Thursday, May 10, 2018

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: May 10, 1963 - Suzan-Lori Parks

From Wikipedia
(Accessed May 10, 2018)

Suzan-Lori Parks is an American playwright, screenwriter, musician and novelist. Her 2001 play Topdog/Underdog won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2002; Parks is the first African American woman to achieve this honor for drama.[1]

Early life and education
Parks was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky. She grew up with two siblings in a military family. Parks enjoyed writing poems and songs and even created a newspaper with her brother, called the "Daily Daily". [2] In 1974 her father, a career officer in the United States Army, was stationed in West Germany where she attended middle school and attended German high school. [2] The experience showed her "what it feels like to be neither white nor black, but simply foreign". [2][3]  After returning to the United States Parks lived and attended school in several states such as Kentucky, Texas, California, North Carolina, Maryland, and Vermont.[2]Parks says her constant relocation could have influenced her writing.[4] She graduated high school at The John Carroll School in 1981 while her father was stationed in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.[5][6]

In high school, Parks was discouraged from studying literature due to a teacher criticising her spelling. However, upon reading Virginia Woolf's To the Light House, Parks found herself veering away from her initial interest in chemistry, gravitating towards writing.[4] Parks attended and graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1985 with a B.A. in English and German literature while a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She studied under James Baldwin, who encouraged her to become a playwright. James Baldwin describes Parks during this time as, "an utterly astounding and beautiful creature who may become one of the most valuable artists of our time."[6] Parks then studied acting for a year at Drama Studio London in order to better understand the stage.[7][8][9]

Parks credits the impact of Mount Holyoke on her career later in life.[10] Since acting at the Drama Studio, Suzan-Lori Parks has received 11 awards, being the first female African-American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for her play Topdog/Underdog in 2002. She has also received a number of grants including the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant in 2001, the same year as the production of her play "Topdog/Underdog". [6]

While she was an undergraduate, her Mount Holyoke English professor Mary McHenry introduced Parks to James Baldwin. [11] Parks was initially opposed to theater, thinking that it was "where a lot of people with too much attitude wore funny clothes and funny little costumes, and they talked with funny little voices even though they were from, like, New York or New Jersey. And I didn't respect that." [4] Parks began to take classes with Baldwin and, at his behest, began to write plays. [11] She was still out of touch with theater; the only plays she was familiar with were those of Shakespeare, only because she was a German/English major. [4] Parks also noted that she was inspired by Wendy Wasserstein, a 1971 Mount Holyoke graduate who won the Pulitzer in 1989 for her play The Heidi Chronicles. [10] Parks also credited another Mount Holyoke professor, Leah Blatt Glasser, with her success.[12]

Parks' first screenplay was for Spike Lee's 1996 film Girl 6. She later worked with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions on screenplays for Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005) and The Great Debaters(2007).[13][14]

Parks is often noted for her unique voice in the way she experiments and explores with language and dialect, stating how she tries to capture emotion and expression through language: "The difference between 'k' and 'o.k.' is not just what one might call Black English versus standard English, for example.... It's just getting more specific, letting the words hold the emotion. Instead of some parenthetical stage direction."[4]

She is a winner of the 2017 Poets, Essayists and Novelists (PEN) America Literary Awards in the category Master American Dramatist.[15]

One of her best-known works is titled Topdog/Underdog. This play marked a departure from the heightened language she usually wrote. Parks is an admirer of Abraham Lincoln and believed he left a legacy for descendants of slaves. Topdog/Underdog explains what that legacy is. It tells the story of two African-American brothers: Lincoln and Booth. Lincoln works at a boardwalk arcade, dressing up like Abraham Lincoln and letting the tourists shoot him with plastic guns. He got this job because he could be paid less than the white man who had the job before. Parks does not judge Lincoln in this play, but rather enjoys bringing him into the other characters' lives and seeing how they are affected. She said, "Lincoln is the closest thing we have to a mythic figure. In days of Greek drama, they had Apollo and Medea and Oedipus – these larger than life figures that walked the earth and spoke – and they turned them into plays. Shakespeare had kings and queens that he fashioned into his stories. Lincoln, to me, is one of those." Parks also believes that Lincoln "created an opening with that hole in his head." She makes the case that everything we do has to pass through everything else, like the eye of a needle. She says we have all passed through the hole in Lincoln's head on our journey to whatever lies ahead. Like many of her other plays, Topdog/Underdog takes her characters on a quest to find out who they are and to examine the stories and experiences that have shaped their lives. More than anything, she believes that we have an important relationship with the past.[16]

365 Plays/365 Days
Parks decided that she wanted to give herself the task of writing 365 plays in 365 days, hence her play 365 Plays/365 Days. This decision was made shortly after one of her books, Getting Mother's Body, was published. She kept herself on schedule and succeeded. She wrote anywhere she had to: on the road, hotel rooms, and modes of transportation. The end result has been produced by more than 700 theaters around the world.[17]

