Today marks the 60th birthday of actor George Clooney. To honour the prolific screen icon’s career, we’ve compiled a list of some of his best work.
George Clooney is one of those actors you can never take your eyes away from. He doesn’t just play a character; he is that character, using his trademark charisma to embody every single one. From his cameo in Friends to starring in the Ocean’s trilogy, George Clooney has had a varied yet wonderful career – so here’s our list of its highlights.
In what is probably one of Clooney’s most notable roles, the actor rose to worldwide fame playing Danny Ocean in this ensemble series of genre-defining heist movies. The first film, Ocean’s Eleven, was released in 2001, and sees criminal mastermind Ocean assembling an eleven-man band (with a variety of skills) to steal vast amounts of money from three popular Las Vegas casinos.
The series’ popularity hasn’t faded: it was most recently reprised as an all-female ensemble film, Ocean’s 8, with Sandra Bullock playing Debbie Ocean—the like-minded sister to Clooney’s iconic leading man.
This 2015 Disney family sci-fi movie sees a young Frank Walker transported to a different dimension, in which he befriends robot Athena (Raffey Cassidy). When Frank grows up—and returns to the ‘real’ world, alone and angry—the role is taken over by Clooney. Frank, Athena and Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) end up frantically trying to return to Tomorrowland, in order to stop a catastrophic event.
Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, Clooney and Robertson are highly entertaining and you can’t help but get emotionally involved.
One of Clooney’s earliest roles was on the popular medical drama as Dr. Doug Ross. The charming character has seen his actor go down in history as one of TV’s hottest doctors, and he even used the persona in his 1995 cameo on Friends (see below).
Clooney starred on the show until 1999, before leaving to focus on his film career. As fans may remember, he also returned to the show for special appearances in both 2000 and 2009.
Having risen to stardom on E.R., Clooney also found the time for a double-episode cameo in the first season of Friends. Clooney was joined by E.R. co-star Noah Wyle, with both actors playing—you guessed it—doctors.
Although the pair didn’t use the same names as their E.R. characters, they were still labelled as the ‘hot doctors’, and ended up asking Monica and Rachel out on dates.
BAFTA and Oscar-winning drama Gravity landed on our screens in 2013. Clooney starred alongside Sandra Bullock, with both thespians playing astronauts. Clooney’s cool-as-a-cucumber captain has many spacewalks under his belt; for Bullock’s character, it’s her first mission. In classic space movie style, the mission goes wrong, and it becomes a race against time as the characters desperately try to survive.
The Midnight Sky
Last year, Netflix released a new sci-fi drama to keep us occupied during lockdown. Clooney plays lone scientist, Augustine, who we follow on his journey from one base to another—following a sudden, mysterious global catastrophe—as he tries to contact and warn off a returning space crew.
From Dusk Till Dawn
In 1996, Clooney starred alongside Quentin Tarantino and Salma Hayek in this fast-paced action film.
The plot sees brothers Seth (Clooney) and Richard Gecko (Tarantino) on the run, and attempting to sneak across the Mexican border. That said, this isn’t your average action film, because guess what the siblings stumble upon? Drug lords? No. The police? No. They stumble across a gang of vampires, of course!
So, what next?
Clooney has had a long and fascinating career over the years. He’s dabbled in different genres, always wearing his characters well, and has shown no signs of stopping. Hopefully, we can expect even more quality entertainment from the actor over the next chapter of his career.
Words by Jen Charlton
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