Clooney shoulders the blame: “I wasn’t that good at [marriage],”he said in a in February, “because I didn’t want to deal with the issue of how all the time we were spending away from each other was hurting her.” Since then the hardworking actor has spent his rare downtime (he’s next onscreen in the musical comedy this fall) basking in bachelorhood—shooting hoops and riding motorcycles with his rat pack of longtime buddies at his eight-bedroom L. “Casa de Clooney.” All this guy’s-guy stuff, of course, only fuels fantasies of reeling in the 5’11” Kentucky native, who acquired his scorn for showbiz pretension at the knee of his TV broadcaster father, Nick, now 65, and mother Nina, 60.
“Some actors forget where they came from, but George hasn’t,” says costume designer Erica Edell Phillips.
“My dad is the easiest one,” explains the soft-spoken, Michigan-raised shortstop, who receives an average of five crates of mail from mostly female fans every week. Most importantly, “when he does settle down,” says his friend Costas Panagopoulos, “he’ll commit to it with full force.” BIG PLUS: He’s modest (“There are times I’ve been rejected that would spin your head around,” he told Time last year).
CAVEAT: He has said that his nonstop work schedule has left him “out of gas.” 4 GEORGE PRESCOTT BUSH, 24, paralegal, Los Angeles.
“He’d never let ‘the right one’ down.” GREAT DATE: “Walking on the beach.” CAVEAT: He vetoes “girls obsessed with politics.” 5 MARCUS SAMUELSSON,29, chef, New York City.