The plays were presented by 725 performing arts groups, taking turns until the entire cycle was performed. The performances started in 2006, and included venues such as the Denver Center Theatre Company, colleges in England and Australia and the Steel City Theatre Company in Pueblo, Colorado.[18] Other venues were the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and the Center Theater Group in Los Angeles. The plays were presented at the Public Theater, New York City in November 2006, directed by Michael Greif.[19]

Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3
Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3 premiered Off-Broadway at the Public Theater on March 14, 2014 and closed on March 22, 2014 in a developmental production. Directed by Jo Bonney, the cast featured Sterling K. Brown (Hero), Peter Jay Fernandez (Oldest Old Man), Russell G. Jones (Leader/Runaway), and Jacob Ming-Trent (Runaway slave / Odyssey Dog / Fourth).[20] The play returned to the Public Theater on October 14, 2014 and ran to December 7, 2014, with the same director and cast. Jacob Ming-Trent won the 2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play[21] and Parks won the 2015 Obie Award for playwriting presented by the American Theater Wing.[22]

The play, which takes place during the American Civil War, is presented in three parts: Part 1, A Measure of a Man; Part 2, The Battle in the Wilderness; and Part 3, The Union of My Confederate Parts.[23]

The play was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Pulitzer committee wrote: "A distinctive and lyrical epic about a slave during the Civil War that deftly takes on questions of identity, power and freedom with a blend of humor and dignity."[24]


  • The Sinner's Place (1984)
  • Betting on the Dust Commander (1987)
  • Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (1989)
  • The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (1989–1992)
  • Pickling (1990) (radio play)
  • Third Kingdom (1990) (radio play)
  • Locomotive (1991) (radio play)
  • Devotees in the Garden of Love (1992)
  • The America Play (1994)
  • Venus (1996)
  • In The Blood (1999)
  • Fucking A (2000)
  • Topdog/Underdog (2001)
  • 365 Days/365 Plays (2006)
  • Ray Charles Live! (2007)
  • Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 8, and 9) (2009)
  • The Book of Grace (2010)
  • Porgy and Bess (2011) (adaptation with Diedre L. Murray)
  • Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, and 3) (2014)
  • Girl 6 (1996)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005)
  • Native Son (2019)

  • "Suzan-Lori Parks's Aha! Moment". O. May 2003. Archived from the original on 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
  • "Commencement Speech to the Mount Holyoke College Class of 2001". Mount Holyoke College. 27 May 2001. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
  • “An Equation for Black People Onstage.” In The America Play and Other Works, 19–22. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1995.
  • “From the Elements of Style.” In The America Play and Other Works, 6–18. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1995.
  • “Possession.” In The America Play and Other Works, 3–5. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 1995.
  • “Tradition and the Individual Talent.” Theater 29.2 (1999): 26–33.

  • Getting Mother's Body: A Novel. New York: Random House. 2003. ISBN 1-4000-6022-2.

Awards and nominations

  • 1990 Obie Award Best New American Play – Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom
  • 1992 Whiting Award
  • 1995 Lila-Wallace Reader's Digest Award
  • 1996 Obie Award for Playwriting – Venus
  • 2000 Guggenheim Fellowship Playwriting
  • 2001 MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant
  • 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama – Topdog/Underdog
  • 2006 Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts from the Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT)
  • 2007 Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award
  • 2008 NAACP Theatre Award - Ray Charles Live! A New Musical
  • 2015 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History - "Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3"[25]
  • 2015 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize[26]
  • 2017 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Awards for Master American Dramatist
  • 2018 Windham–Campbell Literature Prize in Drama[27]

  • 2000 Pulitzer Prize Drama Finalist – In The Blood
  • 2002 Drama Desk Award Outstanding New Play – Topdog/Underdog
  • 2002 Tony Award for Best Play – Topdog/Underdog
  • 2015 Lucille Lortel Awards Nomination Outstanding Play - Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3
  • 2015 Pulitzer Prize Drama Finalist - Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3

Personal life
In 2001, Parks married blues musician Paul Oscher.[28] They divorced in 2011. She is currently engaged to Christian Konopka. They have a child now.

Parks noted in an interview that her name is spelled with a "Z" as the result of a misprint early in her career:
"When I was doing one of my first plays in the East Village, we had fliers printed up and they spelled my name wrong. I was devastated. But the director said, 'Just keep it, honey, and it will be fine.' And it was."[29]

She teaches playwriting at Tisch School of the Arts in the Rita & Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing.

