George Clooney

updated 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/08/1995 AT 01:00 AM EDT

HIS RANDY PEDIATRICIAN, DR. DOUG Ross, may be the resident heart-stopper on NBC's hit hospital drama ER, but George Clooney, 33, insists the role could be pulled off by a Hippocratic oaf. "I can be a schmuck all day long, at the end of it save some old lady's lifeā€”and still be a hero," says the chiseled, 170-pound six-footer. "If you stuck a mannequin in my part, he'd get all the fan mail."

Diagnosis: chronic self-effacement. "I always kind of got by on personality and jokes," says Clooney, who admits to only one vanity: straightening his naturally curly chestnut hair. Now he's clearly being groomed as a leading man. He recently signed to costar with Quentin Tarantino in the action film From Dusk Till Dawn.

Meanwhile, as ER's cast cutup (he boasts his own remote-controlled whoopee cushion), George has "that hoo-hah quality," says his aunt Rosemary Clooney. "He's okay, that kid." More than okay, with those twinkling brown eyes, that rough-hewn chin, that come-soothe-me brow. Alas, the divorced actor bestows his best bedside manner on one that sleeps at the foot of it: Max, a 150-pound, pot-bellied pig. "I love him," says Clooney, flashing that surgical grin, "but he's a pain in the butt." End of consultation.

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