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Not sure why this is a new article, but interesting to see how determined George was to get on in life:
‘ER’: George Clooney ‘Wouldn’t Leave’ John Wells Alone Until He Got to Audition for a Role
- Brandy Parkman
- October 18, 2020
Even with some salt and pepper in his hair these days, George Clooney will always be one of Hollywood’s favorite hunks.
The star is a universally recognized face and name now, considered to be in the same echelon as top-notch actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, but some may have forgotten that he got his start on one of the most successful primetime television shows of all time, ER.
It turns out that Clooney wasn’t just handed over the role of Dr. Doug Ross because of his good looks and charm; he really had to beg for it — literally!
George Clooney didn’t plan on becoming an actorAnthony Edwards as Doctor Mark Greene, George Clooney as Doctor Doug Ross | Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
Although he’s one of the world’s most successful actors now, acting actually wasn’t included in Clooney’s life plan from the very beginning. In fact, he wanted to be a professional baseball player instead. He told The Hollywood Reporter:“I wanted to be a professional baseball player… I only lacked skill. And then I sort of wandered around a bit. I sold ladies’ shoes and I sold men’s suits, and then I cut tobacco every summer for $3.33 an hour. I worked at an all-night liquor store called King Quick Liquor. I got a good taste of what I didn’t want to do in my life.”
He was invited by his cousin to move out to California to try to become an actor, which is when he made the move.
Before landing his career-making role on ER, Clooney thought he wanted to be a movie actor, but television roles were what he was cast for. Ironically, his first major role was starring in a show called E/R – no, not the same thing as our beloved ER.
He’s come a long time since those days – he’s estimated to be worth around $500 million.
‘ER’ made Clooney into an international superstar
For five whole seasons, Clooney starred on ER, a hospital drama that took place in – you guessed it – an emergency room, as Dr. Doug Ross (the show itself ran for a whopping 15 seasons, and Clooney made an appearance on the series finale). The show became one of TV’s most-watched dramas of all time, and garnered an impressive 40 million viewers each week.
Clooney has described his snagging the role on the uber-popular show as life-changing. “[The success] was almost instantaneous and one of those things that never happens… Everything changed so quickly,” he’s been quoted as saying. We’d bet! Since then, Clooney has gone on to be an Oscar-winning actor, not something we often see from television actors.
Clooney actually begged the creator of ‘ER’ for the part of Dr. Doug Ross
The executive producer of ER, John Wells, has revealed that he didn’t just hand over the part of Dr. Doug Ross to Clooney – Clooney actually begged him for it. In fact, according to Mental Floss, he hadn’t even been invited to audition for any role, but he refused to give up until he was granted at least an audition. Clooney was 33 years old at the time, and we’d guess he was feeling pretty desperate for a role that would finally launch him to stardom.
“George was the first person to audition. He came after me for it,” Wells has disclosed. “Our second day in the office, George showed up and wouldn’t leave until I’d let him audition … George got his hands on the material and was like a dog with a bone.”
Well, it seems Clooney’s persistence paid off in the end; who knows where his life would have taken him if he hadn’t scored that role? There’s a lesson to be learned here for all of us.
[size=36]‘ER’ Wasn’t George Clooney’s First Role as an Emergency Room Employee
- Alex Castillo
- October 6, 2020
Today’s fans know George Clooney as a busy movie star and Amal Clooney’s husband. Twenty-six years ago, ER, the show that would launch Clooney into superstardom debuted and Clooney’s role as Dr. Doug Ross turned him from a little-known actor into one of the hottest stars in Hollywood.
Viewers couldn’t get enough of watching him stride through the halls of County General Hospital, saving lives and breaking hearts.
But long before he was Dr. Ross, Clooney played a role in another television show set in a Chicago emergency room. While many things were different about this show, at least the “breaking hearts” part was pretty much the same.
‘ER’ was a phenomenonGeorge Clooney | Franco Origlia/Getty Images
When ER hit the airwaves in 1994, it was a huge departure from what had come before, and it wowed viewers. According to the Guardian, most previous medical dramas followed a much slower rhythm, mostly showing doctors walking through the halls, discussing cases.
ER exploded onto the screen, plunging the audience into the action by showing scenes from the viewpoint of a patient on a gurney, being raced into the emergency room.
The storyline was so fast paced and the drama so high that the show quickly became a hit. Viewers tuned in religiously to watch the doctors and nurses of County General Hospital battle to save their patients as quickly as they streamed in the doors.
ER was compulsively watchable, and not just because of the drama. There was also Dr. Doug Ross, and fans didn’t want to miss a moment with him.
George Clooney as Dr. Ross
Cinema Blend explains that Dr. Ross was the series’ resident bad boy, prone to breaking the rules and taking passionate stands. Viewers loved his character so much that Clooney says his life was never the same again after playing the role. His work on ER made him a household name.
He stayed with the series for the first five seasons, then left to pursue other opportunities. He returned for the 15th and final season.
But Clooney had been working as an actor before that. Before he donned Dr. Ross’ scrubs he had a number of smaller roles, some of them in well-known shows. He appeared on 11 episodes of the original Roseanne sitcom, playing a coworker of Roseanne and her sister Jackie. He also appeared on The Facts of Life a few times toward the end of the show’s nine seasons on the air.
There were other roles, none of them particularly remarkable, but one seemed made to prepare him for the part that would catapult him to fame.
Before ‘ER’ there was ‘E/R’
Much of Clooney’s early work before ER is all but forgotten today. But it turns out that before he played Dr. Ross, Clooney already had emergency room experience. Ten years before ER burst onto the scene, he appeared in a comedy series called E/R.
According to Elle, the show, which only survived for a single season, was also set in a Chicago emergency room. Clooney played the part of Ace, a medical technician who worked in the emergency room and was quite the ladies’ man. He wasn’t the only member of the cast who appeared in both emergency room shows, either. Mary McDonnell, who would later play the part of Eleanor Carter on ER, was also a part of the E/R cast.
The briefly lived comedy might not have been a television success, but it was good practice for Clooney’s future role as Dr. Ross. And the many fans who have followed him ever since his days in County General are glad that he ended up where he did.
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