    1. "Suzan-Lori Parks Biography". Retrieved July 30, 2015.
    2. "Suzan-Lori Parks Biography". Academy of Achievement A Museum of Living History. Academy of Achievement. November 11, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
    3. Suzan-Lori Parks (Archived from January 2010)
    4.  Jiggetts, Shelby; Parks, Suzan-Lori (1996-01-01). "Interview with Suzan-Lori Parks". Callaloo. 19 (2): 309–317. JSTOR 3299177.
    5. "Connections" (PDF). John Carroll School. Spring 2007. p. 4.
    6. "Biography Page for Suzan-Lori Parks". The History Makers. November 21, 2006. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
    7. Als, Hilton (October 30, 2006). "The Show-Woman". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
    8. "Suzan-Lori Parks Biography". Retrieved 14 August 2015.
    9. "Suzan-Lori Parks '85 Took Her Cue from Five College Professor James Baldwin". Mount Holyoke College. Archived from the original on July 13, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
    10. "Suzan-Lori Parks '85 Wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama". College Street Journal. April 12, 2002.
    11. "Suzan-Lori Parks Interview". Academy of Achievement. June 22, 2007. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009.
    12. "In the News: Traditions and communications". College Street Journal. May 24, 1996. Archived from the original on March 23, 2005.
    13. 'Debaters' makes its case
    14. Harris, Dana and Brodesser, Claude (2004). "Back-to-back helming: Washington to take 2 gigs", Variety, September 29, 2004. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
    15. Hetrick, Adam. "Suzan-Lori Parks, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Thomas Bradshaw Win PEN America Literary Awards", Playbill, February 23, 2017.
    16. Shenk, Joshua Wolf (2002-04-07). "Theater; Beyond a Black-and-White Lincoln". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
    17. "Suzan-Lori Parks Biography -- Academy of Achievement". Retrieved 2016-04-20.
    18. Moore, John. "365 Days … 365 Plays", The Denver Post, November 10, 2006, retrieved January 15, 2017.
    19. Robertson, Campbell. "A Playwright's Cycle, With a New Work a Day for an Entire Year", The New York Times, November 10, 2006.
    20. Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3 March",, retrieved January 14, 2017.
    21. Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3 October",, retrieved January 14, 2017.
    22. Obie Awards, 2015 Winners.
    23. Hetrick, Adam. "Suzan-Lori Parks Father Comes Home from the Wars' Extends Again", Playbill, November 17, 2014.
    24. "Suzan-Lori Parks",, retrieved January 14, 2017.
    25. "Kennedy Prize, 2015",, February 23, 2015, retrieved January 14, 2017.
    26. Piepenburg, Erik (October 14, 2015). "Suzan-Lori Parks Is Awarded the Gish Prize". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
    27. "Yale awards eight writers $165,000 Windham-Campbell Prizes". YaleNews. 2018-03-07. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
    28. Suzan-Lori Parks and Paul Oscher
    29. "A moment with Suzan-Lori Parks, playwright", The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 26, 2003.

  • Als, Hilton. "The Show-Woman: Suzan-Lori Parks's Idea for the Largest Theatre Collaboration Ever, The New Yorker magazine, October 30, 2006.
  • Als, Hilton, "The Show-Woman", New Y0rker, October 30, 2006.
  • Baym, Nina (ed.) "Suzan-Lori Parks." In The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 6th edition, Vol. E. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2003: 2606–2607.
  • Collins, Ken and Victor Wishna. "Suzan-Lori Parks." In In Their Company: Portraits of American Playwrights. New York: Umbrage Editions, 2006: 186–189.
  • NPR interviews. "Suzan-Lori Parks".
  • "In Dialogue: The Imperceptible Mutabilities of Susan-Lori Parks in 365 Plays And As Many Days Across The Whole Kingdom" interview by Barbara Cassidy, The Brooklyn Rail, November 2006.
  • Geis, Deborah R. 2008. Suzan-Lori Parks. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Ghasemi, Mehdi. 2016. Quest/ion of Identities in African American Feminist Postmodern Drama: A Study of Selected Plays by Suzan-Lori Parks. Turku: Painosalama Oy.
  • Ghasemi, Mehdi. 2014. “History Plays as/or Counterhistory Plays: A Study of Suzan-Lori Parks’s Major Plays.” Marang: Journal of Language and Literature, vol. 24, April/May: 123-136.
  • Ghasemi, Mehdi. 2015. “Sleep, Death’s Twin Brother: A Quest for Postmodern Identities in The Death of the Last Black Man.” Orbis Litterarum, vol. 70, no. 2, 150-174.
  • Ghasemi, Mehdi. 2015. “A Study of Quad Ps in Suzan-Lori Parks’s Venus.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 46, no. 3, 258-281.
  • Ghasemi, Mehdi. 2015. “Peace in Pieces: A Postmodern Study of Suzan-Lori Parks’s Venus.” Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Fall, vol. 30, no. 1, 29-49.
  • Ghasemi, Mehdi. 2016. “Wanted: Debt or Alive in Suzan-Lori Parks’s FA.” Journal of Black Studies, November, vol. 48, no. 8, 822-845.
  • Ghasemi, Mehdi. 2016. “Quest/ion of Identities in Suzan-Lori Parks’s Postrevolutionary Drama.” European Journal of American Studies, vol. 11, no. 2, 1-13.
  • Marshal, John. 2003. “A Moment with Suzan-Lori Parks, Playwright.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer (May 25). Accessed April 20, 2015.
  • Shenk, Joshua Wolf, "Theater; Beyond a Black-and-White Lincoln", New York Times, April 7, 2002.
  • Wetmore, Jr., Kevin J. 2007. “It’s an Oberammergau Thing: An Interview with Suzan-Lori Parks.” In Suzan-Lori Parks: A Casebook, edited by Kevin J. Wetmore Jr. and Alycia Smith-Howard, 124–140. London and New York: Routledge,

