Clooney to Receive Humanitarian Emmy

Former “ER” star only fourth recipient of honor named for Bob Hope

He outgrew television and moved to the big screen years ago, but George Clooney still has big fans on the board of governors at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The TV Academy announced on Wednesday that Clooney will receive its Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, an honor presented to only three other individuals – Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby and Danny Thomas – during the last nine years.

The award will be given to the former “ER” star during the Primetime Emmy telecast on August 29.

George ClooneyThough Clooney has been far more visible on movie screens since his departure from “ER” in 1999, the TV Academy cited his work in mobilizing the “America: A Tribute to Heroes” special in response to 9/11, as well as subsequent concerts and telethons like “Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope” and “Hope for Haiti Now,” as well as his recent work to stop genocide in Darfur. 

“George was an obvious choice for this honor,” said Academy chairman and CEO John Shaffner in the press release announcing the honor. “He has understood and harnessed the power of television, the most powerful medium of our time, to reach into the hearts of people around the world and compelled us to action on behalf of those in sudden and desperate need as well those tragically oppressed in Darfur.” 

The Bob Hope Humanitarian Award was established by the Academy in 2002, and was given out annually between 2002 and 2004. It has not been awarded since then.

During his five seasons on “ER,” Clooney was twice nominated as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.  He did not win.

(Photo by AMPAS)