On May 6, 2020, double Oscar winner George Clooney will celebrate his 59th birthday. The actor has become one of the most successful people in his profession but despite family connections (his aunt was the late singer Rosemary Clooney), he struggled for years to make it as an actor.
After dropping out of college, Clooney would try his hand at acting. He struggled for a few years until finding a part on “E/R” in 1984. This wasn’t the “ER” that would make him a star 10 years later, but instead was a short-lived sitcom with the same name. In the decade between those shows, Clooney became known mostly for his track record of starring in an incredibly large number of pilots that weren’t picked up to be made into series. He would score a few successes with recurring roles on “The Facts of Life,” “Sisters” and “Roseanne,” but he would also suffer brutal humiliations like starring in “Return to Horror High” and “Return of the Killer Tomatoes.” Stardom seemed unlikely for Clooney when “ER” turned that all around.
Clooney has quietly amassed a highly impressive Oscar tally for his film work. He has won two Oscars; one for Best Supporting Actor for “Syriana” in 2005 and one as a producer of “Argo” as Best Picture of 2012. He has also received six other nominations. Two for Best Actor (“Michael Clayton,” “Up in the Air,” “The Descendants”), a Best Director nomination for “Good Night and Good Luck,” Best Original Screenplay (also for “Good Night and Good Luck”) and Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Ides of March.” He has received the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes and the American Film Institute life achievement award.
Tour our photo gallery featuring his 15 greatest performances, ranked from worst to best.