By all accounts, she's been busy raising a family in Kentucky, working in payroll and accounting and trying to avoid questions like, "How do you feel about your brother being the sexiest man alive?"
But for some reason this week, the 52-year-old stepped into the spotlight to answer candid questions about her brother in an in-depth interview with the New York Daily News. But what begins as a gossip story ripe for pick-up ("George Clooney's sister says he's not gay!") evolves into a profile of a unique lady with a very un-Hollywood lifestyle.
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Adelia, or "Ada" as her friends know her, lives in Augusta County, Kentucky a few blocks from her parents. She's held jobs at chain stores, raised two children, lost a husband. She's in the white pages. She calls her small town "pretty," enjoys that everybody knows each other, and marvels at the beauty of a nearby river. Ada's life seems to be simply pleasant, except that George Clooney situation. You'd think it'd be easy to have a wildly rich and famous brother. It's not. Although it has it's perks. Here's what we learned about life as Adelia Zeidler from the News' interview and some digging of our own.
1) Being the sister of George Clooney makes you a little paranoid. When they catch up with each other, the siblings usually don't talk about his personal life. Ada worries she might learn something private and accidentally pass it on in a conversation about her brother, who she forgets sometimes is also George Clooney. "I just generally keep him up with what's going on in my life," she tells the News. "I don't generally ask him what's going on in his life because I don't want to accidentally say something that I shouldn't."
2) Get this: She doesn't even have her brother's phone number. "I wouldn't want to have it in my phone and then lose my phone," she says. "He can phone me and he does occasionally, but the email is more convenient for both of us."
3) Despite all her protectiveness, she's surprising open with the News about her brothers life choices. For example, she doesn't think he's going to get married again. "If he was going to get married he would want to be a husband and be somebody who would be there, who would have the time and the ability to focus on the family and the home and all of that," she says. "And in the business that he is in, he has to be able to get up and go."4) Also she doesn't think he wants kids: "If he had children, when he was with them, he would be concerned about his career and if he was working he would be concerned about the children," she said. "And he doesn't think it would be fair to split his focus."
5) And he's not gay. This whole womanizer, girlfriend-hopping thing? She totally remembers him doing that all through high school. "Well, he had several girlfriends when he was going to high school down here. Never more than one at a time, he's not that kind of guy. But he would go out with someone for a few months and then go out with someone else for a few months."
6) Adelia considered the same career as her brother, and still thinks about what her life would have been like if she'd followed the path of an actor. "Yes, there is a part of me that would very much like to have become a famous actress or something like that," she says. "I enjoy acting and I was fairly okay at it but I did not have a thick enough skin for it."
7) She has no regrets about the choices she made. "I really enjoyed being a wife and a mother and that kind of wound up taking precedence with me," she tells the News. Adelia has two kids, Allison, 21, and Nicolas, 16. Nicolas was an extra in his uncle's movie "The Ides of March." Mom came to set to watch.
8) She doesn't love George's sex icon status. As you would expect, it's creepy when everyone talks about how much they want to sleep with your little brother. "I have a little difficulty seeing that," she says. "Granted I can look at him and see he's very attractive, but of course being his sister, it's a little odd."
9) Adelia is not as rich as her brother. She's worked at Kohls and later Toys R' Us as a bookkeeper. "I enjoyed it," she says. "But mostly it was a way to get the money to come home and pay the rent and those sorts of things."
10) She's probably as smart her brother. According to one family biography, published by a local Kentucky organization, she's an accountant, and a former merit scholar. She went to college in Louisville and Northern Kentucky before settling down with her family.
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11) She's a widow. The Daily News article doesn't mention Adelia's husband but a 2004 obituary published in a Cincinnati newspaper paints a moving picture of Norman Zeidler. He died at 47 of a heart attack. An artist, who served time in the Indiana national guard, he was attending a local college the year he passed away. "More than anything I will remember him as a loving father to our children," Adelia says of his memory. "He was a wonderful father. He really enjoyed being a father, being a daddy."
12) She's the exact opposite of her brother. It's hard to believe that George and Ada are just a year apart in their lives. She's survived a husband, raised a family, and worked steady desk jobs in small towns. He's been divorced, dated every beautiful woman on the planet, climbed an impossibly career high ladder from sitcom geek to world class movie god, and become unofficial mayor of an Italian coastal region. What they seem to share is a belief in hard work, no matter what kind of work it may be. "I'm very proud of him," Ada says of her little brother. "He works very, very hard."