George Clooney: The way you want him
2012-05-07 07:08:27 GMT2012-05-07 15:08:27(Beijing Time)
Business in the front, party in the back! In 1985, a 24-year-old George Clooney injects a little classic '80s sex appeal into the all-girl cast of The Facts of Life as George Burnett – the carpenter who is as handy with a hammer as he is with a can of mousse.
Sporting shoulder-length curls – and that famous grin! – Clooney, here in 1990, lands a few minor roles (the sitcom Sisters and the fantasy Unbecoming Age), but doesn't hit his big break until four years later.
Women race to their television sets – and men race to the barber to copy his "Caesar" hairdo – when Clooney debuts as swoon-worthy Dr. Doug Ross on ER in 1994. "If you stuck a mannequin in my part, he'd get all the fan mail," the self-deprecating actor tells PEOPLE of his role, which he leaves in 1999.
Now praised for his dapper black-tie appearances, a bespectacled Clooney skips traditional neckwear for a whimsical tie at the 1996 opening of the Broadway musical Rent.
The movie was admittedly bad, but Clooney (with Elle Macpherson) still looks so very good as debonair Bruce Wayne! "I had some tremendous Oscar buzz for Batman & Robin and I was, as you can imagine, disappointed," Clooney later jokes about his ill-reviewed 1997 turn as the Caped Crusader.
One golden boy meets another at the 2005 Academy Awards, when a dashing Clooney (in his now-signature black-tie) accepts the Best Supporting Actor award for Syriana. "Sexiest Man Alive, 1997," he reminds the audience during his speech, before again making fun of his turn as Batman – twice.
"I have the best date in the whole world," girlfriend Stacy Keibler said of her boyfriend, whom she accompanied to the November 2011 premiere of The Descendants, the film that earned Clooney his most recent Oscar nod.
As the actor turns 51, take a look back at how he earned the title of Sexiest Man Alive – twice!