George Clooney Ken Howard
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George Clooney recalled an act of kindness decades ago by the late Ken Howard, who died Wednesday at the age of 71.

“There’s a story about how a young actor met Ken on the Fox lot in 1983 and told him what a fan he was of ‘The White Shadow,'” Clooney said in a tribute he released just hours after news of Howard’s death broke. “Ken asked that actor what he did and the young man said, ‘Well someday I hope to be lucky enough to work with you.'”

Clooney said he told Howard that he had an audition at Paramount — seven miles away — but he wasn’t going to make it in time because all he had was a bike.

“So Ken put his bike in the trunk of his car and dropped him off at Paramount,” Clooney added. “Then Ken just waved goodbye and said good luck, ‘I hope we do get that chance to work together.’ I didn’t get that audition, But I did get the chance to work with him years later. It was an honor. Today his obituary read that he was six foot six, but he was so much taller than that.”

Howard and Clooney worked together in Tony Gilroy’s 2007 thriller “Michael Clayton.” Clooney starred as a fixer for a top law firm while Howard played the ruthless CEO of the corporation that Clooney’s firm represented in a multimillion-dollar class action lawsuit.

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