Amy Sancetta/AP
Tim Nudd
March 15, 2010 11:20 AM

In America, Elisabetta Canalis is best known as George Clooney‘s girlfriend. Now, she’s about to give audiences in the U.S. a taste of her acting talents.

Canalis, 31, will appear in five episodes of the TNT drama Leverage when the show, starring Timothy Hutton, begins its third season this summer. She will play a mysterious woman simply known as “the Italian.”

Canalis, who began dating Clooney, 48, last summer and has been by his side throughout Hollywood’s award-show season, is a popular TV presenter and actress in her native Italy. She made her professional debut 10 years ago on the satirical daily news show Striscia la Notizia and has appeared in various movies and TV series, including this year’s Fratelli Benvenuti.

Leverage features a gang of con artists who exact revenge against those who use power and wealth to victimize people.

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