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People's sexiest man alive George Clooney is an Oscar-winning actor best known for playing Dr. Doug Ross on TV's ER and Danny Ocean in the Ocean's Eleven films.
George Clooney - Full Episode (45:20)
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A full Biography episode on the life of actor George Clooney.
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Famed actor and director George Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky. He scored his breakout role in 1992 as Dr. Doug Ross on TV's ER. The hit show lead to major film roles, including a turn as Batman. In 2005, Clooney won an Academy Award for his performance in Syriana. TIME magazine has called the actor "The Last Movie Star," and People magazine twice named him the "Sexiest Man Alive."
I'm certainly the last person to give advice on, well, anything.
The best lesson my mom taught me was how to be scrappy. . . She taught me how to be realistic and survive in weird situations.
George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, into a well-known family of media and entertainment personalities. His father, Nick, spent many years as a television personality and news anchor. His aunt, Rosemary Clooney, had a long career as a singer and actress.
Due to the nature of his father's work, George Clooney and his older sister, Ada, moved several times to various locations throughout Kentucky and Ohio with their parents. In 1974, they settled down for good in a rambling, old Victorian home in downtown Augusta, Kentucky, a small town on the Ohio River about an hour south of Cincinnati.
There, despite some name recognition, the Clooneys led a fairly modest life. They were a close-knit family, with Nick Clooney making sure to carve time out of his busy schedule in Cincinnati to be home in the evenings for dinner. At the Clooney supper table, the family often discussed current events. Nick, a true newsman, had grown up in awe of men like CBS news anchor Edward R. Murrow and, later, Walter Cronkite.
Exposed to the entertainment industry at a young age, Clooney made his first television appearance at 5 years old, playing sketch characters on the local talk shows his dad hosted. In middle school, however, Clooney struggled with his talent for expression when he developed Bell's palsy, which causes partial facial paralysis. He eventually recovered from the illness.
In school, Clooney was more focused on sports than books, but still managed to be a good student. "I pulled out my report cards ... I had all A's and a B," the actor told Esquire magazine. A fairly good baseball player, he managed to land a tryout with the Cincinnati Reds at the age of 16. A baseball contract, however, never materialized.
Clooney eventually opted for college. Staying close to home, he attended Northern Kentucky University, where he studied broadcast journalism. But Clooney didn't last long at college. He didn't think he had what it took to become a good television journalist, and he hated the constant comparisons to his father. He dropped out of school in 1981, without a thought as to what he would do next.
Clooney stuck around the Cincinnati area for a while, finding work as a shoe salesman and, later, as a farmhand picking tobacco. He had been harvesting tobacco when he got a call from his his cousin, Miguel Ferrer, the son of Rosemary Clooney and Academy Award winner Jose Ferrer. Miguel and his father were making a film in Kentucky about horse racing, and Ferrer offered Clooney a little acting work.
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