George Timothy Clooney (born May 6, 1961) is an American actor, screenwriter, producer, director, and activist. He has received three Golden Globe Awards for his work as an actor and two Academy Awards, one for acting and the other for producing.
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 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 Ocean’s Eleven, the first of the film trilogy, a remake of the 1960 film with Frank Sinatra as Danny Ocean. 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.
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, as confirmed by a representative at Alamuddin’s chambers Doughty Street Chambers. 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.