marital status and availability are a running joke among female fans who still fantasize they have a chance to bring him to the altar. Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in Las Vegas has a "Marrying George Clooney" photo-op in which museum visitors can put on a wedding gown and stand next to a wax statue of the actor in a tuxedo.
Clooney's main home is in Los Angeles. He purchased the 7,354 square feet (683.2 m2) house in 1995 through his George Guifoyle Trust. His villa in Italy is situated in the village of Laglio, on Lake Como, near the former residence of famous Italian author Ada Negri.
On September 21, 2007, Clooney and then-girlfriend Sarah Larson were injured in a motorcycle accident in Weehawken, New Jersey. Clooney's motorcycle was hit by a car. The driver of the car reported that Clooney attempted to pass on the right, while Clooney stated that the driver signaled left and then decided to make an abrupt right turn and clipped the motorcycle. He was treated and released from the Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, New Jersey. On October 9, 2007, more than two dozen hospital staff members were suspended without pay for looking at Clooney's medical records in violation of federal law. Clooney himself quickly issued a statement on the hospital records matter, saying no one should be punished. He said "This is the first I've heard of it. And while I very much believe in a patient's right to privacy, I would hope that this could be settled without suspending medical workers."
Clooney is one of three people to have been given the title of "Sexiest Man Alive" twice by People Magazine, first in 1997 and again in 2006. Clooney has appeared in commercials outside the US for products like Fiat, Nespresso and Martini vermouth, and has lent his voice to a series of Budweiser ads beginning in 2005. Clooney was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker lampooned Clooney, among other stars, in their feature film Team America: World Police. Clooney later said that he would have been offended if he hadn't been made fun of in the film. He was also mentioned in the South Park episode "Smug Alert!", which mocks his acceptance speech at the 78th Academy Awards. Clooney has also lent his voice to South Park, however, appearing in the episode Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride as Sparky the Dog, and as the emergency room doctor in South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.
Clooney was also caricatured in the American Dad episode Tears of a Clooney, in which Francine sees her plans to destroy Clooney materialize.
- from Wikipedia.org
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