George Clooney was never Hollywood’s swaggering flirtatious, best friend, sweet bachelor. From childhood, he had learned to play with appearances, to tame the reflection of the mirror. He already knew that saying everything does not necessarily mean confessing.
George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961 in Kentucky . In Lexington, a big, hard-working town that has lived on tobacco , bourbon and horse breeding for ages . In this lost heart of America, Nick Clooney , the father of George and Adelia, Ada, the little sister. Nick Clooney is a celebrity. He presents the news on a local channel. He has allure, presence. He knows how to be respected and displays his democratic ideas in this conservative city . Years later, in 2004, Nick Clooney would run for the House of Representativesbut will never be elected. George grows up in the shadow of this father whom he looks disturbingly like. Which inspires his way of walking, of dressing, and of observing the world around him. ” He influenced me 100% “, he admits. “My dad was very well known. When we went out to dinner, people watched us eat. So I spent my life being watched,” Clooney adds . Child who will have learned very early to return an impeccable image . Clean, well-groomed, perfectly dressed and above all instinctively smiling as soon as you look at him.
George Clooney grows up between a famous father – whose sister Rosemary Clooney is a music hall star – and a loving mother. Nina , former beauty queen, a bubbly and playful little brunette. She also passionate about politics. Discipline reigns in this family who wants to show an irreproachable face and lives to the rhythm of the contracts of journalist Nick Clooney and successive moves . Lexington and Fort Mitchell in Kentucky. Colombus, Cincinatti, Mason then Augusta in Ohio. Schools follow one another for George and his sister Ada. Both will keep only vague memories of these establishments . Even if for little George, the school, the obligation to learn to read and write turns out to be a way of the cross. At eight, he was diagnosed with dyslexia . His mother then gives him the recipe to overcome his difficulties. Take the floor, get on a platform and make the audience laugh. For the first time, George takes the stage .
Five years later, at the age of 13, another ordeal stands in the way of George Clooney. While having lunch with his family in a restaurant in Cincinnati and drinking a glass of milk, he suddenly suffered from a facial palsy , Bell’s palsy . The disorder affects a cranial nerve . One cheek swells and deforms, its tongue tingles, one eye can’t close. ”Nick Clooney’s son, the wax-faced star presenter, will be for several months a monster to his classmates . nicknamed Cloondog, reference to the dog Droopy or even Frankenstein. “It was the worst time of my life. I was mocked and insulted, completely devastated . But it taught me a lot, that’s when I learned to make fun of myself,” Clooney said. who had just discovered that he could have several faces. And play with them. As the actors do .
A career that does not take off
George Clooney is 20 years old. He knows he will never be a journalist . He does not know what will become of him until this year 1981, when fate gives him an appointment during a family weekend . His aunt Rosemary, ex- music hall star , and her husband, actor José Ferrer , Oscar for best actor in 1950 for Cyrano de Bergerac , are visiting. Ferrer came to shoot in the region a film on horse racing which will not be successful. He offers George the role of extra, that of a boy crossing a field with a haystack on his shoulder. The legend of George Clooney tells that this single passage in front of a camerachanged his life. “ Naively I thought I could go to Los Angeles and be an actor, ” he says. George Clooney collects all his savings, earned from waiter jobs or working on tobacco plantations, $ 300 in total. His car, an antique Chevrolet Monte-Carlo which no longer had brakes, was his steed to conquer the West. Two days and two nights on the road between Augusta , where the family lived at the time, and the Hollywood Hills . Here he is for a time staying with Aunt Rosemary – who turns him into a housekeeper, sweeper and gardener. He prefers to move, digs up a tiny room with a friend who, like him, is taking acting lessons. The very beginnings of a group of friends who will call themselves the Boys . Nine boys linked from life to death and who will never leave each other again. While George Clooney will not make a close friend in Hollywood , he will remain attached to his earliest acquaintances. These boys who had shared with him the lean days and some memorable fiestas .