George Clooney, single and available. (Molly Riley/Reuters)

When the news broke this week that George Clooney and his girlfriend of two years, Elisabetta Canalis, ended their relationship, women around the world suddenly shared the same delusional thought: “Wait, he’s available? Maybe I’m next.”

Well, the odds are that most likely you are not next. But inevitably, some lucky lady out there will become the next person who regularly accompanies the Duke of Hollywood Sophistication on his red carpet travels. Clooney, a 50-year-old mega-movie star, clearly doesn’t need anyone’s help in the romance department. Nevertheless, Celebritology has decided to offer it anyway with this list of 10 women Clooney should consider dating next. (For the record, the women on this list don’t need Celebritology’s help either. But this is all a game of fantasy, so just play along.)

All of them possess glamour, a sense of humor and/or an “it” factor that would make them irresistible Clooney partners, at least from a celebrity- watching perspective.

Obviously all of this is hypothetical. But even within this hypothetical realm, married women are ruled out. Which is a bummer, because that kicks both Christina Hendricks and Julianna Margulies off the list.

Also, during Thursday’s Celebritology discussion, a debate ensued on this topic. As a result, I have eliminated Jennifer Aniston and former Clooney girlfriend Renee Zellweger from inclusion because there seemed to be too much backlash against both choices. (To quote one reader on the subject of Zellweger: “Ick. Nast.” Look, I didn’t say it.)

That’s fine. These 10 suggestions provide plenty of provocative options. And I encourage you to chime in with more by posting a comment. If Clooney’s next girlfriend can’t be one of us, it should at least be one of these independent, intriguing women.

Sandra Bullock

(Peter Kramer/AP )

She’s down-to-earth. She’s committed to helping others. She doesn’t take herself too seriously. And if Bullock and Clooney hooked up, People magazine would sell enough issues to keep them in business into the next millennium. Also, she’s allegedly already helping her “Gravity” co-star cope with his grief.

Halle Berry

(Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)

They’re both sexy Oscar-winners who only seem to look better with age. The red carpet photos alone would be stunning.

Padma Lakshmi

(Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

The “Top Chef” hostess and ex-wife of Salman Rushdie is exotic, sophisticated and worldly, qualities that seem to fall in the intriguing-to-Clooney sphere.

Pippa Middleton

(Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Sure, the 27-year-old sister of Kate Middleton might be a little young for Clooney. But how intriguing would this combo be? So much so that it could cause the equivalent of a celebrity blogosphere big bang, leading to the inevitable explosion of the Internet.

Kate Winslet

(Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Here’s another beautiful Brit to consider. I figure she and Clooney could date briefly until Winslet inevitably decides to get together with Leonardo DiCaprio, which is what all “Titanic” proponents are secretly (or not so secretly) hoping for. (Sorry, Blake Lively.)

Patricia Clarkson

(Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Clarkson, who worked with Clooney on “Good Night, and Good Luck,” is 51, so they’re around the same age. She’s the daughter of a New Orleans council member and a politically engaged individual, a plus for a Clooney partner. And, as a capper, she epitomizes old-Hollywood-style elegance. Seeing these two together would make us all want to become better, glamorous versions of ourselves.

Sofia Vergara


Watching Vergara and Clooney do red carpet interviews together on E! could make for some alluring comedy routines. A down side: It would be hard to decide which one of them you can’t take your eyes off of.

Marisa Tomei

(Greg Federman)

Another interesting suggestion that came out of Thursday’s Celebritology discussion, she’s beautiful, bright and, as our reader pointed out, not particularly interested in getting married. She was once quoted as saying, “I'm not that big a fan of marriage as an institution and I don’t know why women need to have children to be seen as complete human beings.” That non-committal attitude might work for the equally uninterested-in-marriage Clooney.

Catherine Keener

(Francois Duhamel)

Another veteran Hollywood star who seems down-to-earth, funny and a potentially interesting partner for Clooney. Bonus: She’s longtime friends with Clooney buddy Brad Pitt.

Amy Sedaris


Okay, I know this one sounds odd, but hear me out. Sedaris is hilarious and I’d love to see how her wackiness merges with Clooney’s droll sarcasm. If she dated George Clooney, she could write another book about entertaining that would feature red carpet tips and other etiquette lessons gleaned from being his girlfriend. And they could make zany appearances together on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Everything about this sounds awesome.