A clear, calm, and deliberate voice for peace, George Clooney has transitioned TV stardom into Hollywood superstardom and then into political activism. Born in 1961 in Kentucky to a beauty queen and a TV newscaster, Clooney was destined to be a perfect combination of those two. He excelled in baseball, and by the end of high school, "Gorgeous George" tried out for the Cincinnati Reds, though he didn't make the team. He began to act professionally, and starred in 15 TV pilots and seven major series until he became a superstar on the drama ER. Making the jump the silver screen, he soon starred in Hollywood blockbusters The Perfect Storm, Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, and Ocean's Eleven (and it's two sequels). However, over the next few years, he used this success to bolster socially conscious films like Syriana, Good Night and Good luck, and Michael Clayton. For these, he received Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and nominations for Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director. Far more importantly, he helped set a precedent for Hollywood activism, sparking a flood of other political films over the last five years. Clooney is also a UN Messenger of Peace, received the Nobel Peace Laureates Award, and speaks worldwide on social and political issues. Though he may be two-time People's Sexiest Man Alive to many, he continues to parlay entertainment success into good for the world.
"We are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood every once and a while. It's probably a good thing. We're the ones who talked about AIDS when it was just being whispered, and we talked about Civil Rights when it wasn't really popular. We bring up subjects. This Academy, this group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters... I'm proud to be out of touch."
"The best advice I got from my aunt, the great singer Rosemary Clooney, and from my dad, who was a game show host and news anchor, was: don't wake up at seventy years old sighing over what you should have tried. Just do it, be willing to fail, and at least you gave it a shot. That's echoed for me all through the last few years."
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