George Clooney’s credentials as an actor need little elaboration. In 2001, the nephew of singer Rosemary Clooney also made headlines for humanitarian masons.
Clooney was one of many celebrities who took part in the celebrity telethon organized by United Way which raised over $266 million for victims of the September 11th attacks. But it was Clooney alone who took on the might of the scrappy talk show host Bill O’Reilly when O’Reilly criticized the United Way for its tardiness in distributing funds. Clooney defended the United Way’s modus operandi in taking time to sort out the complicated process of seeing who was most in need. “The money is going out to the right people, and to make certain of this, the United Way is taking some time,” he said.
In October 2001, Clooney came to the defense of three unknown actors who were expelled by the Screen Actors Guild for allegedly breaking a strike. He even offered to pay their fines if they were reinstated. He also helped to raise the morale of troops at a U.S. airbase in Turkey when he visited with fellow Ocean’s Eleven cast members to premiere the movie there. ♦