George Clooney

It sometimes seems well nigh impossible to make the transition from successful TV actor to film star. George Clooney, however, has had no problem.

His matinee-idol looks, coupled with a quirky sense of humour and a down-to-earth nature – he is one of the nicest movie stars around  – mean he hasn't suffered from Hollywood's familiar here-today-gone-tomorrow syndrome.

Born in Kentucky on May 6, 1961, George has showbusiness in his blood.  His father is the former TV talk show host Nick Clooney and he's a nephew of the famous singer Rosemary Clooney. After his cousin Miguel Ferrer helped him land his first feature film role in 1982, George was bitten and moved to LA to study acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.

Following several years garnering nothing more than walk-on parts in sitcoms, most notably Roseanne the chisel-jawed star struck pay dirt in 1994 when he was cast by the producers of a medical drama as the commitment-phobic Dr Doug Ross. The series was ER and a star was born.

For five years George interspersed his highly popular TV role with movie parts, but the big demands of the big screen were becoming more persistent. In 1996, he starred in One Fine Day opposite Michelle Pfeiffer who famously bet him $10,000 that he would become a father one day, against his fervent denials.

Then there was From Dusk Till Dawn, which won him rave reviews. He even negotiated a $10-million fee for his role as caped crusader Bruce Wayne in Joel Schumacher's Batman And Robin. George is said to have earned a similar pay check for Out Of Sight, starring opposite Jennifer Lopez.

TV wanted him, so did the movies: the silver screen won. In 1999, George walked out of the emergency room for the last time – although he did turn up in the next series in an uncredited cameo, and reprise the role for a single episode of ER in 2009.

Later projects such as O Brother Where Art Thou, for which he won a Golden Globe, The Ocean's films, Burn After Reading and Up In the Air, which netted him his first Oscar nomination, are a far cry from his first foray into film, Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes.

He married Talia Balsam in 1989, but the couple were divorced just three years later. After the experience he vowed to never marry again, and went on to become one of Hollywood's most eligible bachelors.

After a two-year live-in relationship with French law student Celine Balitran, whom he met when he walked into the bar where she was waitressing, he dated Bridget Jones's Diary star Renee Zellwegger.

Other girlfriends included British model Lisa Snowdon, cocktail waitress Sarah Larson, Italian TV presenter Elisabetta Canalis and former wrestler Stacy Keibler.

The only love to last an impressive 18 years was his pot-bellied pig Max. George was bereft when the 300Ib pig passed away in December 2006, but he won't be replacing him. "Max covered all my pig needs," he said.

In 2014 George surprised fans by announcing his engagement to British lawyer Amal Alamuddin after a seven-month courtship.

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