George Timothy Clooney (born May 6, 1961) is an American actor, film director, producer, screenwriter and philanthropist. He is the recipient of three Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, one for acting in Syriana (2006) and the other for co-producing Argo (2012). 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 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 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.
He has been nominated for Academy Awards in six different categories, a record he shares with Walt Disney and Alfonso Cuarón, 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) in 2014.
George Clooney was born on May 6, 1961 in Lexington, Kentucky. His mother, Nina Bruce 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 was raised a strict Roman Catholic but said in 1998 that he did not know if he believed "in Heaven, or even God." He began his education at the Blessed Sacrament School in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. In middle school, Clooney developed Bell's palsy, a medical condition that partially paralyzes the face. The malady went away within a year.
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.
George 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). His first prominent role was a semi-regular supporting role in the sitcom Roseanne. 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. 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. 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.
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. Ocean's Eleven 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. 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. 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.
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.
Clooney was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2007, 2008, and 2009. He is sometimes described as one of the most handsome men in the world. In 2005, TV Guide ranked Clooney No. 1 on its "50 Sexiest Stars of All Time" list. The cover story in a February 2008 issue of Time magazine was headlined with: "George Clooney: The last movie star".
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.
He received the 2018 AFI Life Achievement Award on June 7, 2018.
Clooney supported both of Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. Clooney endorsed Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential election.Clooney endorsed Joe Biden for the 2020 presidential election, and he hosted a virtual fundraiser for Biden together with Obama on July 28, 2020.
George Clooney dated actress Kelly Preston (1987–1989). During this relationship, he purchased a Vietnamese Pot-bellied pig named Max as a gift for Preston, but when their relationship ended, Clooney kept the pig for an additional 18 years until Max died in 2006.
Clooney was married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993. In 1995, Clooney dated Cameron Diaz and Frances Fisher. From 1996 to 1999 Clooney dated French reality TV personality Céline Balitran. In 2000 he was linked to Charlize Theron and Lucy Liu. After meeting British model Lisa Snowdon in 2000, he had a five-year on-again, off-again relationship with her. In 2001 Clooney dated Renée Zellweger, From 1996 to 1999 he was in a relationship with Jennifer Siebel Newsom, from 2002 to 2008 with Krista Allen, as well as Linda Thompson in 2006. 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 personnel Stacy Keibler, and they ended their relationship in July 2013.
George Clooney became engaged to British-Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin on April 28, 2014. He subsequently said they forged a strong bond because of their interest in campaigning work, and particularly over the issue of the Elgin Marbles, when she was acting for the government of Greece in support of their return from the British Museum and he, while promoting his film The Monuments Men, had argued for this.
On August 7, 2014, Clooney and Alamuddin obtained 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, Italy. They were married by Clooney's friend Walter Veltroni, the former mayor of Rome.
In 2015, George Clooney and Amal Clooney adopted a rescue dog, a Bassett Hound named Millie, from the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society.
On June 6, 2017, Amal Clooney gave birth to a daughter, Ella, and a son, Alexander. In 2020, Clooney revealed to Jimmy Kimmel and Graham Norton in their respective talk shows that the twins can speak Italian fluently, despite both Clooney and Alamuddin not speaking the language.
Clooney has appeared in commercials outside the U.S. for Fiat, Nespresso, Martini vermouth, and Omega.
George Clooney has property 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 owns a home in Los Cabos, Mexico, that is next door to the home of Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber. In 2014, Clooney and his wife Amal Clooney bought the Grade II listed Mill House on an island in the River Thames at Sonning Eye in Oxfordshire, England at a cost of around £10 million. In May 2021, The Economic Times reported Clooney plans to buy a vineyard near the village of Brignoles, in France, which includes an 18th-century manor with its own swimming pool and a tennis court.