But what about his personal life? You probably know he’s married to Amal Clooney now, but is that the entire story? Not by a long shot. Read on and discover everything you never knew about George Clooney.
Go Get 'Em, George
George Clooney was born in 1961 in Lexington, Kentucky to Nina Bruce, a former beauty queen, and Nick Clooney, an anchorman, and television host. He's distantly (and slightly) related to the mother of Abraham Lincoln, and he has a few famous cousins in the Ferrer family.
He started his schooling in Kentucky, but the family then moved to Ohio. He developed Bell's palsy in middle school, which paralyzed half his face, but thankfully the palsy went away after about nine months. While in high school, he was almost a straight-A student and played basketball and baseball.
A Good Sense of Humor
While having half his face paralyzed wasn't fun, Clooney says the experience taught him something very important. Kids can be cruel, and being someone with a half-paralyzed face makes you a perfect target. However, Clooney took it all in stride, even making fun of himself pretty frequently.
Later in life, when he was placed under the spotlight, his ability to take insults and jokes in stride helped him stay in a good place mentally – he also seems to have developed a love of practical jokes and gags when it comes to his fellow stars and famous friends.
A good actor will have a variety of things in his or her background to draw from, and Clooney fits the bill. During high school, he tried to make it in professional baseball, but the Cincinnati Reds weren't interested. During college, he majored in broadcast journalism, but he never graduated, despite attending two different colleges.
To make money during and after college, he sold women's shoes, sold insurance door-to-door, stocked shelves, worked in construction, and even cut tobacco. Lots of stuff, but that means he has plenty of experiences to use to get into character. In 1978, however, Clooney started getting work as an actor.
Earning First Credits
The first time Clooney appeared on screen was on the television mini-series “Centennial” in 1978, based on the novel of the same name by James A. Michener. The series was partly filmed in the town where Clooney lived, Augusta, Kentucky. Several years after that, in 1984, he got a much more prominent role in the short-lived CBS sitcom “E/R.”
Not to be confused with the much more successful and longer-running medical drama “ER,” “E/R” was also set in an emergency room, but it only ran for a single season. Clooney played an ER technician and a nephew of one of the main characters.
Making His Way Up the Ladder
Clooney's star was on the rise. He played a handyman in “The Facts of Life,” and got to play a detective on an episode of “The Golden Girls.” He earned a semi-regular spot on the sitcom “Roseanne,” playing Roseanne Barr's supervisor. He was a co-star on “Bodies of Evidence,” and was a detective for a full year on “Sisters.”
In 1988, the comedy-horror film “Return of the Killer Tomatoes” saw Clooney in one of the lead roles, and in 1990 he was the star of “Sunset Beat,” a short-lived ABC police drama. All the while, he was learning the ropes of the acting profession.
A Heartthrob's Beginning
There's a good chance that Clooney has had plenty of short relationships that have never been recorded, long before he became famous. The first one that got any news was when he was with actress Kelly Preston from 1987 to 1989. The relationship might not have worked out, but one thing did – Preston got Clooney a pet pot-bellied pig named Max.
Clooney kept the pig after the relationship ended, and the two were good friends until Max died in 2006. Clooney has jokingly called it his longest relationship. At eighteen years, he's absolutely correct.
The First Marriage
A lot of people think that Clooney wasn't married before he met Amal, but he married actress Talia Balsam in 1989. The pair got married in Las Vegas, and like so many other Vegas weddings, it ended in divorce.
Clooney has gone on record saying that it wasn't the right time for him to get married. He also feels like he didn't give Talia a fair shot. Plenty of people marry too early to their detriment, but at twenty-seven you think Clooney would be mature enough. But who knows if maturity was a factor – the man was just a born bachelor.
Apparently, not everything was on the calm side when it came to Clooney's and Talia's divorce settlements. She wanted a normal husband and wife household, while he preferred to sink deep into the prestigious life of an A-list celeb and wasn't going to give up on it.
