Clooney's parents, Nick and Nina, talk about Academy Award nominee son


by Andy Trienen

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 27 at 4:39 PM

(WHAS11) -- With the Academy Awards on ABC Sunday night, WHAS11’s Andy Treinen went in search of information on one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. 

George Clooney is a Kentucky-born actor who's up for two Academy Awards.

Good Morning Kentuckiana's Trienen paid George's parents, Nick and Nina, a visit in their Augusta, Ky. home.
“Welcome back to northern Kentucky.  Good to see you again," said Clooney like he was greeting an old friend. Nick Clooney doesn’t remember me any more than anyone else who watched him anchor newscasts in Cincinnati, but his warmth and familiarity would lead you to believe otherwise. 

George Clooney's dad Nick is a career news man who met his wife Nina while she was competing in the Miss Lexington pageant.

He asked her to marry him while he was escorting her to Miss Kentucky events. "I said would you pass the butter and would you marry me," remembered Clooney.  She picked up that butter and she must have looked at it for a minute and a half and she said here's the butter and okay."
In the early '60s, they had two kids just one year and  four days apart. They showed me pictures of George and his sister, Ada, in those early years. "There's George," explained the 77-year-old Clooney. "Somebody asked me to ask if he had an awkward teen stage. Yeah, he did."
Nina says she knew George would be a performer of some kind because he spent so much  time with his dad while Nick was broadcasting. "The first time he had Laryngitis he came in woke me up and said mommy I'm experiencing audio difficulty," recalled George’s mom.
Yet, no one could have foreseen this level of success. Clooney is a seven-time Academy Award nominee. Sunday he's up for a Best Actor award in the "Descendants" and Best Adapted Screenplay for the "Ides of March", but that success didn't come instantly. George was in Hollywood for two years before his first acting gig, and after 13 years he got the "ER" job that launched him into super-stardom.

"He's perfectly willing to take chances. He'll jump off the diving board and then look to see if the water is down there. It's amazing," says Nick.
On Monday, Andy Treinen will you take viewers inside Clooney's parent's home where Nina has turned the family bar into a scrapbook of their amazing lives.  He'll also ask their opinion about all of the leading ladies, his vow that he won't get married again, whether he's friends with Brad Pitt, and what makes them most proud of their son.