The Little-Known Sitcom That Gave George Clooney His Showbiz Start

George Clooney has transformed himself into a household name and, before becoming a bonafide movie star, was most well-known for his role as compassionate Dr. Doug Ross at County General Hospital. Throughout the episodes of the critically acclaimed television series "ER," you'd swoon as this gorgeous doctor saved lives and pulled you into the drama. Since his days in the emergency room, Clooney has built a prolific name for himself in movies like the "Ocean's Eleven" film series alongside other greats like Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

However, before this prolific actor made his jump onto the big screen or ran through the halls of County General, he held a variety of jobs and worked on some other little-known TV shows. In fact, Clooney got his big break into the world of television as part of the cast of the 1980s "E/R" sitcom. Yes, the name causes a bit of confusion, but while Clooney was still acting in the medical field, he definitely wasn't Doug Ross at that time. It's time to quell your curiosity about this 1980s sitcom where George Clooney found his voice as an actor and get the dirt on other early TV shows that featured this Hollywood heartthrob.

E/R is not the ER you know and love

When you think about George Clooney's television career, "ER" might be the first series that comes to your mind — it's even been tossed about as a possible show to reboot, though Clooney isn't enthused about that idea. However, Clooney was slowly making a name for himself before he became an ace doctor in 1994. In fact, one of Clooney's first claims to fame was on the one-season sitcom "E/R." Much like the '90s "ER," this series featured a Chicago hospital. However, unlike the top-rated '90s drama, the show "E/R" ran for only one season from 1984 to 1985. It followed Elliott Gould as divorced Dr. Shenfield and his antics as an on-call emergency room doctor. 

Clooney joined the cast in episode 14 as Mark "Ace" Kolmar, an EMT related to Nurse Joan Thor, and he finished out the series with a reoccurring role in the last eight episodes. A lady's man at heart, Clooney played an ER tech whose dating life provided plenty of antics. While the comedy had all the makings of something that could have been great, it flatlined with fans. On the bright side, Clooney and Gould would go on to star together in the "Ocean's Eleven" film series.

Other shows featuring a young George Clooney

Sure, George Clooney's time as an EMT on "E/R" might have been short, but it was enough to help him find his place in the world of TV dramas. After "E/R" went to the TV land graveyard, this A-list actor joined the cast of a few other TV gems before finding the limelight. While the on-screen Chicago hospital in "E/R" might be where Clooney got his first multi-episode role, he went on to become the handyman in two seasons of "The Facts of Life." You can also find that award-winning smile as Booker Brooks on "Roseanne," the amiable boss of Jackie and Roseanne that had a brief fling with Jackie.

Beyond a few recurring roles in top shows, Clooney played leading man Detective Ryan Walker on all 16 episodes of "Bodies of Evidence," a crime show following a team of homicide detectives. If you want to see a young Clooney with the wind-swept hair look, you might want to check him out as Chic Chesbro in "Sunset Beat." And just in case you want to go further down Clooney's memory lane, you can also check him out as Detective James Falconer in season four of "Sisters."

So while you might not remember household superstar George Clooney before he was Dr. Doug Ross, Clooney started his TV acting career in the mid-1980s on several sitcoms and dramas on his way to becoming a Hollywood A-lister.