Funnily enough, the divorce process between the two took longer than the actual time they were married. They were legally together for just over 20 months, while the divorce settlement took more than 25. This was due to a custody battle they had, over their pet pig. Clooney won.
The Bachelor Life
After his marriage with Talia Balsam came to an end, Clooney was ready to hit the town as a handsome bachelor, and the years following saw him become part of plenty of high-profile relationships. Right after getting divorced, Clooney shacked up with Kimberly Russell – the two met on the set of a martini commercial. The couple split in 1995.
After that, it was Celine Balitran, whom Clooney met while filming “The Peacemaker” in Paris. Balitran was a French law student, and she followed him back to Los Angeles, where they dated until 1999. The break up came, in Clooney's words, due to his fear of intimacy.
His Big Break
If you know anything about George Clooney, it's that he got his big break on the show “ER.” This medical drama ran from 1994 to 2009, with Clooney being one of the biggest parts until his departure in 1999. He played Doctor Doug Ross and made a number of guest spots after he left.
He earned a pair of Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He also got three Golden Globe noms for Best Actor – Television Series Drama in 1995-1997. He and a few others dueled for top billing on the show, but Clooney won out until his departure.
Getting into the Movies
Joining “ER,” the medical drama allowed him to make a much bigger name for himself. Before he even left the show he had starred in “From Dusk Till Dawn,” “One Fine Day,” and “Peacemaker.” He was cast as Bruce Wayne/Batman in “Batman & Robin,” which while not a critical success was at least a reasonable box-office success.
It also gave him a much bigger star. In the waning days of his time in “ER”, he was in “Out of Sight” with Jennifer Lopez and “Three Kings,” which came out right at the end of his time on the show.
A Commercial Success
After leaving “ER,” he was part of the star-studded ensemble cast of “Perfect Storm,” which was a smash hit at the box office. That very same year, 2000, he starred in the Coen brother's film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” The film was a huge success, and Clooney earned a Golden Globe for Best Actor.
Some compared Clooney to the irreplaceable Clark Gable for his work in the film. Clooney's next big project was “Ocean's Eleven,” in which he played the titular character. It made half a billion at the box office and spawned two sequels. He also began a production company, Section Eight Productions, in 2001.
A Long Line of Ladies
As a bona fide A-lister, Clooney had his pick of lovely women to spend an evening with. In 2002 he dated actress Krista Allen after casting her in “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” splitting in 2004. Clooney moved on to Lisa Snowden, but that relationship went nowhere. He and Allen briefly reconciled, before fully ending the relationship in 2006.
Media attention on Clooney's love life was at an all-time high, especially while dating Snowden, a model. They dated on and off for several years, but this relationship also came to a final end in 2006. There would be plenty more.
Childless by Choice
Not only was Clooney pretty stuck in his ways about not getting married, but it also seems he was convinced he would never have kids, too. He was sure that he wouldn't have kids, but actresses Michelle Pfeiffer and Nicole Kidman both bet him ten grand that he would be a father before he turned forty.
They were both wrong, and both of them paid up – however, Clooney returned the money, saying they should double it to twenty grand if no kids by fifty. Clooney also won that bet, but hopefully, he didn't double it again for kids by sixty.
Still Mad at Brad
According to Clooney, he auditioned for the role of J.D. In “Thelma & Louise” five times – all that, and the role ended up going to Brad Pitt. It was the role that shot Pitt to fame, so there's no surprise Clooney wanted a piece of that action. Clooney joked that he's been upset about it ever since, even years and decades later.
Of course, we doubt there's any real animosity between Clooney and Pitt – the two co-starred in the three “Ocean” movies, after all, as well as a number of others, like “Burn After Reading” and “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”
One of the more well-known pieces of information about Clooney is stylish gray hair. He's said on multiple occasions that he thinks aging gracefully is a must for himself, as well as others. In an interview with “Playboy Magazine,” he said that he doesn't even want to try and look younger, because that would be silly.
He's included dying his hair or wearing a toupee in the list of things he doesn't want to do. Of course, not everybody has the good genes and lucky full hair that Clooney does at his age, but we think he's got the right idea.