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Parks, Suzan-Lori. Topdog/underdog. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 2002. Print.PS3566.A736 T66 2002, Fine Arts Library Books Stacks

Parks, Suzan-Lori. Getting Mother's Body : A Novel. 1st ed. New York: Random House, 2003. Print.
PS3566.A736 G4 2003, Young Library Books - 5th Floor

Parks, Suzan-Lori. 365 Days/365 Plays. 1st ed. New York: Theatre Communications
Group, 2006. Print.
PS3566.A736 A15 2006, Young Library Books - 5th Floor

Friday, May 4, 2018

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: May 6, 1961 - George Clooney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Accessed May 4, 2018)

George Timothy Clooney (born May 6, 1961) is an American actor, director, producer, screenwriter, activist, businessman and philanthropist. He has received three Golden Globe Awards for his work as an actor and two Academy Awards, one for acting in Syriana (2006) and the other for co-producing Argo (2012).

Clooney made his acting debut on television in 1978, and later gained wide recognition in his role as Dr. Doug Ross on the long-running medical drama ER from 1994 to 1999, for which he received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. While working on ER, he began attracting a variety of leading roles in films, including the superhero film Batman & Robin (1997) and the crime comedy Out of Sight (1998), in which he first worked with director Steven Soderbergh, who would become a long-time collaborator. In 1999, he took the lead role in Three Kings, a well-received war satire set during the Gulf War.

In 2001, Clooney's fame widened with the release of his biggest commercial success, the heist comedy remake Ocean's Eleven, the first of what became a trilogy starring Clooney. He made his directorial debut a year later with the biographical spy comedy Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, and has since directed the historical drama Good Night, and Good Luck (2005), the sports comedy Leatherheads (2008), the political drama The Ides of March (2011), and the war film The Monuments Men (2014).

Clooney won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the Middle East thriller Syriana (2005), and subsequently earned Best Actor nominations for the legal thriller Michael Clayton (2007) and the comedy-dramas Up in the Air (2009) and The Descendants (2011). In 2013, he received the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing the political thriller Argo. He is the only person who has been nominated for Academy Awards in six different categories.[3]

In 2009, Clooney was included in Time's annual Time 100 as one of the "Most Influential People in the World". [4] He is also noted for his political and economic activism, and has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since January 31, 2008. [5][6][7] His humanitarian work includes his advocacy of finding a resolution for the Darfur conflict, raising funds for the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Armenian Genocide recognition, 2004 tsunami, and 9/11 victims, and creating documentaries such as Sand and Sorrow to raise awareness about international crises. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. [8] 

In 2013, Clooney co-founded Casamigos Tequila with Rande Gerber and Michael Meldman.[9] It was sold to Diageo for $700 million in June 2017, with an additional $300 million possible depending on the company's performance over the next ten years.[10] He is married to British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.

Early life
Clooney was born in Lexington, Kentucky.[11] His mother, Nina Bruce (née Warren; born 1939),[12] was a beauty queen and city councilwoman. His father, Nick Clooney (born 1934), is a former anchorman and television host, including five years on the AMC network.[13] Clooney has Irish, German, and English ancestry.[14] His maternal great-great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Sparrow, was the half-sister of Nancy Lincoln, mother of President Abraham Lincoln.[15][16][17] Clooney has an older sister named Adelia (known as Ada).[18] His aunt was cabaret singer and actress Rosemary Clooney.[19] Through Rosemary, his cousins include actors Miguel Ferrer, Rafael Ferrer, and Gabriel Ferrer, who is married to singer Debby Boone.[20]

Clooney was raised a strict Roman Catholic,[21] but said in 2006 that he does not know if he believes in Heaven, or even God.[22] He has said, "Yes, we were Catholic, big-time, whole family, whole group."[23]He began his education at the Blessed Sacrament School in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. He attended St. Michael's School in Columbus, Ohio; then Western Row Elementary School (a public school) in Mason, Ohio, from 1968 to 1974; and St. Susanna School in Mason, where he served as an altar boy. The Clooneys moved back to Kentucky when George was midway through the seventh grade. [24] In middle school, Clooney developed Bell's palsy, a condition that partially paralyzes the face. The malady went away within a year. In an interview with Larry King, he stated that "yes, it goes away. It takes about nine months to go away. It was the first year of high school, which was a bad time for having half your face paralyzed."[23] He also described one positive outcome of the condition: "It's probably a great thing that it happened to me because it forced me to engage in a series of making fun of myself. And I think that's an important part of being famous. The practical jokes have to be aimed at you."[25]

