Up in the Air stars George Clooney and Vera Farmiga in New York

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George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the Unicef Snowflake Ball in LA

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Ben Affleck in Mike Judge's film Extract

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George Clooney makes us swooney and never more so than with his latest look, a grizzled salt-and-pepper beard that takes the Oscar-winner from dashing to debonair.

The actor – Golden Globe-nominated for Up in the Air – sported just a sexy hint of stubble back in December at the Unicef Snowflake Ball in LA, middle left. Perhaps George was inspired by Brad Pitt’s goatee to keep on growing his beard?

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George ain't alone in his efforts: in last year’s hit comedy The Hangover, breakout star Zach Galifianakis sported a beard of Paul Bunyan proportions and Inglourious Basterds' star Eli Roth wore a beard to the People's Choice Awards.

Steven Soderbergh’s latest film The Informant! starred a moustachioed Matt Damon, while his buddy Ben Affleck grew a resplendent number recently for Extract, below left.

And Katy Perry’s fiancé Russell Brand, of course, has been on a one-man anti-razor campaign for some time.

SEE MORE CELEBRITY BEAUTY TRENDS

Just one question: how do Angelina Jolie and George’s gorgeous girl Elisabetta Canalis manage to remain stubbornly stubble-rash free? In the interests of journalistic research, perhaps we should snog the newly bearded George to find out the beauty secret…

By Harriet Reuter Hapgood