George Clooney

Just like a fine wine, George Clooney just gets better with age. Shooting to prominence as Dr Doug Ross on ER, his mixture of old school Hollywood good looks and on-screen charm have secured him a place amongst the world's hottest stars.

Clooney enjoys gregarious genes, through parents used to being before the camera; his father was a well-known newscaster, actor and talk-show host around Cincinnati, and his mother was a state beauty queen. His aunt was the singer Rosemary Clooney.

No academic, he loved baseball, but failed to make the cut for the Cincinnati Reds. He tried university, and then broadcast journalism, but he disliked both. To the rescue came Clooney's uncle and nephews, all actors, who gave him a minor role in a horse-racing film 'And They’re Off'. The film was never released, but Clooney was hooked.

In his battered '76 Monte Carlo, the aspiring actor drove off to LA, worked as his aunt, singer Rosemary Clooney’s driver for a while, and then moved in with a fellow actor, touting for roles and studying acting. He worked on construction sites, sold insurance door to door, drew caricatures in the malls and sold lemonade from a stall. Finally, he landed a part in a hospital sitcom 'E/R' in 1984, which wasn't successful, but it gave Clooney air time and started him on a run of TV series and low budget film roles.

Clooney's reputation in television spread; he was known as an actor who could get pilots the go ahead and he made money, but he had trouble securing a film agent to represent him, which lost him some memorable roles, including the part of JD in 'Thelma and Louise', which went to Brad Pitt.

Clooney's success was secured when he got the part of Doug Ross, doctor heart throb on 'ER', and the series was an enormous hit. The series garnered critical acclaim, earning him Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations for best actor.

He followed this television success with movies 'From Dusk Till Dawn' with Quentin Tarantino, 'One Fine Day', with Michelle Pfeiffer, 'The Peacemaker' with Nicole Kidman and Joel Schumacher's 'Batman & Robin', which boosted his superstar status and opened the door for even bigger roles.

His decision to work with Joel and Ethan Coen in the 2000 American adventure comedy film 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' paid off as Clooney received further critical acclaim. His portrayal of Ulysses Everett McGill landed him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, as well as Empire Award and Satellite Award nominations.

One of his greatest successes came with 2001's 'Ocean's Eleven', which not only earned him more award nominations, but kicked off a franchise that would endear him to fans worldwide.

Despite being successful as an actor, Clooney harboured ambitions to call the shots and did so in 2002's 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind', in which he also played CIA Officer Jim Byrd. The movie earned him a nomination for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising New Director.

The critics' faith in Clooney as a director was rewarded three years later with 'Good Night, and Good Luck', which won worldwide acclaim and secured a number of gongs and nominations. He followed this with the multiple award-winning 'Syriana' (2005) and 'Michael Clayton' (2007), as well as the supremely successful 'Up in the Air' (2009).

Clooney is one of only three people to have been given the title of Sexiest Man Alive twice by People Magazine. He is also interested in politics; he supported the then Senator Barack Obama's campaign in the 2008 presidential election. But Clooney has confessed that his past has featured "too many chicks and too many drugs…” for him to ever run for office.

Clooney also does humanitarian work in Sudan, North Africa, highlighting the plight of the people there who were until recently embroiled in a civil war that the country may slip back into. In January 2011, it was reported that Clooney had contracted malaria following a trip to Sudan.

Later films include 'The Descendants' (2011), 'Argo' (2012), 'Gravity' (2013) and 'The Monuments Men' (2014). He was engaged to lawyer Amal Alamuddin in April 2014.