Relationships True and False
A famous leading man like Clooney – and one who is single to boot – is going to have plenty of gossip swirling around him. There was a rumor that he was in a relationship with his co-star from the movie “Leatherheads,” Renee Zellweger.
In 2008, Clooney took actress Sarah Larson to the Academy Awards as his date, but the two weren't even seeing each other for a year before they called it quits. After her, Cloony met Elisabetta Canalis, an Italian TV personality, and they spent the next two years together.
Not content with working on one side of the camera, Clooney decided he would try his hand at directing. In 2005, he directed, produced, and starred in the film “Good Night, and Good Luck,” a movie focused on Edward R. Murrow and his competition against Senator Joseph McCarthy.
He got a pair of Academy Award nominations for his work on the movie (Best Director and Best Original Screenplay), and a third nom for his role in a movie in the same year, “Syriana,” which he won. In 2006, he started a second production company, Smokehouse Pictures, with Grant Heslov.
Clooney was, at this point, an unforgettable movie star. From the war comedy “The Men Who Stare at Goats” to voicing the main character in “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” there was no role that he couldn't master. His role in “Up in the Air” netted him much acclaim, including a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA, and an Academy Award.
There were more awards on the way thanks to the films “The Descendants,” and “The Ides of March.” After that, he won an Oscar for producing the film “Argo.”
Mocked by “South Park”
You know you've made it as a famous celebrity when a fake version of you pops up on the animated show “South Park.” They'll mock anything and everything that's in the news, and Clooney has made an appearance several times. However, Clooney loves the show and has said he would have been insulted if they HADN'T mocked him.
He got in contact with the show's creators and asked if he could have a role. They let him voice Sparky, the gay dog. In the “South Park” feature film (“South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut”) Clooney got a bigger role as...an ER surgeon.
Still Trying to Find Love
Clooney had achieved the highest heights of Hollywood fame on both sides of the camera, but what about his relationship status? That's the important part, here. He dated Elisabetta Canalis for two years, but the pair decided to split up in 2011. They issued a joint statement to the tabloid “Us,” saying that the breakup was difficult and personal, and it would be really cool if everybody just chilled out and let them have some privacy.
Clooney started dating Stacy Keibler, the host of “Supermarket Superstar, and this couple also made it two years before closing up shop. Keibler wanted marriage, and Clooney didn't.
The Winner Takes it All
Stacy Keibler wanted it all, and she wanted it with Clooney. As far as she was concerned, marriage was the ultimate bond between two people who loved each other. At first, she believed Clooney was her soul mate and her meant-to-be.
Only a few months later she meant her true second half, Jared Pobre, and less than a year after they started to date, the two were married. She wanted the whole fairytale including a beautiful home and children, however, Clooney wasn't prepared for this, well, not with Keibler anyway.
George Clooney's next attempt at love was with a woman named Monika Jakisic. The two first met in 2004, and when they met up in 2013 after Clooney split with Stacy Keibler, they decided to kindle a romance. By October of that year, people close to the two were saying that Jakisic had been seeing Clooney almost every night of the week.
Was it just the rumor mill, or was it the real deal? It wasn't the real deal, as we'll find out very quickly. At best, this relationship was a fall fling – but the girl of Clooney's dreams was about to show up.
The First Meeting
George Clooney met Amal Alamuddin in his own living room in July 2013. Don't worry, she didn't break in – she was a guest at a party he threw. She visited his Lake Como home with a mutual friend of theirs. Some reports say that it was Clooney's agent who was the mutual friend.
Clooney is quoted as saying the agent told him about there being a woman who will be coming to his house that he (Clooney) is going to marry. No doubt Clooney rolled his eyes and scoffed, but it not only ended up being true, but it also ended up happening a lot sooner than anyone could have guessed.
An Immediate Seal of Approval
When Amal visited Clooney's house for the first time, she not only met the actor – she met his parents, too. Clooney recounted the first day he met Amal, saying that he, Amal, and his parents stayed up all night talking. To his own amazement, this famous bachelor was knocked flat by Amal's beauty, grace, and heart.
