He is the nephew of the famous actress and singer Rosemary Clooney, and cousin of actor, Miguel Ferrer and Gabe Ferrer, who is married to Debby Boone.
George Clooney got his start in
Los Angeles, a young college
dropout from Kentucky who spent
most of his "struggling actor"
years riding to auditions on a
bicycle. During this time, he
also befriended another actor
named Grant Heslov, a close
friend and frequent collaborator
with Clooney who co-wrote Good
Night, and Good Luck.. Heslov is
also the president of Section 8
Entertainment, Clooney's and
director Steven Soderbergh's
production company. In a bit of
trivia, Clooney said in an
interview that he was driving an
RV through the country with
Heslov, who was getting over a
broken engagement. Clooney said
he got a phone call from his
agent telling him that NBC just
picked up E/R for a full season
when Clooney said "I think I
just got my career."
His first major role was in a television medical comedy/drama, E/R. He played a handyman on the series The Facts of Life. But he first gained attention in his semi-regular supporting role in the sitcom Roseanne, playing Roseanne Barr's overbearing boss. He has also appeared in a number of movies such as Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), One Fine Day (1996), Batman & Robin (1997), Out of Sight (1998), Three Kings (1999), The Perfect Storm (2000), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), Ocean's Eleven (2001), Welcome to Collinwood (2002), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), and Ocean's Twelve (2004), along with guest appearances on sitcoms such as Roseanne and Friends. He made his debut as a film director in the 2002 feature Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, an adaptation of the implausible autobiography of groundbreaking TV producer Chuck Barris.
Many speculated he'd follow the same career path as David Caruso who infamously left N.Y.P.D. Blue at the height of its success for a failed screen career, when Clooney made the decision to leave ER. As a stipulation in a new contract, Clooney would return to the series in an occasional guest spot, which he only had to do once when his film career ignited, most famously with The Perfect Storm (2000).
On July 8, 2005, news reports said that George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon will be working with Cindy Crawford's husband Rande Gerber to design and build a new casino hotel in Las Vegas just off the Las Vegas Strip. Mr. Gerber is the one behind Green Valley Ranch resort and spa's Whiskey Sky, so he is already familiar with the Las Vegas entertainment market. Pitt has some design experience, having worked with Frank Gehry on a project in England. On August 29, 2005, Clooney officially announced his involvement with the Las Ramblas Resort project.
In 1995, Clooney received a tape version of The Spirit of Christmas, the video greeting card which would inspire South Park. Clooney thought it was so funny that he made copies and sent it around the LA area. Matt Stone and Trey Parker were so thankful for his help that they invited him to play a role in the show, and he ended up voicing Stan Marsh's gay dog Sparky in the episode Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride, a role with no dialogue except normal dog noises. He later appeared in the film South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. Despite this history, show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone lampooned Clooney for his outspoken political views in their feature film Team America: World Police.
On January 16, 2006, Clooney's performance in Syriana earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.
He has battled a bad back which had caused him to cancel some promotional appearances, and made it impossible to find insurance cover to make a film. For this reason, he has put up his house for collateral and continues his professional career.
In 2005, George Clooney played Bob Barnes, a character loosely based on former CIA agent Robert Baer, in the movie Syriana (based somewhat on Baer's memoirs of being an agent in the Middle East). During the filming of a scene in which Barnes is tortured, Clooney was tied to a chair, and the chair was accidentally kicked over. Clooney hit his head on the concrete floor, tearing his dura mater. His doctors dismissed his complaints until his nose began leaking cerebrospinal fluid, and he has since undergone multiple operations to correct this.
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