After his parents moved to Augusta, Kentucky, Clooney attended Augusta High School. He has stated that he earned all As and a B in school,[26] and played baseball and basketball. He tried out to play professional baseball with the Cincinnati Reds in 1977, but he did not pass the first round of player cuts and was not offered a contract.[27] He attended Northern Kentucky University from 1979 to 1981, majoring in broadcast journalism, and very briefly attended the University of Cincinnati, but did not graduate from either.[28] He made money selling women's shoes, insurance door-to-door, stocking shelves, working construction, and cutting tobacco.[22][29]


Early work, 1978–1993

Clooney's first role was as an extra in the television mini-series Centennial in 1978, which was based on the novel of the same name by James A. Michener and was partly filmed in Clooney's hometown of Augusta, Kentucky. [30][31] Clooney's first major role came in 1984 in the short-lived sitcom E/R (not to be confused with ER, the better-known hospital drama, on which Clooney also co-starred a decade later). He played a handyman on the series The Facts of Life and appeared as Bobby Hopkins, a detective, on an episode of The Golden Girls. His first prominent role was a semi-regular supporting role in the sitcom Roseanne, playing Roseanne Barr's supervisor Booker Brooks, followed by the role of a construction worker on Baby Talk, a co-starring role on the CBS drama Bodies of Evidence as Detective Ryan Walker, and then a year-long turn as Det. James Falconer on Sisters. In 1988, Clooney played a role in the comedy-horror film Return of the Killer Tomatoes.[32] In 1990, he starred in the short-lived ABC police drama Sunset Beat.[33] During this period, Clooney was a student at the Beverly Hills Playhouse acting school for five years.[34]

Breakthrough, 1994–1999

Clooney rose to fame when he played Dr. Doug Ross, alongside Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies, and Noah Wyle, on the hit NBC medical drama ER from 1994 to 1999. After leaving the series in 1999, he made a cameo appearance in the 6th season and returned for a guest spot in the show's final season. [35] For his work on the series, Clooney received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1995 and 1996.[36][37] He also earned three Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor – Television Series Drama in 1995, 1996, and 1997 (losing to co-star Anthony Edwards). [38][39]

Clooney began appearing in films while working on ER. His first major Hollywood role was in the horror comedy-crime thriller From Dusk till Dawn, directed by Robert Rodriguez and co-starring Harvey Keitel. He followed its success with the romantic comedy One Fine Day with Michelle Pfeiffer, and the action-thriller The Peacemaker with Nicole Kidman. Clooney was then cast as Batman in Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin, which was a modest box office performer, but a critical failure (with Clooney himself calling the film "a waste of money") .[40] In 1998, he co-starred in the crime-comedy Out of Sight opposite Jennifer Lopez, marking the first of his many collaborations with director Steven Soderbergh. [41] He also starred in Three Kings during the last weeks of his contract with ER. [42]

After ER, 2000–2010

George Clooney cast his hands and shoes in the Grauman's Chinese Theatre in 2007. [43]

After leaving ER, Clooney starred in the commercially successful films The Perfect Storm (2000), a disaster drama; and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), a Coen brothers adventure comedy. In 2001, he teamed up with Soderbergh again for the heist comedy Ocean's Eleven, a remake of the 1960s Rat Pack film of the same name, with Clooney playing Danny Ocean, originally portrayed by Frank Sinatra. It is Clooney's most successful film with him in the lead role, earning $451 million worldwide (Non lead Gravity's $723 million worldwide box office). [44][45] The film inspired two sequels starring Clooney, Ocean's Twelve in 2004[46] and Ocean's Thirteen in 2007.[47]

In 2001, Clooney and Soderbergh co-founded Section Eight Productions, for which Grant Heslov was president of television. Clooney made his directorial debut in the 2002 film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, based on the autobiography of TV producer Chuck Barris. Though the film did not do well at the box office, critics stated that Clooney's directing showed promise. [48]

In 2005, Clooney starred in Syriana, which was based loosely on former Central Intelligence Agency agent Robert Baer's memoirs of his service in the Middle East. Clooney suffered an accident on the set of Syriana, one which caused a brain injury with complications from a punctured dura.[49] The same year he directed, produced, and starred in Good Night, and Good Luck, a film about 1950s television journalist Edward R. Murrow's famous war of words with Senator Joseph McCarthy. At the 2006 Academy Awards, Clooney was nominated for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Good Night, and Good Luck, as well as Best Supporting Actor for Syriana. He won the Oscar for his role in Syriana.[50]

George Clooney at the premiere of The Men Who Stare at Goats in the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival

