The pair canoodle and cuddle during the star-studded 2009 UNICEF Ball in Beverly Hills

By Scott Huver
Updated December 11, 2009 03:15 PM
Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

George Clooney took girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis on a classic Hollywood date Thursday night, complete with the industry’s biggest movie stars and moguls – and the Italian beauty fit right in.

A tuxedoed Clooney, 48, kept Canalis, 31, close at the 2009 UNICEF Ball at the Beverly Wilshire hotel, where the pair shared a table with Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Matt Damon, his wife Luciana Barroso, Bruce Willis and his wife Emma Heming, Larry David and producer Jerry Weintraub, who was being honored with UNICEF’s Humanitarian Award.

Canalis appeared right at home among Clooney’s high-profile pals, chit-chatting with Cindy Crawford and her husband Rande Gerber, and never straying far from her beau, who kept her the center of his attention.

Throughout the evening, the couple never skimped on public displays of affection: He draped his around the back of her chair and she ran her fingers through his hair during musical performances from Tony Bennett and Frankie Valli. Clooney constantly turned to her to share big laughs during the event’s funnier moments, like Paul Anka’s affectionate roasting of Weintraub with saucy re-written lyrics to his hit song “My Way.”

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Clooney only left his lady’s side briefly to take the stage to present Weintraub with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award. As Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” played, he pretended he was singing the song himself, then took some affectionate jabs at Weintraub, including doing a spot-on impression.

“I can tell you all stories about his career like when Aaron Spelling offered a movie of the week about euthanasia and Jerry said, ‘What the hell do I know about Chinese kids?’ That’s a true story!” said Clooney. ‘I could regale you with stories of seeing and wandering the corridors of the Bellagio Hotel in Vegas in spandex bicycle shorts – I learned too much about the aging process!

He ended on a fond note, saying, “Jerry doesn’t just light up a room. He sets it on fire. He is a great producer. He is a great organizer. He is a great friend and he is truly the greatest showman on earth.”

Clooney and Canalis’s affectionate vibe was infectious at their table: Jolie and Pitt whispered in each other’s ears throughout the night, Barroso nestled into Damon’s shoulder during the performances, and Heming lovingly adjusted Willis’s tie before his onstage appearance.