Special Events

George Clooney Visits the Wortham Center May 3

A female friend of mine and I were talking at lunch the other day about handsome male actors. Being of the gentlemanly persuasion myself, I was comfortable weighing in on my gender, which I can appreciate despite finding it unappealing on the whole. As Elaine said once on Seinfeld, the female body is a work of art. The male body is utilitarian. It's for gettin' around, like a jeep. It's almost simian."

Setting that aside, my friend asked me if there were any actors out there I thought were handsome to the point that even I could recognize it. Brad Pitt came to mind. When I saw him recently on The Daily Show, I felt a faint sense of embarrassment for fellow dudes given his God-given attractiveness compared to the rest of us. But, when I tried to think of another, I was a bit stumped until I came upon George Clooney, not so much because he's good-looking -- I suppose that's true -- but because he's cool, like Cary Grant was back in the day.

Well, Mr. Cool himself will be here in Houston on May 3 as part of the Conversations with Brilliance series. I'm not sure he's brilliant. My father used to say, "If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit." ln the case of Clooney, he'll likely flash the smile that got the ladies swooning all the way back to the days of Facts of Life and dazzle those in attendance, whether what he says is brilliant or the other thing.

Interestingly enough, this is also the first time Clooney has spoken in this format in North America, according to a release. We assume that means he probably has done this in Asia, Africa, South America and/or Europe. My money is on Europe, probably Italy or France, being the ladies' man that he is.

In addition to his Oscar-winning acting and critically acclaimed filmmaking, Clooney spends an awful lot of time working on humanitarian and political causes, having worked with and founded several charities as well as been a "messenger of peace" for the United Nations. He was awarded the Summit Peace Award (along with Oceans co-star Don Cheadle) in 2007 for the Not on Our Watch Project's work on the conflict in Darfur. He co-founded the organization with Cheadle.

The Brilliant lecture series has presented numerous actors, artists, politicians and humanitarians including Sidney Poitier, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and Dame Julie Andrews.

Tickets for the lecture start at $25 up to $150. For more information, contact 713.974.1335 or visit www.brilliantlectures.org.

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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke