Whether you first saw him on your television screen as Doug Ross, the compassionate yet impulsive doctor in the first six seasons of ER, or on the big screen in his blockbuster performance as Danny Ocean in the box office hit Ocean’s Eleven (and its following sequels), you probably recognize George Clooney as one of modern Hollywood’s most popular actors. His charming smile and talented acting have led to leading roles in movies ranging from space dramas to political thrillers, and Clooney has had equal success off screen as a producer and director of award winning films.
In addition to his fame in the film industry, Clooney is well known for his human rights activism, including founding the organization Not On Our Watch and co-founding the Clooney Foundation for Justice with his wife, international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney.
In honor of Clooney’s 60th birthday on May 6, here are a few top picks that show his versatility both on camera and behind the scenes.
In The Descendants, Clooney stars at Matt King, a father who struggles to connect with his daughters after his wife has a boating accident in Hawaii.
Clooney earned his first award nominations as a director in Good Night, and Good Luck, a film about the real life conflict between pioneer newscaster Edward R. Murrow and Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. Clooney co-wrote the screenplay with Grant Heslov, directed, and acted in a supporting role as Murrow’s producer Fred Friendly.
Clooney stars alongside Sandra Bullock in Gravity, a science fiction movie about two astronauts who are left out in space after a seemingly routine spacewalk goes wrong and destroys the space shuttle.
Clooney won his first Oscar for his role in the drama Syriana. He plays a career CIA operative who discovers the truth about the politics of oil in the Persian Gulf.
The Monuments Men, another film directed by Clooney, stars Clooney, John Goodman, Bill Murray, and Matt Damon as a group of WWII soldiers tasked with rescuing art masterpieces from Nazi thieves.
What is your favorite George Clooney movie? Share in the comments below!