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George Clooney Turns 51!

Posted: 05/06/2012 6:55 am Updated: 05/06/2012 10:33 am

George Clooney

Actor/director George Clooney is 51!

Best known for his breakout role on the long-running TV drama, ER, Clooney has gone on to star in dozens of roles, balancing more commercial fare like "Ocean's Eleven" with personal, independent features including "Good Night, And Good Luck," on which he served as director, producer and screenwriter, and "Syrianna," which he executive produced and for which he won a best supporting actor Oscar. In 2011, Clooney starred in the Oscar-winning film "The Descendants" playing a man trying to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in an accident. Clooney won a Golden Globe for his work in the film.

No stranger to politics and controversy, Clooney made headlines in March following his arrest in Washington D.C. after a protest raising awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Sudan outside of the Sudanese Embassy. Nick Clooney, the actor's father, was also arrested. George Clooney has been focused on bringing attention to the genocide in Darfur for years, producing several films about the issue and meeting with leaders in China and Egypt to ask them to use their influence to end the violence.

On May 10, Clooney will be holding a fundraiser at his home for 150 guests on behalf of President Obama's reelection campaign. Estimates suggest the event could raise as much as $12 million.

Though Clooney has claimed the title of People's "Sexiest Man Alive," twice, he's not desperately clinging to youth. The actor told Playboy:

"You don't want to try to look younger because you'll look wrong. You dye your hair, you look wrong. You wear a bad toupee, you look wrong. You wear makeup to hide things, you get your eyes done, you look wrong."

The 51-year-old also suggests that experience trumps youth. In 2011, the actor told Esquire:

"I could be tempted by youth if I was allowed to hold on to all the wisdom that I've gotten. In everything, not just sports. In life. In acting. I'd be tempted by youth only so I could continue doing it a little longer."

For more on the actor, check out our slideshow below. Happy birthday, George Clooney!

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  • George Clooney

    Clooney arrives on the red carpet for the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012.

  • George Clooney And Stacy Keibler

    George Clooney with girlfriend Stacy Keibler at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards in 2012.

  • 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards

    Clooney arrives at the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2012.

  • Actor And Activist

    George Clooney is handcuffed by a member of the US Secret Service for trespassing upon the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC, in 2012. Clooney was protesting against human rights abuses by the Sudanese government.

  • 2012

    George Clooney accompanied by his father Nick Clooney, speaks to the press upon their release in March. The two were arrested earlier in the day while protesting at the Sudanese embassy.

  • '8'

    George Clooney speaks onstage during the one-night reading of '8' presented by The American Foundation For Equal Rights & Broadway Impact in 2012.

  • 'The Descendants'

    In "<a href="" target="_hplink">The Descendants</a>" Clooney plays a father and husband coping with his wife's injuries as the result of a boating accident.

  • Golden Globe

    George Clooney wins a Golden Globe for Best Actor in "The Descendants" in 2012.

  • David Letterman

    Clooney talks to Letterman about a particular time when Walter Cronkite jumped in the lake by his home.

  • 'The Ides Of March'

    Clooney wrote, directed, and starred in the 2011 film '<a href="" target="_hplink">The Ides Of March</a>.'

  • Humanitarian Award

    Clooney is presented with the Humanitarian Award at the 2010 Emmy Awards.

  • 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'

    Clooney sings in the 2000 film "<a href="" target="_hplink">O Brother, Where Art Thou?</a>"

Filed by Kristen Stenerson  |