Clooney’s first marriage was to actress Talia Balsam, the daughter of brilliant character actor Martin Balsam and actress Joyce Van Patten, the sister of Dick Van Patten, star of the 80’s comedy- drama series; Eight is Enough. The union lasted almost four years. His famous aunt, Rosemary Clooney, was a huge recording star of the fifties who co-starred opposite Bing Crosby in the 1954 hit movie White Christmas, and was married to actor Jose Ferrer.
George’s aunty – the wonderful
singer Rosemary Clooney.
George is nothing if not outspoken. He wears his heart on his sleeve and says what he thinks. He rarely apologizes. In 2003, on receiving an award, he quipped: ‘Charlton Heston announced again today that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s.’ When taken to task about his insensitive remark, George refused to apologize, adding: ‘I don’t care. Charlton Heston is the head of the National Rifle Association; he deserves whatever anyone says about him.’
Heston and the NRA
As well as being a fierce opponent of the NRA, George Clooney has also spoken out strongly in opposition to George W. Bush when the president announced his intention to attack Iraq following 9/11. The president, he suggested, would fit in ‘just fine with New Jersey’s favorite crime family. The government itself is running just like the Sopranos’. On a talk-show he accused Bush of cutting deals with France and Russia so the United Nations Security Council won’t complain when ‘we go into a war and kill a lot of innocent people.’
In 2003 George expanded on his views regarding the Gulf War. ‘You can’t beat your enemy anymore through wars; instead you create an entire generation of people revenge-seeking. These days it only matters who’s in charge. Right now – that’s us, for a while, at least. Our opponents are going to resort to car bombs and suicide attacks because they have no other way to win.’ He was asked if he had any political ambitions. ‘Run for office? No. I’ve slept with too many women, I’ve done too many drugs, and I’ve been to too many parties.’ Any political campaign would soon run into criticism of his younger days. ‘In college, I basically partied a lot. All the designer drugs were OK – Quaaludes and blow. So that was the time in college for me: Drugs and chasing girls.