- Golden Globe Awards
2015: George Clooney Honored With Cecil B. DeMille Award
George Clooney is that rare artist who makes Hollywood better: endlessly creative, fiercely loyal, and not at all plagued by the insecurities of your typical actor, he has been called the smartest man in the film industry by many.
For the 2015 Golden Globes, he was chosen as the Cecil B. deMille Award recipient. It was fitting that two of his very good friends, past co-stars Julianna Margulies and Don Cheadle, presented him the prize, because friendship means everything to the actor-director-writer-producer, and has infused his work from the very beginning of his career.
And what a career it has been, starting with a long list of failed TV series, and a feature debut called Return to Horror High, followed by Return of the Killer Tomatoes! Clooney got his break in television with ER and in film with the back-to-back hits From Dusk till Dawn and One Fine Day. And yes, then there was Batman, too. What followed were dramas, comedies, and political thrillers — the latter one of his favorite genres, alongside real-life stories.
They were all shown in a compilation of clips at the 72nd Golden Globes ceremony, including a mention of his tireless work as a hands-on political activist.
In his acceptance speech, Clooney made jokes (not unexpectedly) and thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for “keeping small films alive, big ones do fine.” Most importantly, he set some heads straight when he talked about four out of five nominees going home without an award and, falsely, considering themselves losers. “If you’re in this room you caught the brass ring. You get to do what you always dreamed to do and be celebrated for it, and that ain’t losing. So, congratulations to all of you. You had a pretty good year.”
He had been in that room at the Beverly Hilton before, as a nine-time nominee and, four other times, as a winner, in four different categories: as Best Actor – Musical or Comedy for O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2001); Best Supporting Actor in Syriana (2006); and Best Actor – Drama for The Descendants (2012). In addition, Clooney stood on that same stage as one of the producers of Argo, which won Best Picture – Drama in 2013.
He continued his speech on a personal note, paying tribute to his wife of one year: “I’ve had a pretty good year, too. It’s a humbling thing when you find someone to love… Amal, whatever alchemy it is that brought us together, I couldn’t be more proud to be your husband.”
The activist who not only put satellites in the sky to monitor crimes committed by warlords in South Sudan and other places, but together with Amal started the Clooney Foundation for Justice and recently held their first award show, “The Albies,” also received one of the nation’s highest acknowledgements for artists when he was honored by the Kennedy Center this month.