In a 2021 podcast, he said that he was swept off his feet, and called her “brilliant and funny and beautiful and kind.” We have no doubt that there was some parental pressure to get to know the nice girl from the get-go.
Staying in Contact
Sparks were flying from the very beginning, but these two people had a lot on their respective plates. The two made sure to stay in contact (via email, in what is both a heartwarming, outdated way to do so and a fancy, high-tech way) for a few months. It took three more months before the pair had the chance to meet again, and this time they did it on purpose.
It was clear they were more than friends, and their first official date was at Abbey Road Studios in London. That's a pretty good first date. After that, the pair went to dinner, and then they were mobbed by half a hundred paparazzi. Clooney says that Amal handled it like a champ.
Six Magical Weeks in London
The next six weeks saw Clooney stay in London, spending quality time with Amal. Amal and Clooney seemed to be on the same page as far as the relationship heading in the right direction – Amal called it “the most natural thing in the world.”
Amal was, by her own admission, a romantic fool of a woman, always hoping that she would fall into a whirlwind romance that took her along for a ride, without thinking things through or wondering if it was right. She probably didn't expect it to be with someone named the most desirable man in Hollywood, but life is often strange.
A Little TOO Easy
The speed at which the relationship was growing caught both halves by surprise. Amal was thirty-five when she met Clooney, and she wasn't even on the lookout for marriage and a family very much. She was even starting to doubt, a little bit, that she would ever find the right person.
Thing is, she was willing to wait for the right person, whoever it might have been. She wasn't just going to shack up with any guy – it had to be someone special. Someone that sent her heart aflutter. It had to be George Clooney, we guess.
Clooney Has a Realization
The couple was close enough to take a holiday trip to Mexico in December of 2013, heading to Cabo San Lucas for some time away. Only a few months after that, they journeyed to Kenya, where they went on safari to find some of Amal's favorite animals, giraffes.
There, as Clooney told “Vogue,” he had an epiphany that changed his life. The giraffes walked up to her, and he took a picture of Amal, smiling. He would later say to a friend that he should ask Amal to marry him, and the friend thought it was a good idea.
Pulling Out All the Stops
When George Clooney gets it in his mind to ask someone to marry him, he isn't going to do it halfway. He's going to go all out, but not in a big spectacle of a way – he was going to be as romantic as possible. Step one to the proposal was a classy pasta dinner, cooked by Clooney himself.
During that, he suggested Amal grab a candle from a nearby drawer. Instead of a candle, Amal found a ring! But, she actually didn't give him an answer for twenty minutes. He stayed on his knee the entire time – apparently, she was too shocked to answer.
Tying the Knot
The marriage of Amal Alamuddin and George Clooney took place on September twenty-seventh, 2014 at the Aman Canal Grand hotel in Venice, Italy. Despite Clooney's fear of intimacy and his long-held belief that marriage wasn't for him, it happened!
Despite it being, by all accounts, just another Hollywood wedding, it was one of the biggest ceremonies since the marriage celebration of Prince William and Kate Middleton had their own ceremony three years earlier. There was probably just as much – if not more – money put into the event. The guest list was almost as extensive as that royal event, too.
Packed With Powerful People
The guest list for the marriage might as well have been a who's who from around the world. The star-studded list of guests included Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Cindy Crawford, and plenty more. The pictures of the event are chock-full of famous and beautiful people, from classic film stars to big names in politics (from, most likely, Amal's side of the guest list).
And let's make sure not to forget about the parents – in the pictures, Clooney's and Amal's parents can be seen thrilled that their children were able to find what truly appeared to be the love of their lives.
Making it Official
After the wedding ceremony, the couple had to make it official. The public ceremony was held two days later, on September twenty-ninth, at the Venice Grand Hall, and the couple decided to show up in style – just like when they do anything else. Seeing as Venice used a lot of waterways for transportation, the couple arrived in a water taxi that bore the word “Amore” on the back.
