11 Surprising Details About Award-Winning Actor George Clooney’s Life

by Grace Eire
Grace plays in a band and is the mother to a black cat named Fitzhugh.

George Clooney.

Words seem to escape me when I try to talk about this star. It’s like I’ve become instantly starstruck.

That’s probably silly, though, because George seems like one of the most down-to-earth, genuine guys around.

Besides being a fabulous actor, he’s almost as well known for all of the pranks he pulls on his friends and fellow celebrities. It’s almost like his whole life is just an unending prank war with his best friends and coworkers. He’s been known to send letters to one actor from another, and not tell either of them what he’s done until years later.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too.

George wasn’t always a huge star, though. He was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on May 6, 1961. He lived in middle-America until he moved to L.A. to become an actor in the later 1970s. He was so poor that he had to live in a friend’s closet for a bit, and he rode a bike to auditions because he couldn’t afford bus fare, let alone a car.

However, he’s sure come a long way, because he’s clearly very determined, talented, and a hard worker. His life journey has been a real roller coaster, what with his love life, his incredible career, and his personal struggles.

These 11 things about George Clooney are sure to make you love him even a little bit more.

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Thumbnail Source: YouTube / Shout! Factory

1. He Was Diagnosed With Bell's Palsy In Middle School

clooney bell's palsy

Bell’s palsy is a medical condition that causes half of the face to droop due to damage on the nerves that control the muscles on that particular side of the face. George was diagnosed with this in middle school and was the recipient of a lot of ridicule. He’s called it the worst time of his life. However, he grew out of the condition, as we can all see by his picture-perfect face.

2. His Net Worth Is $180 Million

clooney o brother

Even though he’s one of the most sought-after actors of our time, this is a pretty believable number. George has been known to take a lower salary for movies he’s extra eager to do. For example, he took the role in O Brother, Where Art Thou? at a discounted price without even reading the script because he was snapping at the bit to work with the Coen brothers.

But he’s still got quite the savings account. The Richest dials him in at $180 million.

3. He's Married To A Superwoman

3. He's Married To A Superwoman

A lot of people talk about how lucky Amal Clooney is to have pinned down the notoriously single dreamboat, but let’s all reassess here: Amal is fluent in three languages; she is an accomplished international law and human rights lawyer; and she has multiple degrees from top-notch schools such as Oxford and New York University’s Law School, receiving a handful of academic awards along the way.

She’s been involved and successful in many high-profile international cases, and she is also a total stunner on top of it all. I think George is the one who got lucky!

4. He Auditioned For Thelma And Louise Five Times

4. He Auditioned For <i> Thelma And Louise </I> Five Times

George went in for the part of J.D. in Thelma and Louise five times, which means he got so close. However, the part went to Brad Pitt, and that was the role that skyrocketed Brad to fame.

George was pretty upset at the time, but I think we can all agree that he’s ended up in an OK place, too. Plus, George and Brad are notoriously good friends these days.

5. He Suffers From Stomach Issues

clooney stomach problems

George has said that he is on medication for stomach ulcers and bleeding, which is not particularly uncommon. Ulcers are treatable with medication and monitoring, so he’s not in any immediate grave danger as long as he keeps on top of the issue.

6. He Was Best Friends With A Pig For 18 Years

6. He Was Best Friends With A Pig For 18 Years

George’s pig, Max, was given to him in 1988 by his then-girlfriend Kelly Preston. When she left him, George ended up with the piggy for 18 years until he passed away in 2006. Max often shared George’s bed with him, and he came along on interviews, too!

7. He Will Never Dye His Hair

clooney grey hair

George lives by the philosophy that we as humans have two options: to get older, or to die. He thinks that we should all embrace getting older as a part of life. That means all the things that come along with it: graying hair, sagging skin, getting different or fewer roles in movies. Well, I guess the last one only applies to Hollywood stars, but regardless, George will never dye his gray hair, and he’ll never get plastic surgery. He thinks it makes people look older rather than younger.

Personally, I think George looks great as he is!

8. An Odd Job Led Him To Pick Up Smoking

george and amal

While bouncing from school to school in his college years, he worked selling women’s shoes, stocking shelves, doing construction, selling insurance door-to-door, and even cutting tobacco.

He picked up smoking during his time working with tobacco, but he kicked the unhealthy habit after a close uncle of his died from lung cancer. He does regret his choice to pick it up in the first place, as he wants to live a long and happy life with his wife, family, and friends.

9. He's An Active Humanitarian

george clooney humanitarian

George has spoken out for wider recognition of some of the world’s biggest tragedies and pressing world issues such as genocide. He uses his fame and pull to bring attention to helping people in need, and he organizes fundraisers and calls the population to action in any way that he can.

As an aside, he and his wife also adopted a basset hound named Millie from the Humane Society, so you know he’s all for animal rights, too!

10. He Has A Very Impressive Bloodline

clooney relatives

Mary Ann Sparrow, George’s maternal great-great-great-great-grandmother, was the half-sister of Nancy Lincoln, mother of President Abraham Lincoln. His aunt, of course, is the famed and beloved Rosemary Clooney, but we all knew that already, didn’t we?

11. He Once Made $1,000 Bets With Nicole Kidman And Michelle Pfeiffer

11. He Once Made $1,000 Bets With Nicole Kidman And Michelle Pfeiffer

George bet the two that he would still be unmarried and childless by 40. He, as we all know, won that bet. However, he sent the money back, going double or nothing for the same terms, but by the age of 50. He won again, but just by five years. George is set to be a dad soon, as he’s expecting twins with his lovely wife, Amal.

Do you think George will be a great dad? I definitely do — he seems like such a genuine, funny, loving guy. Those are going to be two lucky kids!

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