Orphaned at age 3 and raised in Göteborg by adoptive parents Lennart, a geologist who died in 1996, and homemaker Anne Marie, 71, he honed his culinary skills at the knee of his grandmother Helga, a professional cook.
Clooney shoulders the blame: “I wasn’t that good at [marriage],”he said in a in February, “because I didn’t want to deal with the issue of how all the time we were spending away from each other was hurting her.” Since then the hardworking actor has spent his rare downtime (he’s next onscreen in the musical comedy this fall) basking in bachelorhood—shooting hoops and riding motorcycles with his rat pack of longtime buddies at his eight-bedroom L. “Casa de Clooney.” All this guy’s-guy stuff, of course, only fuels fantasies of reeling in the 5’11” Kentucky native, who acquired his scorn for showbiz pretension at the knee of his TV broadcaster father, Nick, now 65, and mother Nina, 60.
“Some actors forget where they came from, but George hasn’t,” says costume designer Erica Edell Phillips.
He’d like to “live at Disneyland” and he waxes nostalgic about a favorite date: “We picked lemons in her yard, cut them up and made lemonade, and then sat out there and drank it.” The 6’1″ crooner and sometime actor (Friends and films) was reared by factory-worker parents in Stockton, Calif.
He wants to have kids someday but says he came close to the altar only once.
(His 1995 album Forever Blue mourned his breakup with that girlfriend.) Isaak, who has recently gone out with actress Bai Ling (Anna and the King), says he likes ladies “smarter than me.” Which makes him, of course, a very smart man.