Nationality: American. Born: George Timothy Clooney in Lexington, Kentucky, 6 May 1961; son of television anchor/talk show host Nick Clooney; nephew of singer Rosemary Clooney and actor Jose Ferrer; cousin of actor Miguel Ferrer. Education: Studied at Northern Kentucky University. Family: Married Talia Balsam, 1989; divorced, 1992. Career: Appeared on his father's talk show, The Nick Clooney Show , at age five, 1966; moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, 1982; won a role on the short-lived TV sitcom E/R ,
Combat High ( Combat Academy ) (Israel—for TV) (as Major Biff Woods); Grizzly II: The Predator
Return to Horror High (Froehlich) (as Oliver)
Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (De Bello) (as Matt Stevens)
Red Surf (Boos) (as Remar)
Unbecoming Age ( The Magic Bubble ) (A. Ringel, D. Ringel) (as Mac)
The Harvest (Marconi) (as Lip-Synching Transvestite); Without Warning: Terror in the Towers (Levi—for TV) (as Kevin Shea)
From Dusk Till Dawn (Rodriguez) (as Seth Gecko); One Fine Day (Hoffman) (as Jack Taylor)
Batman & Robin (Schumacher) (as Batman/Bruce Wayne); Full Tilt Boogie (Kelly) (as himself); The Peacemaker (Leder) (as Thomas Devoe)
Waiting for Woody (Heslov) (as himself); Out of Sight (Soderbergh) (as Jack Foley); The Thin Red Line (Malick) (as Captain Charles Bosche)
South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (Parker) (as Voice of Dr. Gouache); Three Kings (Russell) (as Archie Gates)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Coen) (as Ulysses Everett McGill); The Perfect Storm (Petersen) (as Captain Billy Tyne); Fail Safe (Frears—for TV) (+ pr)
Ocean's Eleven (Soderbergh) (as Danny Ocean)
Metal God (Herek) (pr)
"Je m'appelle George," interview with Cecilia Peck, in Premiere (France), August 1997.
"George's Day," interview with Lesley O'Toole, in Evening Standard (London), 5 November 1998.
"Dual Action," interview with Martyn Palmer, in Flicks (London), December 1998.
"In Person," interview with Belinda Jones, in Empire (London), January 1999.
Dougan, Andy, The Biography of George Clooney , Philadelphia, 1997.
Keenleyside, Sam, Bedside Manners: George Clooney and ER , Chicago, 1998.
Friend, Tom, "Revenge of the Killer Tomato," in Premiere (New York), December 1995.
Busch, M. and A. Dawtrey, "Clooney Fitted for Batsuit," in Variety (New York), 26 February-3 March 1996.
Hontz, J. and T. Johnson, "Holy Boycott! Stars Join Taped Crusader," in Variety (New York), 11 November-16 November 1996.
Conant, J., "Heartthrob Hotel," in Vanity Fair (New York), December 1996.
Rader, Dotson, "It's Finally About Friendship," in Parade (New York), 7 June 1998.
"The Sexiest Man Alive," in People (New York), 17 November 1997.
Gay, Verne, "The Doctor Checks Out," in Newsday (Melville, New York), 14 February 1999.
Richardson, John H., "The Common Touch of the Leading Man," in Esquire (New York), October 1999.
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George Clooney's magnetism and smoldering good looks made him one of the heartthrobs of 1990s movies and television. With a show business pedigree—his father is Nick Clooney, longtime television anchor-talk show host, and his aunt is singer Rosemary—Clooney initially earned stardom playing Dr. Doug Ross on the hit television drama, ER. He then emulated Bruce Willis rather than Tom Selleck as a popular television actor who successfully segued into starring screen roles.
Pre- ER —and despite his professional connections—Clooney was just one of the countless Tinseltown hopefuls who found small and not-so-small parts on television series and in made-for-TV and theatrical features. The quality of his projects is reflected in their less-than-A-list titles: Combat High ; Return to Horror High ; and Return of the Killer Tomatoes! In The Harvest , a wobbly thriller starring his cousin, Miguel Ferrer, Clooney is billed near the bottom of the credits as a "lip-synching transvestite." He did appear as a regular on a number of TV series, the best of which were The Facts of Life (cast during the 1985–87 television season) and Roseanne (in 1988–89); interestingly, his very first TV series also was titled E/R (albeit with slightly different punctuation). This show was a short-lived sitcom that starred Elliott Gould.
Clooney's success on the drama ER allowed him to win lead roles on the big screen; had it not been for the TV series, it is doubtful that he would have earned his shot at movie stardom. The actor has been cast in films of all genres. While he was merely a presence as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman & Robin , a drab, by-the-numbers Hollywood action-adventure fantasy, he was far more effective in two very different (albeit formulaic) films: the action thriller The Peacemaker , cast as a cocky, take-charge U.S. Army Special Forces intelligence operative; and the romantic comedy One Fine Day , playing a New York newspaper columnist-single parent who finds love with a divorced single mom.
To date, Clooney's most distinctive and memorable screen roles have been in quirky, cutting-edge films of varying quality, in which he played lawbreakers or lawbreaker wannabes. In each, his characters are slightly off-center, and tinged with a streak of devilish, anarchic insanity. In Robert Rodriguez's pointlessly violent From Dusk Till Dawn , Clooney is a murderous desperado making his way across the American Southwest and into Mexico; here, his mere presence transcends the overblown material and set pieces that play through to their gratuitously bloody conclusions. He is perfectly cast as an Elmore Leonard character, a just-escaped-from-jail bank robber who flirts and tangles with a sexy FBI agent, in Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight. By far Clooney's best film to date is David O. Russell's sharp, entertaining Three Kings , set at the end of the Gulf War, in which he is completely believable as a likable yet larcenous American soldier.
In 1999, Clooney left ER to work full-time on screen. Given his looks and talent, he can expect a long and successful big-screen career—if he chooses the right roles in the right projects.