Today we’re going to talk about a big name on the big screen, which has already won a Nobel Peace Award and has already been arrested trying to make a difference and help others:
Born George Timothy Clooney on May 6, 1961 in Lexington, Kentucky, he comes from a well-known family: his father, Nick Clooney, was a great news anchor and his aunt, Rosemary Clooney, was a great singer and actress.
I came from an Italian family, we’re all passionate about musicals, tap dance and jazz, and I grew up listening to Rosemary Clooney. So here’s a very special tip from this SIS: listen to “Anything Goes” and “Blues In The Night” (the quality in Spotify is better!).
Rosemary Clooney – 1928-2002
Although they were celebrities, the Clooney family lived a very modest life in the city of Augusta, Kentucky. They were very close as a family. George looks so much like his father that at first I thought it was him! But then when you see George as a little boy, you find them more identical.
Little George Clooney with his father, Nick, his sister, Ada, and his mother, Nina
Still in high school, George developed a type of facial paralysis called Bell’s Palsy. Luckily, this type of paralysis has treatment and soon he was recovered. It was a terrible moment he had to go through…
George Clooney treated Bell’s Palsy. Learn more about the symptoms and about the treatment of this type of paralysis here
During high school, George was more of the athlete type than the nerdy one (and, nevertheless, he’s grades were very high). His love for sports, especially baseball, was so great that he even tried to get into the Cincinnati Reds, a Cincinnati-Ohio baseball team, but he never made it…better for us, right? If he were a player, he would never become my beloved Jack Taylor (of “A Special Day”) …
George as a baseball player or a famous actor?
As he did not become a baseball player, he started Journalism in college, but was constantly compared to his father, which led him to believe he did not have what it took to become a good journalist and that made him drop out of college.
George Clooney in Northern Kentucky University
He went to work as a salesman and later worked on a tobacco crop. This was another complicated and fleeting phase in his life.
It was then that his cousin, Miguel Ferrer, son of Rosemary Clooney, invited him to act as an extra in a movie he was doing with his father, the award-winning Jose Ferrer. In the end, George even got a few lines in the movie, which was never released, but the experience brought the spark for the love of entertainment that was
dead asleep inside him.
The same cousin, Miguel, encouraged George to move to Los Angeles, where he became his aunt’s driver while looking for good roles to play. From 1985 until 1994 he got small roles in TV series and almost imperceptible appearances in movies before becoming the great star we all know today.
It was in 1994 that Clooney got cast to play Doctor Doug Ross, a handsome pediatrician, in the medical drama ER, which earned him the much-deserved recognition and gave him other great works such as “A Special Day” and “Batman & Robin.”
Clooney as Dr. Doug Ross, in ER
In 2001, George starred in the so famous movie “Ocean’s Eleven” as Danny Ocean, originally played by the great Frank Sinatra in the 1960 version. The film brought together so many famous names such as Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon e Andy Garcia, and the script was so well-adapted that success was inevitable and Clooney started to be known as a Hollywood A-List actor. The film was very successful and had two sequences (“Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen“).
The most “beautiful” friendship: George, Brad, Matt (pick your favorite)
In 2005, alongside Matt Damon, George starred and produced the movie “Syriana“. He had to gain nearly 28 pounds to play the role of Bob Barnes, a government agent (inspired by Robert Baer), and was seriously injured during the filming of a scene.
This damaged the membrane around his spine and the it’s liquid would drop from his nose! (gross, I know. I’m sorry, but I want to show that being an actor is not always easy).
He had a very bad back pain. As soon as the shooting were done, he had to undergo two surgeries to solve the problem. But none of this was worth it, as he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role.
Syriana criticizes the geopolitical situation involving governments and companies that exploit and sell and buy oil
Everyone knows the “Hollywood star” side of George Clooney, so I’ll show you his humanitarian side:
After the 9/11 attacks, George organized a campaign that featured a number of Hollywood artists and raised more than $129 million for the United Way, an organization that has a goal to improve the life quality and empower communities around the world. Shortly after, he donated $1 million to the United Way Hurricane Katrina Response Found to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Did you know that United Way has a branch in Brazil ? United Way Brasil.
In 2006, George Clooney decided that he could use his “Hollywood star” status to help others so he joined some people, including his father, and went to Darfur, which is in Sudan and is the site of armed conflict between the Janjawid (militiamen) and the non-Arab peoples of the region.
Armed only with small video cameras, they began to record how the region has been devastated and how much international communities are suffering to set up refugee camps nearby, making it difficult to send aid.
