My mother and I were fortunate enough to attend filmings of Murphy Brown during the series final four seasons. Murphy's neighbor
at Warner Bros. studios was the popular medical series, ER.
We were a bit early for one of the last shows (February 20, 1998) and decided to take a farewell walk around the studio
lot, when we saw George Clooney shooting baskets outside the soundstage. After a few moments, he walked over and said: Hi,
I'm George!" (Like we didn't know that.) "Are you lost from the (studio) tour?". We explained about Murphy,
but also said we watched ER faithfully, and asked if I could have my picture taken with him. George graciously obliged, even
though I mentioned watching him on The Facts of Life. Something he is apparently not very proud of. I don't understand why.)
George, then, asked: Have you ever been in our set? I replied I knew it was a closed set and you couldn't just go in.
"You can if you're with me," he smiled.
Then I noticed only stairs leading up to the entrance. Wheelchairs and stairs are basically incompatible.
"Do you trust me?" George asked. "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV!"
Normally, I don't like strangers to lift my chair... but how could I refuse!!!
"I'M NOT A DOCTOR, BUT I PLAY ONE ON TV..."
The next thing I knew, we were inside the ER. It is unusual because it is a contiguous set with actual hallways, rooms,
closets, etc -- even a ceiling with permanent lighting actually used for filming.
In addition to the directors, producers and crew members who were busily running about, george introduced us to two of
his fellow actors, Noah Wyle and Maria Bello. Both of them were very kind. Noah asked George where he found us. George explained
about Murphy Brown.
Noah quipped:So, we werent your first choice!
George continued to push my chair throghout the soundstage, explaining things in minute detail. He's an outstanding tour
guide. Though I don't rememember much due to the excitement of it all!
Then, it was time for us to go back to Murphy. Once outside, we thanked George for his time and trouble, but how do you
really thank someone for an experience like that.
I'll never forget that day... or the unbelieveable kindness of George Clooney!
Clooney Encounter #2:
Twice In A Lifetime
October 8, 1999
Something unexpected happened when we went to
visit Faith Ford on the set of "Norm." Mom and I took my sister, Jeanne, along. She had been to tapings of both
Murphy Brown and Maggie Winters, so she had met Faith previously. And she had the night off from her job at Disneyland, so
she thought she would join us. She got a big surprise!
We got to the Warner Brothers studios as usual. As we approached
Faith, we noticed that she was talking to some people. One of them was Laurie Metcalf. Faith's assistant, Hillary, was also
there. But someone else was hidden in the corner. When we got a few steps closer, Mom said to my sister: "Don't have
a heart attack!" I couldn't understand what she was talking about. I got close enough to greet Hillary and Faith before
I heard: "Hey, Buddy!" And turned to realize it was George! (Jeanne is a big fan and she wasn't around the last
time I met George.) I was shocked! I never expected to see him again. Mom asked if he remembered us. George said "Sure!",
but I still wasn't convinced. George seems very sincere, and was, again, being extremely friendly but it had been more than
a year and a half. No one could be expected to remember Could they? Then, Mom introduced him to Jeanne, who was very excited!
Anyway, George kept asking about my health, etc. It was as if we had seen each other just the other day. He asked
me what I was doing there. "I know you used to go to Murphy Brown", he said. (OK, so he did remember. ) He looked
at Faith, "Oh!"
Faith explained about our time at "Murphy", moving on to "Maggie Winters"
and now "supporting her" at "Norm." I said, "We just follow her where she leads us."
laughed, "Watch out. She'll get a restraining order"
"Never!" Faith interjected.
to me: "That's OK, she'll have to get one for me, too."
Since this was Faith's last night at "Norm",
talk turned to her upcoming play,Crimes of the Heart" (also starring Crystal Bernard and being directed by Garry Marshall
at the Falcon Theater in Burbank, California). We also talked about George's current film, "Three Kings". Ironically,
Mom and I had just seen the movie the day before. I told George I liked it, Faith hadn't seen it yet. Soon, it was time to
get back to work-- Faith and Laurie to the "Norm", and George to his office, which was apparently just around the
corner. So, we said our good-byes to George, and were off to the set of "Norm."