George Clooney had US$10,000 bets on staying single

Besides betting with actress Nicole Kidman, George Clooney also took on actress Michelle Pfeiffer, his co-star in the 1996 movie One Fine Day (left), about him staying single by the age of 40.
Besides betting with actress Nicole Kidman, George Clooney also took on actress Michelle Pfeiffer, his co-star in the 1996 movie One Fine Day (left), about him staying single by the age of 40.

George Clooney's history as a Hollywood heart-throb began with his role on the hit medical drama ER (1994-1999), when he played the roguishly handsome Dr Doug Ross.

It was when he began making the successful transition to movies, however, that he would morph into a Hollywood mega-stud.

The mass-scale swooning began with the hit romantic comedy One Fine Day (1996), opposite Michelle Pfeiffer, and the sexy crime caper Out Of Sight (1998), with Jennifer Lopez, earning him the title of People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive not once but twice, in 1997 and 2006.

Before all this, Clooney was married to actress Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993, but after the divorce, he publicly said, on several occasions, that he had no interest in ever marrying again.

And for a long time, he played the part of the eternal bachelor to perfection, dating a seemingly never-ending succession of attractive women, including law student and model Celine Balitran (1996 to 1999), British model Lisa Snowdon (on and off from 2001 to 2006), cocktail waitress Sarah Larson (2007 to 2008), Italian television host Elisabetta Canalis (2009 to 2011) and pro-wrestler Stacey Keibler (2011 to 2013).

He has also been linked to actresses such as Kelly Preston and Lucy Liu.

He was so sure he would never walk down the aisle again that he made a wager with Pfeiffer and another actress, Nicole Kidman, betting them US$10,000 each that he would still be unmarried and childless by the time he turned 40 in 2001.

Kidman paid up when he hit the landmark birthday, but the actor reportedly returned her cheque and offered her a "double or nothing" bet that he would stay single till the age of 50.

Everything changed, however, when he met Ms Amal Alamuddin, a British-Lebanese human- rights barrister based in London, and began dating her in 2013. In September last year, the actor, then 53, and his bride, 36, were married in a glamorous wedding in Venice.

Since then, he has repeatedly declared his love for his wife, saying marriage is "fun" and that it has "changed everything in terms of what I thought my personal future was going to be".

Perhaps that future will include a mini Clooney or two.

Alison de Souza