George Clooney is an American actor, screenwriter, director entrepreneur and activist who has a net worth of $500 million. George Clooney is one of the most sought-after A-List actors in the entertainment industry. He regularly earns at least $20 million for a single film role. Outside of acting George is the co-founder of Casamigos Tequila. In 2017 George and his two partners sold Casamigos to Diageo for $1 billion. More on that sale later in the article.
Clooney was born in Lexington, Kentucky on May 6, 1961, to Nina Bruce, a beauty queen and city councilwoman, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and TV host. Clooney was raised Roman Catholic, but has claimed to be somewhat agnostic in his adult life. He attended Blessed Sacrament School in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, and after that, the family moved to Mason, Ohio.
The Clooneys returned to Kentucky and, in his seventh-grade year, George developed Bell’s Palsy, a condition that partially paralyzes the face. It went away after one year, but Clooney has described it as being a difficult time in school as he was bullied over it. He was an avid basketball and basement player and even tried out to play for the Cincinnati Reds after high school, but didn’t make the team. Clooney went to Northern Kentucky University from 1979-1981 to major in broadcast journalism, but didn’t graduate.
After moving to Los Angeles, he lived in his car for a time. Although it should be noted that the car was parked in the driveway of a Beverly Hills mansion owned by his famous aunt, singer Rosemary Clooney. He soon won minor roles in television shows such as “The Facts of Life”, “Roseanne”, and “The Golden Girls”.
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His first major role was on the sitcom “E/R” in 1984—not to be confused with his star-making role on the NBC drama “ER”, which began in 1994 when he was cast as Dr. Doug Ross.
While still on “ER”, he appeared in a number of films, including “From Dusk til Dawn”, “One Fine Day”, and “Out of Sight”. He also succeeded Val Kilmer as “Batman”, though he appeared only in one “Batman” film. He appeared in “ER” from 1994-1999 and then again in 2000 and 2009. He appeared in a total of 109 episodes. He earned two Primetime Emmy Awards nominations and three Golden Globe nominations for best actor during his residency as Dr. Ross on “ER”.
Clooney left “ER” in 1999 and enjoyed a spate of box office successes, including his most popular to date, “Ocean’s 11”. He also starred in “The Perfect Storm” (2000) and “O’ Brother, Where Art Thou” that same year. Clooney went on to reprise his role in “Ocean’s 12” and “Ocean’s 13”. In 2005, Clooney appeared in the film “Syriana”, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The same year, he was also nominated both for writing and directing “Good Night, and Good Luck”, and became the first person in Oscar history to be nominated for directing one film and acting in another, in the same year.
Clooney continued his string of hits when he starred with Ewan McGregor in 2009’s “The Men Who Stare at Goats”, and that same year, “Up in the Air” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Clooney won heaping critical praise for 2011’s “The Descendants” and for 2013’s The Ides of March, as well as for “Argo”. Clooney is the only person in Oscar history to be nominated for awards in six different categories. George also won critical praise when he starred with Sandra Bullock in 2013’s “Gravity.” For all of his achievements in the entertainment world, Clooney was awarded the 2018 AFI Life Achievement Award.
Net Worth Milestones
- 1993: $500 thousand
- 1995: $3 million
- 2000: $10 million
- 2005: $50 million
- 2007: $70 million
- 2012: $100 million
- 2015: $200 million
- 2019: $500 million
Clooney is active in a variety of political causes, including the conflict in Darfur, Sudan and fundraising for relief after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He is heavily involved with the Not On Our Watch project. He married Talia Balsam in 1989 but they divorced in 1993. Clooney went on to live with his pet pig, Max, until the pig’s death in 2006. Clooney became engaged to British-Lebanese human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin on April 28, 2014, as confirmed by a representative at Alamuddin’s law firm Doughty Street Chambers. Alamuddin and Clooney were officially married on September 27, 2014 at Ca’ Farsetti. They were married by Clooney’s friend Walter Veltroni, the former mayor of Rome. The couple had twins, Ella and Alexander, on July 6, 2017.
For the 19 episodes of “Sisters” that he appeared on, George earned $40,000 per appearance. That works out to a total of $760,000. George earned $100,000 per episode of “ER”. He intentionally never asked for a raise and instead focused on becoming a huge star to advance his budding movie career. In total George earned around $11 million for his work on “ER”.
One of his biggest early paychecks was the 1996 movie “One Fine Day”, for which he earned $3 million. He earned $10 million for his single “Batman” appearance, $10 million for “Out of Sight”, $8 million for “The Perfect Storm”, $15 million for “Intolerable Cruelty”, $20 million for “Ocean’s Eleven” (a career high) and $15 million for “Ocean’s Thirteen”. George has earned around $200 million before taxes from his film and TV career alone.
Since 2013 George Clooney has appeared in a number of commercials for Nespresso. To date this endorsement deal has paid George $40 million.
George famously sets aside a portion of each paycheck to fund a spy satellite that appears over Sudan at all times. For much of the last decade this satellite was focused exclusively on the former Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir. Omar had been accused of gross hate crimes and human rights violations that led to thousands of deaths. The satellite not only tracked Bashir personally, it also tracks Sudan’s armed forces to anticipate movements and potential human rights violations. Omar was ousted in a military coup in April 2019. Several months later he was arrested, convicted and imprisoned.
Skipped $35 Million Paycheck
In a December 2021 interview George revealed he at one point was offered $35 million to perform a single day’s work shooting a commercial for an airline. The airline was owned an operated by an unnamed country that George described as an “ally” of the United States but “is questionable at times.“According to George he talked to Amal about the offer and together they decided the money “wasn’t worth it,” so he declined.
Had he taken the job and worked six hours filming the commercial start to finish, he would have essentially made $5.8 million PER HOUR.
Real Estate Portfolio
George and Amal own homes all over the world. Arguably, George’s most famous property is his 15 bedroom villa on Italy’s Lake Como which he acquired in 2002 for $30 million. They own a six-bedroom mansion in Studio City, California which he purchased in 1995 for $2.2 million at the height of his “ER” fame. This property is likely worth $10+ million today. They own a $7 million property in Berkshire, England, an apartment in New York City among others. In total, George and Amal’s real estate portfolio alone is worth $100 million.
Earnings From Casamigos Tequila
In 2013, George and entrepreneurs Rande Gerber and Michael Meldman founded Casamigos Tequila. Gerber is probably most famous for being married to Cindy Crawford. Meldman is a real estate tycoon. The three originally launched the brand as a private label to give tequila to friends and family. They turned the brand into a public label in 2013.
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On June 21, 2017, Clooney, Gerber and Meldman agreed to sell Casamigos to alcohol conglomerate Diageo for $1 billion. They were paid $700 million in cash plus $300 million in bonuses that will be paid out based on future performance goals. Assuming a three-way split on the initial $700 million, George’s pre-tax cut would be around $230 million. After taxes it would be around $150 million.
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