This weekend the unthinkable happened: George Clooney got engaged. After a lifetime of romancing A-listers on screen and shacking up with international beauties for one or two-year stints, forgive me for being shocked that the bachelor is reportedly moving towards long-term monogamy with Amal Alamuddin. Repeatedly stating that you have no interest in walking down the aisle can throw a person off now and again, Cloons.
The news of an impending wedding for one of Hollywood’s most eligible has sparked a lot of conversation. And as a trilingual lawyer with degrees from Oxford and New York University, Alamuddin is certainly deserving of the attention. But let’s not forget the first woman who managed to get George to propose.
As Clooney’s celebrity has risen, he’s bounced from beautiful woman to beautiful woman. Some stuck around longer than others; some led gossipmongers to speculate whether she would be the one to make him finally Beyoncé-up and settle down. Despite recent public romances with Stacy Keibler and Elisabetta Canalis, the lucky woman to previously wed George Clooney is none other than Talia Balsam. It might be considered a surprising first marriage now, but Clooney married the actress in Las Vegas in 1989, long before the days of E.R. or Lake Como boat parties. With over 30 years in the industry, Balsam has played a number of memorable roles on shows like Taxi, Family Ties and Touched by an Angel. They divorced just before Clooney began his star-making arc as Dr. Doug Ross on E.R., and since their split he’s publicly admitted his less than stellar marital track record, telling Vanity Fair, “I probably – definitely – wasn’t someone who should have been married at that point. I just don’t feel like I gave Talia a fair shot.” Most recently Balsam has been seen as Mrs. William Walden on Homeland and Mrs. Roger Sterling on Mad Men (playing opposite her real life husband, John Slattery). Yes, she married George and then she married Slatts, forever our favorite silver fox. Portraits should be painted with her likeness and federal holidays declared in her honor. In a world of handsome playboys and Tinder dates who never show, Talia has achieved the impossible. Twice.
So just how does she do it? Her lady parts are made of beer and and Porterhouse? That, I could handle — we are what we are. But if she knows secrets from the set of The Facts of Life I just might scream.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]