celebrity

6 years ago, Hollywood's most eligible bachelor settled down. This is his life now.

For decades, there was one narrative George Clooney couldn't escape.

The eternal bachelor.

It all stemmed from comments Clooney made after his divorce from actress Talia Balsam, who he was married to from 1989-1993.

After their marriage ended, he stated he'd never get married again.

Watch: George Clooney on how he met Amal. Post continues below video.


Video via Mamamia.

Fast forward almost 30 years, and the 59-year-old - once Hollywood's most eligible bachelor - is married with children, admitting meeting wife Amal Alamuddin changed his mind.

"There is no question that having Amal in my life changed everything for me," Clooney told CBS Sunday Morning in November 2020.

"It was the first time that everything that she did and everything about her was infinitely more important than anything about me."

"And then we had these two knuckleheads," Clooney added of his children, three-year-old twins Alexander and Ella.

"It is very fulfilling and something I wasn't at all... didn't see coming."

Clooney, 59, and human rights lawyer Amal, 42, married in a lavish ceremony in Venice in 2014, just over a year after they met.

Clooney said his proposal was a major shock to his now-wife.

"We never talked about marriage when we were dating," he said.

"I asked her out of the blue, took her a long time to say yes. I was on my knee for like 20 minutes, I finally said, 'Look, I'm gonna throw my hip out.'"

Image: Getty.

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Also not initially on the cards? Kids. Let alone twins.

"We never talked about having kids, and then one day we just said, 'What do you think?'" Clooney recalled.

"We go to the doctor and you do the ultrasound. They're like, 'You got a baby boy!' and I was like, 'Baby boy, fantastic!' And they go, 'And you got another one there.' I was up for one. Again, I'm old.

"All of a sudden, it's two. It's hard to get me to not talk and I just stood there for like 10 minutes just staring at this piece of paper going, 'What? Two?'"

Clooney's change of tune happened rapidly in 2014. Early that year, in March, he told Esquire UK he didn't have "aspirations" to settle down.

"I was married in 1989. I wasn't very good at it," he said at the time.

"I was quoted as saying I'll never get married again pretty much right after I got divorced and then I've never talked about it since."

By September, he was married.

For decades, Hollywood and tabloids were fascinated by Clooney's love life. 'Would he ever settle down?' was the biggest question of them all, with every move made by Clooney and his partners throughout the years dissected for hints of an answer.

Clooney's first high-profile relationship was with Kelly Preston. They dated and lived together for two years from 1987 to 1989.

Clooney and first wife Talia Balsam. Image: Getty.

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In December 1989, he married Balsam. After three and a half years together, they split in September 1993.

Clooney later reflected on their marriage to Vanity Fair.

"I probably - definitely - wasn't someone who should have been married at the point," he said. "I just don’t feel like I gave Talia a fair shot."


 Clooney and Celine Balitran. Image: Getty.


For the rest of the 90s, Clooney dated French law student Celine Balitran, who he met when she was waiting tables in 1996. She moved from France to California to live with Clooney, but they split in 1999.

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He then dated British model Lisa Snowdon on-and-off for five years, from 2000 to 2005, and his Confessions of a Dangerous Mind co-star Krista Allen from 2002 to 2004, during an 'off' period with Snowdon.

Clooney was named People's Sexiest Man Alive in 2006, and in the corresponding interview once again said he didn't give much thought to 'settling down'.

"Things could always change, but it's not a consideration right now. The truth is I'm really happy. The things that are a drag in my life are so outweighed by the things that are great. I have families that I spend my days with, and friends I spend my days with, and people I care very much about. I get to do what almost no one gets to do. My life's really good," he said.

He said he didn't have a burning desire for children either.

"I don't see myself ever having kids. But everything in my life has changed over periods of time... and the world does change," he said.

Sarah Larson and Clooney in 2008. Image: Getty.

In 2007, Clooney met model Sarah Larson when she was working as a cocktail waitress. They began dating, and she was his guest to the 2008 Academy Awards. They broke up in May of that year.

The following year he was spotted with Italian actress Elisabetta Canalis, and they made their first appearance as a couple in September 2009. They broke up in 2011.

Around this time, he joked to CNN that he'd already been married and shown how good - or bad - he was at it.

"I hate to blow your whole news story, but I was married," he said. "Yeah, so I've proven how good I was at it, and I just... I'm allowed one."

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Clooney and Stacy Keibler. Image: Getty.

Then Clooney had another two-year relationship with former WWE champ Stacy Keibler from 2011-2013.

In December 2013, he told W Magazine "I haven't met her yet", in response to a question about who the greatest love of his life was.

That was - in hindsight - probably a deliberately misleading answer, as he had met Amal at his Lake Como home through a mutual friend just five months earlier. 

Image: Getty.

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They'd been dating mostly in secret, besides a few times paparazzi caught them together, for a couple of months.

"I got a call from my agent who said, 'I met this woman who is coming to your house, who you're going to marry,'" Clooney recalled during an appearance on Netflix's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. 

"It really worked out that way."

After the initial meeting, the pair hit it off immediately and spent several weeks communicating virtually before the relationship grew.

"She sent some pictures from when she was here, and we were writing each other, emailing, talking, mostly about what was going on in each other’s lives"  he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. 

"And over a period of time it became clear we were more than just friends."

Their first official date was in October 2013, and six months later, he proposed.

Clooney had slowed his acting career down in recent years, especially following Amal's pregnancy.

The announcement of Alexander and Ella's births came with a typically Clooney statement.

"This morning Amal and George welcomed Ella and Alexander Clooney into their lives," said a statement  issued to People magazine. 

"Ella, Alexander, and Amal are all healthy, happy, and doing fine. George is sedated and should recover in a few days."

Netflix's The Midnight Sky, released December 23 2020, was the first movie role he'd taken on since 2016. He also directed the film.

Six years after their wedding, Clooney told CBS Sunday Morning how his family's life had looked throughout 2020.

They had been quarantined in Los Angeles for months.

"It's been a while since I did 15 loads of laundry in a day and mopped floors and all these doors over here I stained," he said.

"I always say I felt like my mother in 1964, because she had two kids and no help. I don't know she did it now, I have more sympathy for her now than ever."

He shared a similar sentiment with Extra: "Washing dishes. Mopping floors. And doing laundry. And looking forward to a vaccine sometime in the near future."