George Clooney Remembers Ken Howard’s Help in Early Acting Days

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George Clooney is mourning the loss of actor, mentor, friend and SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard. He was 71.

Clooney honored Howard with a touching tribute, remembering one of his fondest memories with the late star, which also happened to be one of his earliest career moments.

“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 — five miles away — but he wasn’t going to make it 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.’

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.

Howard, best known for his groundbreaking CBS drama The White Shadow, died on Wednesday, according to the actors' union SAG-AFTRA. No cause of death has been announced.

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