You're probably aware that this is the Italian word for “love,” making it the picture-perfect way to ride to wedded bliss. But remember – when you're famous the wedding stuff doesn't just end when you've signed on the dotted line.
Spending Some Time on Their Own
What comes after the wedding? For most couples, it's the honeymoon, and that was true of the new Clooney couple as well. Nine days after their wedding, the pair did a little more than that – they purchased a home together in the British countryside (Amal's country of residence) called “Mill House.”
It's at Mill House where they would spend the first two weeks of the marriage, honeymooning together in wedded bliss with no one around to bother them. While most couples choose to go abroad after they tie the knot, travel was nothing special for these two, so they decided to settle down and put their feet up for a bit.
The Second Reception
After a beautiful ceremony and reception in Italy, was this couple done celebrating? Not in the slightest. Even for people who don't have a net worth in the tens of millions, double receptions are becoming more common, and the Clooneys jumped aboard the idea. They had a celebration in the United Kingdom on October twenty-fifth.
It was hosted by Baria and Ramzi, Amal's parents. It was held in the Danesfield House Hotel, and it included a cocktail reception and a fancy three-course meal. Compared to some celebrity events, that's barely anything, but we bet there was a little more than that they had laid out for the guests.
A Heart-Warming Speech
On January eleventh, 2014, the couple made their first public appearance as husband and wife at the 2015 Golden Globes. Both halves were dressed at their best, but the big moment came when George Clooney got up on stage to accept the Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contributions to his craft.
He gave a speech, and he reserved the best words for his new wife. He said it was a humbling experience to find something you've been waiting for your entire life, especially when you're fifty-three years. He went on to say that his proudest accomplishment after decades of success is being Amal's husband.
Talking to “Esquire”
A few months later, Clooney was once again gushing about his wife. During an interview with “Esquire”, he opened up about the relationship, revealing more. During the interview, he said that he had never been happier in a relationship by any stretch of the imagination.
He found the love of his life at fifty-two and he was, in his own words, very happy. Clooney must be one of those guys that get stars in his eyes when he thinks about his beloved. After a lifetime of dating actresses and models, Amal must be pretty special to George.
Not Made for Fatherhood
Almost his entire life, Clooney knew that he wasn't going to be a father. There were the bets that he had with his friends, which had Clooney so sure he was never going to be a dad that he even went double or nothing on the bets.
Did he not think he would be a good dad? Was he unprepared for the entirely unique stress? Whatever the reason, just like he was so sure he would never get married and then he ran into Amal, once again Amal was the difference maker in this important discussion.
The Big Bump Announcement
In February of 2017, after a year and a half of marriage, the Clooney couple discovered that they had a bundle of joy on the way. But that wasn't all – it was twins! The announcement was made public in the same month, on “The Talk,” when Julie Chen lumped them in with pop music star Beyoncé, who was also announcing twins.
The news would be confirmed by none other than Matt Damon, a friend of George's, who said the information was true, and that both George and Amal were going to be great parents. By that time, Amal was already pretty far along.
An Early Double Birth
Amal gave birth on June sixth, 2017, a full month early. The births took place in the same hospital Kate Middleton gave birth in. George was officially a first-time dad to twins Ella and Alexander. As reported by CNN, the births went smoothly, and both children and Amal were doing fine.
Remember, just because you think you're never going to do something doesn't mean it will never happen – suddenly, Clooney found himself married to the love of his life and taking care of a pair of infants.
They Have it All
It's important to remember that you can't really have it all. No matter what you do, you'll be missing out on something. Then again, George and Amal seem to have thrown out the script when it comes to that story. In a candid “The Hollywood Reporter” interview, George said that he feels lucky every day of his life.
He was lucky in his career, he luckily found the perfect partner for life, and it's all coming up Clooney. He went on to say that things don't often happen on your schedule, but you always have a chance to end up with the person you are meant to be with. It's how both George and Amal felt about the relationship.
