The Oscar winner was an extra in a TV miniseries and a high school jock before he found fame in Hollywood

By K.c. Blumm
June 21, 2014 02:10 PM
Credit: Coleman-Rayner

Long before his hair went gray or he owned a pot-bellied pig or was named PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive, George Clooney was just another teenager growing up in Lexington, Kentucky.

Or was he?

As these newly discovered vintage photos of a 17-year-old Clooney show, even back then he stood out in a crowd.

The ageless Hollywood hunk, 53, who’s engaged to British attorney Amal Alamuddin, shows off his enviable physique (and movie-star hair) as he holds a trophy after a tennis competition in Augusta, Kentucky, in 1978.

Clooney, whose grandparents owned a tobacco farm in Kentucky, would make money in the summers cutting and chopping tobacco, which probably explains the perma-tan.

The actor recently revisited his days as a high school sports hero when he went back home for a family reunion and played a pickup basketball game with the son of his former prom date.

While his dad was a TV anchorman and his aunt was ’40s singer and movie star Rosemary Clooney, the future Oscar winner got his first real showbiz experience when the NBC miniseries Centennial filmed in Augusta in 1978.

Dressed in period costume, Clooney was an extra on the production, but even back then he looked completely comfortable in front of a camera.

Inside Scoop: George Clooney Gets Engaged!

Want more stories like this?

Sign up for our newsletter and other special offers:

Thank you for signing up!