George Clooney is widely acknowledged as one of the most accomplished actors in Hollywood, having contributed to a diverse range of film projects and received numerous accolades from the industry for his work.
Despite achieving great success, Clooney has remained grounded and mindful of his humble origins. He is known for giving back and supporting those who helped him on his journey to fame and wealth.
Growing up in the charming town of Augusta, Kentucky, Clooney learned the value of hard work at a young age. He spent his childhood days mowing lawns and wearing clothes sewn by his mother. He was also an athletic child who played basketball for his school team, which unfortunately had a record of 26 losses in 27 games during Clooney’s senior year.
Reflecting on his experience with basketball, Clooney admitted that it was a humbling ordeal, but he also found it to be a lot of fun and a “wonderful way” to grow up.
Clooney’s acting skills propelled him to swift success in Hollywood, earning him millions of dollars. He became a prominent figure in the 2000s with his appearances in movies like “The Perfect Storm,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” In addition, he received an Academy Award for his performance in the 2005 film “Syriana.”
By the time he appeared in the 2013 movie “Gravity,” Clooney was already a well-established actor, which allowed him to negotiate a salary of $20 million, with the potential for even more earnings through a backend agreement.
Clooney has also made significant contributions to philanthropic organizations and humanitarian causes. Despite his multimillion-dollar earnings in the entertainment industry, he has also amassed a fortune in business.
In 2013, he co-founded Casamigos, a rapidly expanding tequila company, with his friend Rande Gerber. In June 2017, Diageo, a beverage corporation, acquired the company for a total of one billion dollars.
At the time, Diageo initially paid $700 million for Clooney and his friend’s company, with the potential for an additional $300 million based on Casamigos’ success over ten years.
Despite not appearing in a movie for an extended period, Clooney topped Forbes magazine’s list of highest-paid actors in 2018. According to Forbes, Clooney received $233 million from the Diageo acquisition.
According to the prominent business journal, Clooney’s annual earnings that year were reportedly $239 million, which includes income from film work and endorsements.
Despite his celebrity status and wealth, Clooney faced his share of hardships and had to rely on the kindness of others. At one point, he experienced financial difficulties and leaned on his friends for support.
Reflecting on the close relationships he had formed with his friends over 35 years, Clooney remembered how they had helped him during tough times, including providing him with a place to stay.
In return, Clooney had also been a source of support for his friends in their times of need. He acknowledged that without their support, he wouldn’t have achieved the level of success and happiness he currently enjoys.
As a multi-award-winning actor, he also realized that his deep, 30-year relationship with his friends meant that in the event of his passing, he expected them all to be beneficiaries of his inheritance.
Clooney had an unconventional way of expressing his gratitude to the friends who had supported him throughout his career. In appreciation of their contributions to his success, he offered each of them a million dollars in cash.
To make this grand gesture a reality, Clooney went to great lengths, even researching and identifying a location in downtown Los Angeles where he could obtain large amounts of cash.
Eventually, Clooney stumbled upon an old, worn-out van with the word “florist” etched on it. He drove the van across downtown Los Angeles to a secret location.
Once there, he drove the van into a vault and filled it with cash. Only his assistant and a select few security personnel, who were particularly anxious about the operation, were aware of what was going on. The actor felt like he was in a heist movie.
Clooney then bought 14 Tumi travel bags and filled each one with a million dollars. To his surprise, the bags turned out to be lighter than he had anticipated.
The next day, Clooney hosted a dinner at his home and invited his 14 friends. He shared a map that documented all the places he had visited and the activities he had participated in, and expressed his gratitude for their support.
After jokingly proposing to give his friends a million dollars as a way to repay their kindness, Clooney’s plan ultimately succeeded, as he gifted each of them a Tumi travel bag with a million dollars in it.
Clooney’s act of kindness appeared to have paid off. He remembered giving his friends a million dollars on either September 27th or 28th, and getting married on September 27th the following year, which he referred to as a “coincidence.”
Through this generous gesture, the actor not only expressed his gratitude to his friends, but also reminded himself of his humble beginnings and how far he has come.
Clooney’s story is a testament to the fact that dedication and perseverance can help one achieve their dreams, and he will go down as one of the finest actors of his era.