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 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 is one of three people to have been nominated for Academy Awards in six different categories, a position shared with Walt Disney and Alfonso Cuaron, and second only to Kenneth Branagh (with seven), 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 and they have two children.
George 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. Clooney has an older sister named Adelia (known as Ada).
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.
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.
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, playing Roseanne Barr's supervisor Booker Brooks. During this period, Clooney was a student at the Beverly Hills Playhouse acting school for five years.
From 1987 to 1989, Clooney dated actress Kelly Preston . 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. He has jokingly referred to Max as the longest relationship he had ever had.
In 1989 George Clooney was married to actress Talia Balsam and the marriage ended in 1993.
Clooney rose to fame when he played Dr. Doug Ross 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.
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, and he followed its success with the romantic comedy One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer. 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.
That same year, Clooney and Soderbergh co-founded Section Eight Productions and Clooney made his directorial debut in the 2002 film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, based on the autobiography of TV producer Chuck Barris.
In 2005, he directed, produced, and starred in Good Night, and Good Luck. 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". In 2008 he directed his third film, Leatherheads, in which he also starred.
On January 18, 2008, the United Nations announced Clooney's appointment as a UN messenger of peace, effective January 31.
In 2005, TV Guide ranked George Clooney No. 1 on its "50 Sexiest Stars of All Time" list. 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 2009 Clooney starred in the comedy-drama Up in the Air. For his performance in the film he was nominated for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA, and an Academy Award.
In 2011 Clooney starred in The Descendants as a husband whose wife has an accident that leaves her in a coma. He earned Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama 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.
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.
After his marriage to Talia Balsam ended, George Clooney became a famous determined bachelor who did not want either marriage or children. For the next two decades, he has been romantically involved with countless women including actress Ginger Lynn Allen, Cameron Diaz, Frances Fisher, Charlize Theron, Lucy Liu, Renée Zellweger, French reality TV personality Céline Balitran, British model Lisa Snowdon, Krista Allen, reality personality Sarah Larson, etc.
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. They were married by Clooney's friend Walter Veltroni, the former mayor of Rome.
Before his marriage, George Clooney owned multiple properties. 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.
After the marriage, George Clooney and his wife Amal Alamuddin 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 2015, Clooney and Alamuddin adopted a rescue dog, a Bassett Hound named Millie, from the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society.
On June 6, 2017, Amal gave birth to a daughter, Ella, and a son, Alexander.
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.
In 2019, Clooney starred, directed, and produced the Hulu miniseries Catch-22 based upon the novel of the same name by Joseph Heller. The series premiered on May 31, 2019, to critical acclaim.
On August 7, 2020, George and Amal Clooney donated $100,000 to three Lebanese charities after the capital, Beirut, was left devastated by a deadly explosion. They donated money to the Lebanese Red Cross, Impact Lebanon, and Baytna Baytak. The blast claimed the lives of at least 145 people and injured more than 5,000.
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.