HELLO AMERICA!—Without a doubt, George Clooney is one of the stars who adds so much to the Hollywood many of us grew up applauding and genuinely loved and supported. Many of the actor’s fans didn’t realize that Clooney did not start out with his eye on motion pictures.
He grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, his dad Nick Clooney was a well-known television personality and newsman in that area and his aunt was the famous, beloved singer Rosemary Clooney of radio, film, and night clubs, but it didn’t impact his own hopes of a future. Young Clooney became enamored with sports, especially baseball.
“It was something which gave me the biggest thrill during those days,” he said. “I even tried out for the Cincinnati Reds team at 16 but they passed over me. Believe it or not, even though it was a big disappointment, I learned from the experience of being rejected, an effort that I wasn’t quite ready to handle at the time. I learned very early it is important to see things as they are not as you imagine or fantasize. I also realize during the years of watching my dad and seeing how he handled different life and career decisions that it’s all about picking one’s self up when you fall on your ass and believe it or not, moving forward with a big smile. Hell, life is a joyous game of survival!”
George quickly reminds that it didn’t happen overnight when he decided to move to Hollywood. “As a matter of fact, it was because of my cousin Miguel Ferrer, son of Oscar winner Jose Ferrer married to my aunt Rosemary who was quite famous as a singer who called and asked if I might give acting a go. They were shooting a film in Kentucky about horse racing and wanted to know if I was interested. I’d be an extra and they’d pay me $50 a day for the use of my old Monte Carlo for the film. Then too, why would I turn an opportunity like this down when I was having a miserable time with a job of cutting tobacco eight hours a day?”
He was persuaded to come to Hollywood and gradually realized that it was one of the best decisions he could have ever made. “Hey,” he offered, “it wasn’t an overnight thing. I did shows like Facts of Life, Roseanne which opened the door for a short-lived series Bodies of Evidence. There were a lot of small movie roles, especially the one of a lip-synching transvestite in The Harvest. That was quite an experience and I enjoyed every minute of it.”
Clooney’s big chance came when he was signed as one of the regulars on TV’s “ER” as Dr. Doug Ross. It didn’t take long for America to fall in love with the young, extremely warm character that seemed to have most of the answers. So, much so, industry producers quickly began to request him for the big screen and the rest is history.
“I’ve been extremely lucky that’s for sure. I’ve received recognition from the TV as well as the Academy Awards organizations and that means a lot. I love working, developing a character and of course working with talented actors for whom I have tremendous respect. You see, I feel there is still so much to learn and each time I face the camera, this is the time to prove how much and how far I’ve come as an artist.”