Clooney next appeared in The Good German (2006), a film noir directed by Soderbergh that is set in post-World War II Germany. In August 2006, Clooney and Heslov started the production company Smokehouse Pictures. In October 2006, Clooney received the American Cinematheque Award, which honors someone in the entertainment industry who has made "a significant contribution to the art of motion pictures".[51] On January 22, 2008, Clooney was nominated for an Academy Award (and many other awards) for Best Actor for Michael Clayton (2007). Later that year, he directed his third film, Leatherheads, in which he also starred. On April 4, 2008, Variety reported that Clooney had quietly resigned from the Writers Guild of America over a dispute concerning Leatherheads. Clooney, who is the director, producer, and star of the film, claimed that he had contributed in writing "all but two scenes" of it, and requested a writing credit alongside Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly, who had worked on the screenplay for 17 years. Clooney lost an arbitration vote 2–1, and withdrew from the union over the decision. He became a "financial core status" non-member, meaning he no longer has voting rights, and cannot run for office or attend membership meetings, according to the WGA's constitution.[52]

He next co-starred with Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey in the war parody comedy film The Men Who Stare at Goats, which was directed by Heslov and released in November 2009. Also in November 2009, he voiced Mr. Fox in Wes Anderson's animated feature Fantastic Mr. Fox. The same year, Clooney starred in the comedy-drama Up in the Air, which was initially given limited release, and then wide-released on December 25, 2009. For his performance in the film, which was directed by Jason Reitman, he was nominated for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA, and an Academy Award.[53] 2010 saw the release of The American, based on the novel A Very Private Gentleman by Martin Booth and directed by Anton Corbijn. Clooney played the lead role, and was a producer of the film.[54]


As of 2011, Clooney is represented by Bryan Lourd, co-chairman of Creative Artists Agency (CAA).[55] In 2011 Clooney starred in The Descendants as a husband whose wife has an accident that leaves her in a coma. He earned critical praise for his work, and won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. Also, he was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild for Best Actor, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor, and the Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the political drama The Ides of March. In 2013, Clooney won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama, the BAFTA Award for Best Picture and the Academy Award for Best Picture for producing Argo. He is the only person in Academy Award history to be nominated for Oscars in six different categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay.[56]

Clooney co-starred with Sandra Bullock in Gravity (2013), a space thriller directed by Alfonso Cuarón.[57] He co-wrote, directed and starred in The Monuments Men, an adaption of The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel.[58] Clooney also produced August: Osage County (2013), an adaptation of the play of the same name. The film stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.[59] His next film was Tomorrowland (2015), a science fiction adventure film in which he played Frank Walker, an inventor.[60] Later in the year, he was featured as himself in the Netflix Christmas musical comedy A Very Murray Christmas, starring Bill Murray.[61]

Hail, Caesar!, a comedy from the Coen brothers set in the Hollywood film industry in the 1950s, premiered in February 2016. Clooney portrayed Baird Whitlock, a Robert Taylor-type film star who is kidnapped during the production of a film. Josh Brolin co-starred as fixer Eddie Mannix.[62] Clooney reunited with Julia Roberts for the Jodie Foster-directed thriller Money Monster (2016), playing the host of a television show that investigates conspiracies on commerce and Wall Street, who is taken hostage by a bankrupt viewer given a bad tip. [63] His next directorial project was the 1950s-set crime comedy Suburbicon (2017), starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Oscar Isaac, from a script penned by the Coen brothers in the 1980s, that they had originally intended to direct themselves.[64]

He is about to receive the 2018 AFI Life Achievement Award on June 7, 2018.[65]


Political views

Clooney supported President Obama's campaigns in the 2008[66] and 2012 presidential elections.[67] He is a supporter of gay rights.[68] In 2003, he opposed the Iraq war, saying, "You can't beat your enemy anymore through wars; instead you create an entire generation of people seeking revenge... Our opponents are going to resort to car bombs and suicide attacks because they have no other way to win... I believe [Donald Rumsfeld] thinks this is a war that can be won, but there is no such thing anymore. We can't beat anyone anymore."[69] In 2016, Clooney endorsed Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidential election.[70]

Humanitarian work

Clooney in Abéché, Chad, in January 2008 with the UN

Clooney is involved with Not On Our Watch Project, an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities, along with Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, David Pressman, and Jerry Weintraub.[71] In February 2009, he visited Goz Beida, Chad, with New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof.[72] In January 2010, he organized the telethon Hope for Haiti Now,[73] which collected donations for the 2010 Haiti earthquake victims.[74]

In March 2012, Clooney was featured with Martin Sheen and Brad Pitt in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play, '8'—a staged reenactment of the federal trial that overturned California's Prop 8 ban on same-sex marriage—as attorney David Boies. [75] The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.[76][77] In September 2012, Clooney offered to take an auction winner out to lunch to benefit the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). GLSEN works to create a safe space in schools for children who are or may be perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.[78]


Clooney discusses Sudan with President Barack Obama at the White House in October 2010.

