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George Clooney says he suffered from Bell’s palsy as a teenager

The 51-year-old actor opened up about his health ordeal as a teenager while appearing on the 20th-anniversary episode of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’.

The 51-year-old actor opened up about his health ordeal as a teenager while appearing on the 20th-anniversary episode of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’.
Samir HusseinWireImage

George Clooney has revealed that he was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy as a teenager. During a late-night interview on Thursday, the ‘Up in the Air’ actor talked about living with the condition when he was young.

The star appeared on the 20th-anniversary episode of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, where he told the host and fellow guest Snoop Dogg about the early diagnosis.

During the show, Kimmel produced a handful of photos from Clooney’s childhood. The first photo was from early childhood, with Clooney sporting a bowl cut and glasses, to which the 51-year-old actor responded by making a joke about his mother cutting his hair.

The second photo was of Clooney when he was 15-years-old sporting longish hair and a side-smile. Before Kimmel could make a quip, the two-time Academy Award winner stopped him.

“Now wait, I want to point out something because you’re going to laugh, gonna make a joke,” Clooney interjected. “I have Bell’s palsy there and half of my face is paralyzed.

Clooney reached toward the photo, covering one half of his younger self’s face and then the other.

“Look at this, watch this, If you go like this, on the other side, it’s a completely different face,” the actor said. “So now make your joke. Come on, funny man. Come on, let me give you my sad face.”

Kimmel responded: “You know what? I didn’t have a joke, George, and you really brought everybody down,” in which the men laughed and had a toast, before moving on to the next photo, a handsome shot from Clooney’s later high school years.

What is Bell’s palsy

According to the Mayo Clinic, Bell’s palsy causes sudden weakness in the muscles on one side of the face, causing the slanted smile.

Usually the weakness is temporary, with recovery taking a few weeks to several months, but notably, the condition rarely recurs. Causes of Bell’s palsy are unknown — though experts assert it may be due to nerve inflation in the face.

George Clooney isn’t the only celebrity to reveal he has suffered from Bell’s palsy.

Angelina Jolie spoke about her Bell’s palsy diagnosis in a 2016 interview with Vanity Fair, as well as other health conditions like hypertension and surgeries, having a hysterectomy and a double mastectomy.


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