Crashing a Royal Wedding
George and Amal attended the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May of 2018 and they practically stole the show. Amal was radiant in a bright yellow dress, while Clooney looked the part of a silver fox in a gray suit with a tie to match his wife. Not only was the couple invited, George also put in a little bit of time behind the bar to serve up some drinks.
The royal reception at Frogmore Cottage included plenty of Casamigos tequila – a company that George co-founded in 2013. Might as well show off what his drinks can do when he has the chance, right?
Amal Speaks Out
George has been pretty outspoken about how much he appreciates Amal, but has Amal ever had the chance to return the favor? You bet she has: in June of 2018 she was able to honor him at the American Film Institute's 46th Life Achievement Award gala tribute.
She told the crowd that at thirty-five she was becoming resigned to the idea of being a spinster, but when she met George they started hiding out in Amal's London flat, and soon enough Amal couldn't think about spending time with anyone else. It turns out the people around her noticed the change as well.
A Few Interesting Habits
Amal continued in her speech in 2018, saying that whenever she was reading text messages or notes from George (that he often hid inside her bag), she would have a particular grin. She admitted to not being able to get to sleep while they were apart.
Five years later (as she was giving the speech), she said that nothing has changed. She ended the speech by saying that he has her complete admiration, and his smile makes her melt every time she sees it. Hard not to root for these two, isn't it?
2020 tested a lot of relationships, and we have to imagine the Clooneys also had their fair share of adjustments to make, but they came out of it stronger than ever. George is, apparently, a big believer in leaving old-fashioned love letters where only Amal could find them – on her desk, for instance.
She started returning the favor, leaving notes under his pillow. Even though they had to spend a lot of time together, this old-fashioned love was something that helped them keep their relationship smooth during a tough time for everybody.
Six Years in Love
In September 2020, the couple celebrated their six-year anniversary. The couple spent a little bit of time looking back at their short pre-proposal relationship, the time George had to spend twenty minutes down on one knee as Amal tried to figure out what was going on, and the clear way they loved each other every moment from then on.
But what has it been like for Clooney to take care of a couple of little stars? Fatherhood is always a big change, but many would say it's the most important thing a man can do in his life.
Shaping a New Generation
Being a father has allowed George to see that he has a way to influence the world more than just his movies. He realized that he was even more responsible for everything that happened to the children, and he started to be really conscious of how he was living – he wanted to make the best example for them to follow.
As children that are born to the rich and famous, it would have been too easy for Ella and Alexander to be stuck-up brats, but George thinks it's his and Amal's job to make sure they have empathy, compassion, and love for everyone around them.
Clooney Changes Diapers
Clooney was all-in on being a dad. Immediately the home was full of crying and diapers, but Clooney didn't seem to mind. The house was full of the sound of babies, and Clooney's friends got to watch him change diapers, but it was all joy for him. He gave his friends enough crap about it, he knew it was time for him to take his lumps.
It turns out the biggest crier in the household is Clooney himself. After the kids were born, he would cry four times a day, just because he was so tired. However, he thought that the sound of the kids crying was strangely warm.
Even More Admiration
Clooney has been effusive about his admiration for his wife, but seeing her in the role of a mom has made him appreciate Amal even more. After the birth she was breastfeeding them, getting a few hours of sleep, and waking up to do it all again. The love she displayed for her children was just the cherry on top for George.
He didn't expect to be the parent of twins at fifty-six, but there he was changing diapers and teaching them how to be humans. He quipped that sometimes you can't really make plans – you just have to go with the flow of life.
Celebrating The Children's Birthdays
On June sixth, 2021, Ella and Alexander celebrated their fourth birthdays, and the family decided to go back to where everything began – at George's home at Lake Como. They kicked the summer off in style, no doubt reliving the very first meeting that George and Amal had almost ten years ago in the very same building.
They spent a few months at the waterfront home, getting the sun when they could and enjoying their lives together. After everything that George has gone through when it comes to love and life, we're happy that he could find the perfect person to spend it all with – and we're just as happy for Amal.