George e Nick Clooney’s experience in Darfur, Sudan
My mother almost suffers from heart attack when she sees on the news shooting of any kind. Do you think she would go with me to Darfur? ...
Back in the American soil, Clooney attended a rally against the genocide in Darfur in Washington, D.C., and later spoke at a special meeting of the UN Security Council.
He then joined other celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle and created a non-profit organization called Not On Our Watch. In 2007, Clooney and Cheadle received the Nobel Peace Prize as recognition for their work in Darfur and George was nominated as a UN Peace Messenger.
George Clooney and Don Cheadle receiving the Nobel Peace Prize
Did you know that our dear Clooney has already been arrested!? In 2012 George was arrested during a protest in defense of Darfur at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington. Congressmen, human rights activists and great leaders were also arrested, along with Mr. Father Clooney who, with his usual companionship, was also defending the cause alongside his son.
George and Nick Clooney were arrested March 16th 2012
In 2014 George Clooney married the beautifulAmal Alamuddin, a Libyan-British, human rights defender and the advocate of big names like Julian Assange, creator of Wikileaks. George could not have found a better wife as she is intelligent, elegant, beautiful, a great professional, and also fights for the humanitarian causes in which he believes. In 2017 they had twins: Ella and Alexander Clooney.
Clooney’s most recent act was a $500,000 donation to the March For Our Lives following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February, encouraging other artists, such as Oprah andSteven Spielberg, to donate to the cause.
To make use of our visa to the United States, we decided to make our last stop on American soil. Ready?
Attention passengers. Last call for Flight SIS007, bound for Lexington.
Immediate boarding at the SIS Passage gate.
Lexington is Kentucky’s second largest city. It’s known as the horse city and leads the nation’s tobacco, soybeans, corn and wheat production.
Despite being considered the “city of the countryside“, the farms themselves are super modern and technological, and almost everything in the city is equipped with panels of solar energy.
Lexington has the second largest rail network in Kentucky, meaning you can go anywhere you want by metro buses!!
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games of 2010 was held there not only because it is a city with more than 400 horse farms, but also because it is where the Kentucky Horse Park is, along with a horse farm and horse theme park.
If you enjoy cycling with your family, know that you’re in the right place as there are lots of cycle-tracks along the city, as well as the Bluegrass Cycling Club, a non-profit organization that encourages people to ride more by bike and live a more healthy life. And for the fact that bicycles are a great way to meet people and socialize … only if I knew how to ride bikes…
But if you do not like to exercise when you travel, you have other great things to do!! There’s the Bluegrass Farmers’ Market (Lexington Farmers’ Market), where you’ll always find fresh produce, locally sourced food and pretty typical local crafts.
The city values nature so much that they created the program “Keep Lexington Beautiful” and “Live Green Lexington“, to keep the city clean, stimulating people to collect all trash they find on the streets, and the garden planting (yes, they love a very green landscape and with a lot of nature).
Lexington is known as Bluegrass (Blue Grass) because it’s full of grass, trees and nature in general, and blue is the the official color of the city!
Result: recently, they changed the flag and joined nature (horse, to be more specific) and blue!
Now, if you like to travel and eat, prepare yourself!
The Stella’s Kentucky Deli Restaurant serves the best farm to table food, but it’s not the all lettuce kinda of food. They use fresh ingredients, but they make fries, hamburgers, sandwiches and more.
Their BLT (fried green tomato) is very famous.
But if you are a vegetarian, keep calm: the Alfalfa is the best vegetarian in the area. But If you are one of those who like to eat with meat,you can also enjoy Alfalfa as they have a fair amount of special seasonal meat options.
If you’re not up for a meal but would love a cup of coffee, as I always do, don’t miss A Cup of Common Wealth. In addition to wonderful coffee, they also have the “Pay It Foward” in which you sponsor a cup of coffee to a complete stranger, who can withdraw it at any time.
The idea is: pay a cup of coffee for any person, for a specific person or impose conditions like, the person interested has to sing. I’m so addicted to coffee, that I’m sure I’d sing the phone book if they wanted me to …
On our last gastronomic stop, I chose a natural climate restaurant except it is indoors. Go to Dudley’s on Short and ask for a table on the patio. You will be in a safe, pleasant place, surrounded by nature, tasting a healthy, homely and unique food.
Phew … all this talk about food and restaurants made me hungry!!! I’m going to KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and I’ll be back next week.