Things You Might Not Know About George Clooney

George Clooney is one of those actors who has been playing the game for three decades. A lot has changed for him, especially in recent years. He’s gone from eternal bachelor to happily married after his wedding to Amal Alamuddin and now he’s a father of two, twins Ella and Alexander. We think he seems a lot happier, and more satisfied with his life. He also has a birthday coming up! In honor of that, here are 10 things you didn’t know about the television turned movie star:

10. Terrible Accident

He cracked his head open while filming a torture scene for 2005’s Syriana, for which he won an Oscar, and it took doctors weeks to figure out that fluid was also leaking from his spine and that he had torn his dura, the outermost layer enveloping the spinal cord. “We started doing these things called myelograms, where they shoot contrast into your system and you can see what’s leaking out. I had a two-and-a-half-inch tear in the middle of my back and a half-inch tear in my neck,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. Although he still struggles with pain, he claims that it’s become more manageable.

c) Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

c) Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

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9. Bets

The Oscar-winning actor once bet Michelle Pfeiffer that he wouldn’t be married by the time he was 40 and won, but that sounds like an easy bet considering that all he had to do was avoid proposing to anyone.

(c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved

(c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved

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8. Not So Humble Beginnings

He hails from Lexington, Kentucky. His mother was a beauty queen and city councilwoman and his father was an anchorman and game show host, who hosted AMC for five years in the late 1990s. His maternal great-great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Sparrow, was the half-sister of Nancy Lincoln, mother of President Abraham Lincoln and his aunt, Rosemary Clooney, was a famed cabaret singer.

Press Association

Press Association

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7. Bells Palsy

When Clooney was 14, he developed Bells Palsy, a condition that partially paralyzes the face. “As I started high school, half my face was paralyzed for six months,” he said. “That’s a long, long time. You wake up one morning and your tongue is numb, and you can’t drink. Milk starts pouring out of the side of your face. You don’t know when it’s going to end; you don’t know if it is going to end. And there’s no treatment.”

Photo By Michael Ferguson/PHOTOlink /Courtesy Everett Collection

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6. Professional Baseball Player?

An avid baseball player, he tried out for the Cincinnati Reds in 1977, but he failed to make it past the first round of player cutoffs and was not offered a contract.

Everett Collection

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5. Serious Illness

The Monuments Men actor contracted malaria during one his trips to Africa as part of a diplomatic mission to prevent another genocide in Sudan and he’s had a couple of reoccurrences since.

Olivier Douliery/ABACAUSA.COM

Olivier Douliery/ABACAUSA.COM

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4. Scary Situation

He was once held up at gunpoint in Sudan with his father. According to him, it was “in the middle of nowhere and we were pulled over by a bunch of 13-year-old kids with Kalashnikovs, and that’s where it’s dangerous because it’s random violence.” One of his colleagues got them out of it by walking over to one of their assailants and calmly pushing his gun away, saying, “No,” as if scolding a child. “I couldn’t believe it was that simple because I was embarrassed at how scared I was,” he said.

Olivier Douliery/ABACA

Olivier Douliery/ABACA

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3. TV Lover

There’s something unpretentious about The Descendants actor. He watches everything from ESPN and Modern Family to The Soup to Jersey Shore.

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2. Career Break

It took him a long time to become a star. He was either getting good parts on bad shows or bad parts on good shows. It wasn’t until he was almost thirty-three that he got his career break on the show ER.

Photo By John Barrett/PHOTOlink/Everett Collection

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1. Pragmatic

He paid cash for all of his houses and he doesn’t invest his money in the stock market, which he describes as “Vegas, without the fun.”

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