American actors Bing Crosby (1903 - 1977), Rosemary Clooney (1928 - 2002), Vera-Ellen (1921 - 1981), and Danny Kaye (1913 - 1987) sing together, while dressed in fur-trimmed red outfits and standing in front of a stage backrop, in a scene from the film 'White Christmas,' directed by Michael Curtiz, 1954
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'White Christmas' Star Rosemary Clooney Is George Clooney's Aunt

A musical legend, forever a part of the Christmas season.

Everyone knows Drew Barrymore, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kate Hudson are some of the entertainment industry's most famous nepo(tism) babies. But it may come as a shock that one of Hollywood's most handsome heartthrobs is also a "nepo baby." 

A-lister George Clooney's aunt, Rosemary Clooney, was actually one of the most famous pop and jazz singers of the 1950s. 

She didn't always have the easiest life, but Clooney was determined to make a name for herself with her distinctively deep, rich and smooth singing voice. 

After winning a singing competition in her hometown of Cincinnati, she moved to New York City at just 21 years old to try to see how far her voice could take her. Clooney soon broke into fame in the early 1950s with the upbeat and catchy song "Come On-a My House."

Others began to recognize her immense talent, and the singer delivered hit after hit including "Botch-a-Me," "Mambo Italiano," "Tenderly," "Half as Much" and "Sway."

The Wall Street Journal once called Clooney, "A pop icon and spoken in the same breath as [Frank] Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald." Over her career, she was nominated for several Grammys and recorded 25 albums. The singer toured up until the year before she died, in 2002, from complications with lung cancer. 

And while she was lauded for her beautiful singing voice especially at the time — Clooney is probably best known for starring in one of the holiday season's most consistently popular films, White Christmas (1954).

As the weather cools down and the holidays quickly approach, millions of families are sure to tune in to the classic Christmas film, just as generations did before. 

Let's take a closer look into Clooney's role in one of the most special holiday movies ever made and the special connection she shared with her now-famous nephew. 

Clooney's Best Acting Role

1954: American singer and actors Rosemary Clooney (1928 - 2002) and Bing Crosby (1903 - 1997) talking on the set of director Michael Curtiz's film, 'White Christmas'. Clooney is in costume in a strapless full-length black sequined gown, and Crosby wears a baseball cap and sits in a director's chair.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Though White Christmas wasn't Clooney's first or last acting role, she's definitely most famous for playing the energetic and endearing Betty Haynes in the film.

In the early 1950s, Clooney's fame was rising at the same time that television was starting to become a mainstay in the average American's living room. As a number of variety programs were launched with big Hollywood names attached, Clooney was asked to co-host a morning songfest radio show with her future White Christmas co-star, Bing Crosby. 

Then, only a few years later, she took the role in White Christmas at age 26 because she wanted to perform with Crosby. 

"I was so in awe of him," Clooney said in a documentary. And that decision launched a lifetime of friendship between the pair. 

The film itself follows two World War II veterans-turned-performers who decide to work together to help their former commanding officer save his failing inn in Vermont. And, of course, all the show-stopping songs and high-energy dance numbers are all performed around Christmastime. 

Plus, the soundtrack is full of iconic Christmas songs, including the film's namesake "White Christmas."

Clooney's breath-taking singing talents were certainly showcased in the film. But she later said she was not happy with her dancing performances. She said the film would have been perfect, if only they could have dubbed her dancing. 

It maybe didn't help that her co-star Vera-Ellen was widely considered to be one of her generation's greatest dancers. Luckily, Clooney only had to dance in two numbers. 

The film was obviously a huge success, and it has since become one of the most beloved holiday classics. 

Aunt Rosie and George

Rosemary Clooney & George Clooney at the Beverly Hills Hilton in Beverly Hills, California

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While George Clooney certainly has established himself as one of Hollywood's most handsome and accomplished actors in recent decades, he maybe got a little bit of help from his Aunt Rosie.

His aunt owned a home in Los Angeles, but Clooney grew up in Kentucky with his father, Rosemary's older brother. 

After a tough summer cutting tobacco in the Bluegrass State, Clooney decided to move to Los Angeles at just age 21. He drove across the country on an old, beat-up Monte Carlo and pulled right into his Aunt Rosie's driveway in Hollywood. 

While he went to auditions, the up-and-coming actor actually worked for a few years as a driver for his aunt and her friends, big-band singers Helen O'Connell, Margaret Whiting and Martha Raye. 

"They were tough old broads and I loved them," Clooney told the Calgary Sun in 2002. "I really, really loved Rosemary."

Clooney finally got his big break playing Dr. Doug Ross on the award-winning and insanely popular medical drama ER. And he actually got to work with his famous aunt on that show. 

Rosemary Clooney guest-starred in one episode of the top-rated series as an Alzheimer's patient who could only communicate through singing. The older Clooney was actually nominated for an Emmy for that role. 

Funnily enough, Clooney has admitted he was not involved in getting that part for her. Rather, the show's executive producers offered the singing Clooney the role without even asking him. 

"I miss her," he said during a two-hour virtual reunion with the ER cast on Today when discussing her guest role. "She was the fun one in my family."

Clooney didn't become well-known until he was in his 30s, but he credits his aunt for helping him navigate the difficulties of fame. 

"I had my Aunt Rosie, who was famous and then not, so I got a lesson in fame early on," he said to Esquire in 2013, referring to her fall out from fame after the 1950s. "And I understood how little it has to do with you. And also how you could use it."

"Thanks to my aunt I know there is a possibility this [fame] won't last," the younger Clooney said. "I won't always be in demand. I won't always have this privileged position, so I have to make the most of my time."

After she died in 2002, Clooney decided to end the comedy film Confessions Of a Dangerous Mind (2002) — his directorial debut — with her recording of the classic song "There's No Business Like Show Business."

Enjoy White Christmas as a tribute to the late Rosemary Clooney this holiday season. Stream it on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

READ MORE: The 40 Best Christmas Comedy Movies To Get You In The Spirit of the Season