Clooney has advocated a resolution of the Darfur conflict.[79] He spoke at a 2006 Save Darfur rally in Washington, D.C. In April 2006, he spent ten days in Chad and Sudan with his father to make the TV special "A Journey to Darfur" reflecting the situation of Darfur's refugees, and advocated for action. The documentary was broadcast on American cable TV as well as in the UK and France. In 2008, it was released on DVD with the sale proceeds being donated to the International Rescue Committee.[80][81][82][83] In September of the same year, he spoke to the UN Security Council with Nobel Prize-winner Elie Wiesel to ask the UN to find a solution to the conflict and to help the people of Darfur. [84] In December, he visited China and Egypt with Don Cheadle and two Olympic winners to ask both governments to pressure Sudan's government. [85]

On March 25, 2007, he sent an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, calling on the European Union to take "decisive action" in the region given the failure of Sudan President Omar al-Bashir to respond to UN resolutions.[86] He narrated and was co-executive producer of the 2007 documentary Sand and Sorrow. [87] Clooney also appeared in the documentary film Darfur Now, a call-to-action film released in November 2007 for people all over the world to help stop the Darfur crisis.[88] In December 2007, Clooney and fellow actor Don Cheadle received the Summit Peace Award from the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in Rome. In his acceptance speech, Clooney said that "Don and I … stand here before you as failures. The simple truth is that when it comes to the atrocities in Darfur … those people are not better off now than they were years ago."[89] On January 18, 2008, the United Nations announced Clooney's appointment as a UN messenger of peace, effective January 31.[5][6]

Clooney conceived of and, with John Prendergast – human rights activist, co-founder of the Enough Project, and Strategic Advisor for Not on Our Watch Project – initiated the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP), after an October 2010 trip to South Sudan. SSP aims to monitor armed activity for signs of renewed civil war between Sudan and South Sudan, and to detect and deter mass atrocities along the border regions there.[90]

Clooney and John Prendergast co-wrote a Washington Post op-ed piece in May 2011, titled "Dancing with a dictator in Sudan", arguing that:
President Omar al-Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, is escalating bombing and food aid obstruction in Darfur, and he now threatens the entire north-south peace process ... the evidence shows that incentives alone are insufficient to change Khartoum's calculations. International support should be sought immediately for denying debt relief, expanding the ICC indictments, diplomatically isolating the regime, suspending all non-humanitarian aid, obstructing state-controlled bank transactions and freezing accounts holding oil wealth diverted by senior regime officials.[91]
On March 16, 2012, Clooney was arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy for civil disobedience.[92][93] He intended to be arrested when he planned the protest.[93] Several other prominent participants were also arrested, including Martin Luther King III.[93] Clooney has been described as one of the most strident critics of Omar al-Bashir.[94]

Armenian Genocide

George Clooney is a keen supporter of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. He is one of the chief associates of the 100 Lives Initiative, a project which aims to remember the lives lost during the event.[95] As part of the initiative, Clooney launched the Aurora Prize, which awards to those who risk their lives to prevent genocides and atrocities.[95][96] Clooney had also urged various American government officials to support the United States' recognition of the Armenian Genocide.[96] Clooney visited Armenia to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the event in April 2016.[97]


In May 2015, Clooney told the BBC that the Syrian conflict was too complicated politically to get involved in and he wanted to focus on helping the refugees. [98] In March 2016, he and his wife, Amal Clooney, met with Syrian refugees living in Berlin to mark the fifth anniversary of the conflict, before meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to thank her for her Germany's open-door policy. [99]

Gun control

In 2018, following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the Clooneys pledged $500,000 to the March for Our Lives and said they would be in attendance.[100]

Personal life


Clooney married actress Talia Balsam in 1989; they divorced in 1993.[101]

Clooney and Alamuddin at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival in 2016

Clooney became engaged to British-Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin on April 28, 2014.[102][103] In July 2014, Clooney publicly criticized the British tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail after it claimed his fiancée's mother opposes their marriage on religious grounds.[104] When the tabloid apologized for its false story, Clooney refused to accept the apology. He called the paper "the worst kind of tabloid. One that makes up its facts to the detriment of its readers."[105] On August 7, 2014, Clooney and Alamuddin obtained marriage licenses at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea of the United Kingdom.[106] Alamuddin and Clooney were officially married on September 27, 2014, at Ca' Farsetti.[107] They were married by Clooney's friend Walter Veltroni, the former mayor of Rome. [108] In 2015, Clooney and Alamuddin adopted a rescue dog, a bassett hound named Millie, from the San Gabriel Valley Humane Society.[109] On February 9, 2017, it was reported by the CBS talk show, The Talk, that Amal was pregnant, and that they were expecting twins. [110] On June 6, 2017, Amal gave birth to a daughter, Ella, and a son, Alexander.[111]

