In the nominations that were announced by at the Beverly Hilton Hotel today by Rashida Jones, Woody Harrelson, Sofia Vergara and Gerard Butler, (pictured left with HFPA president Dr. Aida Takla-O'Reilly) George Clooney has been nominated for best actor for his role as the beleaguered father in The Descendants while Brad Pitt, who co-starred with him in Ocean’s 11 and its sequels, is a contender with his performance as baseball general manager Billy Beane in Moneyball.
Both Clooney and Pitt have twice been named Sexiest Man of the Year by People magazine.
Clooney has been nominated eight times before and won twice, for O Brother Where Art Thou? and Syriana. Pitt has been nominated four times and won once, for best supporting actor for Twelve Monkeys in 1996.
Leonardo DiCaprio, nominated for J. Edgar, has six previous nominations, winning in 2005 for The Aviator while Ryan Gosling (The Ides of March) has been nominated twice, in 2008 for Lars And The Real Girl and last year for Blue Valentine.
German-born Michael Fassbender has been in five movies this year but the one he has been nominated for is Shame. It is the 34-year-old actor’s first Golden Globe nomination.
In the Best Actress category, Meryl Streep, nominated this year for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, is a Golden Globes veteran, having been nominated on 25 previous occasions, winning seven times, most recently in 2010 for Julie and Julia.
Her fellow New Yorker Glenn Close, who produced, co-wrote and stars in Albert Nobbs, has been nominated ten times before, winning twice, both for television roles, in 2003’s The Lion In Winter and Damages in 2007.
Michelle Williams, the 30-year-old actress from Kalispell, Montana, who portrays Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn, has been nominated twice before, for Brokeback Mountain and Blue Valentine.
It is The Help star Viola Davis’s first Best Actress nomination although she was previously nominated as best supporting actress in 2008 for Doubt.
Tilda Swinton, whose nomination is for her performance in the drama We Need To Talk About Kevin, has been nominated twice before, for Michael Clayton and The Deep End.
Rooney Mara, the 26-year-old star of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, who was relatively unknown until now, is celebrating her first nomination.
In the television categories, Claire Danes, nominated for her performance as CIA agent Carrie Mathison in Showtime’s terrorism drama Homeland has won twice before for her television roles in 1995 for My So-Called Life and last year for Temple Grandin.
Mildred Pierce’s Kate Winslet has been nominated seven times before, winning twice, both in 2009 as best supporting actress in The Reader and Best Actress in Revolutionary Road.
Kelsey Grammer, nominated for his dramatic turn as Tom Kane, the ruthless Chicago mayor in Boss, is no stranger to Golden Globes: he has been nominated eight times in the past for his role as Frasier, winning in 1996 and 2001.
Veteran character actor Steve Buscemi, the 54-year-old Brooklyn- born star of Boardwalk Empire, won last year for his performance as the mobster Nucky Thompson.
Damian Lewis, the British actor who stars in Homeland as the returned Marine who may or may not be a terrorist, was previously nominated in 2002 for his role in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers.