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George Clooney Photo: Best Actor Golden Globe Winner 2012

George Clooney
George Clooney

Actor George Clooney won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his role in Alexander Payne's The Descendants, playing opposite Best Supporting Actress nominee Shailene Woodley. In the above photo, Clooney poses backstage in the press room with his Golden Globe Award at the 2012 Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on Sunday, January 15.

Clooney has been nominated for a total of 13 Golden Globes in various categories, in both the motion picture and television arenas. Prior to The Descendants, Clooney's only victory was as a Best Supporting Actor for Stephen Gaghan's political thriller Syriana, featuring Matt Damon, Chris Cooper, Amanda Peet, and this year's Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe winner, Christopher Plummer. (Plummer won the Golden Globe for playing Ewan McGregor's gay father in Mike Mills' Beginners).

At this year's Golden Globe ceremony, Clooney was also in the running in the Best Director and Best Screenplay categories for The Ides of March, a political drama in which he also starred opposite double nominee Ryan Gosling. (Gosling was in contention for Nicolas Winding Refn's thriller Drive and for Glenn Ficarra and John Requa's romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love.) Additionally, The Ides of March was a Best Picture – Drama nominee. The film didn't win a single award. Clooney lost the screenwriting Golden Globe to Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris. Martin Scorsese was voted Best Director for Hugo. And of course, Clooney beat Gosling in the Best Actor – Drama category.

In addition to Gosling, Clooney's competition in the Best Actor – Drama category consisted of Leonardo DiCaprio for playing J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar, Michael Fassbender (the target of Clooney's risque penis joke) for Steve McQueen's sex drama Shame, and Brad Pitt for Bennett Miller's baseball drama Moneyball.

Clooney was also a presenter at the Golden Globes ceremony. His fellow presenters included The Hours' Nicole Kidman, Black Swan' Mila Kunis, Oscar winner Sidney Poitier (Lilies of the Field, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Defiant Ones, The Bedford Incident, Paris Blues), Two and a Half Men's Ashton Kutcher, Adam Levine, The Breakfast Club's Rob Lowe, Bridesmaids' Melissa McCarthy, The House Bunny's Katharine McPhee, Children of Men's Clive Owen, The Fabulous Baker Boys' Michelle Pfeiffer, Slumdog Millionaire's Freida Pinto, The Fighter's Mark Wahlberg, and Water for Elephants' Reese Witherspoon — whose This Means War, directed by McG, and featuring Star Trek's Chris Pine and The Dark Knight Rises' Tom Hardy, opens in February.

George Clooney Photo: Golden Globes 2012 © HFPA

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