Real estate

Clooney's main home is in Los Angeles. He purchased the 7,354-square-foot (683.2 m2) house in 1995 through his George Guilfoyle Trust. His home in Italy is in the village of Laglio, on Lake Como,[112] near the former residence of Italian author Ada Negri.[113] Clooney also maintains a home in Los Cabos, Mexico, that is next door to the home of Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber.[114] In 2014, Clooney and his new British wife Amal Alamuddin bought the Grade II listed[115] Mill House on an island in the River Thames at Sonning Eye in Oxfordshire, England[116] at a cost of around £10 million.[117]

Motorcycle accident

On September 21, 2007, Clooney and then-girlfriend Sarah Larson were injured in a motorcycle accident in Weehawken, New Jersey, when his motorcycle was hit by a car. The driver of the car reported that Clooney attempted to pass him on the right,[118] while Clooney said that the driver signaled left and then decided to make an abrupt right turn and clipped his motorcycle. On October 9, 2007, more than two dozen staff at Palisades Medical Center were suspended without pay for looking at Clooney's medical records in violation of federal law.[119]


Growing up around Cincinnati, Clooney is a fan of the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds.[120] He tried out to be a Red in 1977.[121]

In the media

Clooney has appeared in commercials outside the U.S. for Fiat, Nespresso, Martini vermouth, and Omega.[122][123][124][125] Clooney was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2007, 2008, and 2009.[126][127][128] He is sometimes described as one of the most handsome men in the world. [129][130] In 2005, TV Guide ranked Clooney No. 1 on its "50 Sexiest Stars of All Time" list. [131]
He was parodied in the South Park episode "Smug Alert!", which mocks his acceptance speech at the 78th Academy Awards. However, Clooney has also lent his voice to South Park as Sparky the Dog in "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride" and as the emergency room doctor in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. Clooney was caricatured in the American Dad! episode "Tears of a Clooney", in which Francine Smith plans to destroy him.[132]

Director Alexander Cartio made his debut feature film, Convincing Clooney, about a Los Angeles artist who, faced with rejection as an actor and screenwriter, arrives at a master plan trying to get Clooney to star in his first-ever low-budget short film. The movie was released on DVD in November 2011. [133]

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by George Clooney
Throughout his career, Clooney has won two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Syriana[134] and one for Best Picture as one of the producers for Argo, as well as a BAFTA and a Golden Globe. For his role in The Descendants, he won a Golden Globe Award [135] and was nominated for an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Satellite Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards: Best Lead Actor and Best Cast.[136] On January 11, 2015, Clooney was awarded the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award.


Main article: George Clooney filmography
  • Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988)
  • Unbecoming Age (1992)
  • From Dusk till Dawn (1996)
  • One Fine Day (1996)
  • Batman & Robin (1997)
  • The Peacemaker (1997)
  • Out of Sight (1998)
  • The Thin Red Line (1998)
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
  • Three Kings (1999)
  • The Perfect Storm (2000)
  • O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
  • Ocean's Eleven (2001)
  • Solaris (2002)
  • Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)
  • Spy Kids 3: Game Over (2003)
  • Intolerable Cruelty (2003)
  • Ocean's Twelve (2004)
  • Syriana (2005)
  • Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
  • The Good German (2006)
  • Michael Clayton (2007)
  • Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
  • Leatherheads (2008)
  • Burn After Reading (2008)
  • The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
  • Up in the Air (2009)
  • The American (2010)
  • The Ides of March (2011)
  • The Descendants (2011)
  • Gravity (2013)
  • The Monuments Men (2014)
  • Tomorrowland (2015)
  • Hail, Caesar! (2016)
  • Money Monster (2016)
  • Suburbicon (2017) 

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Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
Gaghan, Clooney, Damon, Wright, Cooper, Hurt, Elswit, Desplat, Baer, Gaghan, Stephen, Clooney, George, Damon, Matt, Wright, Jeffrey, Cooper, Chris, Hurt, William, Elswit, Robert, Desplat, Alexandre, Baer, Robert, Warner Bros. Pictures, Participant Productions, 4M Film, Section Eight Ltd, and Warner Home Video. Syriana. Full Screen ed. Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video, 2006.
AV-D5948, Young Media Library

Joel Coen; Ethan Coen; George Clooney; John Turturro 1957-; Tim Blake Nelson; Charles Durning 1923-2012.; John Goodman 1952-; Holly Hunter 1958-; Homer.; Touchstone Pictures.; Universal Pictures (Firm); Studio Canal.; Working Title Films.; Touchstone Home Video (Firm); Buena Vista Home Entertainment (Firm) 2001], c2000
AV-D2978, Young Media Library

Petersen, Wolfgang., Paula. Weinstein, Gail. Katz, William D. Wittliff, George. Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane. Lane, Sebastian. Junger, Warner Bros. Pictures, Baltimore Spring Creek Pictures, Radiant Productions, and Warner Home Video. The Perfect Storm. Burbank, Calif.: Warner Home Video, 2000.
AV-D3326, Young Media Library