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George, by an old friend and journslist in Cincinnati

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George, by an old friend and journslist in Cincinnati

Post by party animal - not! on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 23:04

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Wedding photos reveal same ol' George

Seeing newlyweds George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin smiling and waving in Venice last weekend made me smile. Probably you, too.
We saw the same inviting smile and friendly wave from Clooney filming "The Ides of March" four years ago. I've seen it many times while covering Clooney for nearly 30 years.

It tells me that he's still the same old George, the good guy who grew up on his father's live TV variety shows here ... attended schools in Fort Mitchell, Mason, Augusta and briefly Northern Kentucky University ... and sold women's shoes at McAlpin's in Crestview Hills before going to Hollywood in 1982.
He always greeted me with a big grin, and treated me like a dear friend (yeah, I know he's an actor), when I saw him at Television Critics Association press tour events in Los Angeles – before and after "ER" gave his career a shot in the arm.

I saw that smile and wave in 2008 at his "Leatherheads" premiere in Maysville, one of my most memorable moments by George. He was walking the red carpet, stopping to chat a few minutes with each reporter, and as he reached me he acknowledged the screaming fans at the police barricade 20 feet away and told them, "I can't come over there, or Kiesewetter will get mad at me!"

Just before "The Ides of March" opened in October 2011, he called me as promised. It was an exclusive, the only Cincinnati interview he did for the film set and largely shot here. I began by asking how he was doing, to which he replied, "I'm groovy, buddy, how are you doing?"

Clooney, 53, doesn't forget his acquaintances and friends. Wedding photos showed Matt Damon, Cindy Crawford, Bill Murray, Bono and cousin Miguel Ferrer. I noticed Richard Kind, who was best known for "Spin City" (1996-2002) before playing Mayor James on Fox's new "Gotham." Clooney and Kind have been tight since 1987, when they co-starred in a failed NBC sitcom pilot called the "Bennett Brothers."

I also scanned Venice photos for George's parents, Nick and Nina Clooney. Almost every conversation I've had with George about his TV or movie projects – dating back to "The Facts of Life" in 1985 for my first major profile as TV critic – ended with him talking about his parents.

"Good Night, and Good Luck," his 2005 Oscar-nominated bio about legendary CBS Newsman Edward R. Murrow, introduced his father's 1950s hero to a new generation.
The cynicism of his "Ides" presidential candidate was inspired by father's 2004 unsuccessful campaign for Congress. Some of his character's comments were lifted from his father's Cincinnati Post columns, he told me.

At the "Leatherheads" opening in his dad's hometown, Clooney instantly credited his parents when I asked about his humanitarian efforts to help disaster victims and end genocide in Darfur.
"My parents ... all did that (help others)," said Clooney, who had been named a "UN messenger of peace" that year. "I'm not in any way unusual from many of my friends and family in this area that do the exact same thing. I just happened to be a little bit more famous."

Pushing for live telecasts of "ER" (1997) and CBS' "Fail Safe" (2000) traced back to hanging around his father's live TV variety shows here in the late 1960s and '70s.
"I grew up at the very end of live local TV, and it was fun," he first told me in 1990 at the LA press tour, before the premiere of his short-lived ABC sitcom "Baby Talk."

At the time, he was married to actress Talia Balsam. That was short-lived, too (1989-93). His strident opposition to marrying again ("because I wasn't very good at it") didn't surprise me. Neither did his change of mind after meeting soul mate Alamuddin, 36, the Lebanese-born and Oxford University-educated human rights activist.

Back in 1990, George told me: "I'm not in any great rush to have babies." He told People magazine the same thing as their "Sexiest Man Alive" in 2006: "I don't see myself ever having kids."
He continued: "But everything in my life has changed over periods of time ... and the world does change."
Given his great role models in Nick and Nina, I won't be shocked if George and Amal have a baby.

Wouldn't that be kind of groovy, Buddy?

Last edited by Nicky80 on Mon 06 Oct 2014, 21:28; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added text)

party animal - not!
Clooney superfan

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