A Preview of Barbara Walters' Oscar Special


Despite the critical and popular praise he's received, Clooney believes he'll go home empty-handed from the Oscars. He says Paul Giamatti, who was passed over for his critically praised performance in last year's "Sideways," stands a good shot this year for the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in "Cinderella Man." As for the directing honor, Clooney says he thinks Ang Lee will probably win for "Brokeback Mountain."

From Dyslexia to 'Dr. McDreamy'

Like Clooney, Patrick Dempsey enjoys heartthrob status as a star of a hit medical dram. Dempsey plays neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd, also known as Dr. McDreamy, in ABC's hit "Grey's Anatomy." While Dempsey is riding high now, the handsome 40-year-old is hardly an overnight star. He left high school during his senior year, joined a vaudeville troupe in Maine and caught the show business bug. He appeared in his breakthrough film, "Can't Buy Me Love," at the age of 21, playing a young man who falls for an older woman.

And, as they say, life imitates art. The year "Can't Buy Me Love" came out he married his 48-year-old manager, Rocky Parker. The troubled marriage lasted five years. And then he met Jillian Fink, a hair stylist and makeup artist, who remembered "Can't Buy Me Love" and thought he was dreamy -- even if he did have problem hair. Many haircuts later they were dating and have now been married seven years. They have a daughter, Tallulah.

Dempsey's climb back to fame was a difficult one, but his stamina is something he's been working on since childhood, which was particularly difficult, especially when it came to academics. Dempsey was placed in classes for mentally challenged kids until the age of 12, when it was discovered he had dyslexia. That experience has had lasting effects, Dempsey says, "I think it's made me who I am today. It's given me a perspective of ... you have to keep working. I have never given up," he tells Walters.

Dempsey says he struggles with insecurity, particularly as he's trying to memorize his lines. "I think that's when I get the most insecure, because it's very hard for me to read it off the page. I need to memorize it in order to go on," he says.

Dempsey also tells Walters he's still dealing with some of the emotional fallout from his first marriage. Walters asked if the union stemmed from Dempsey's desire for a mother figure. "Yeah, I think I needed a mother. There were a lot of negative things that I am still undoing from it, and will always have to remember," he says. In his 20s, Dempsey says, he had to learn about "understanding and controlling one's emotions in a proper way."

That lack of maturity, he admits, had an effect on his career, particularly as it began to lag. He confesses that he was difficult to work with, saying, "You can't have temper tantrums. You have to be professional, and I don't think I understood that at the time."

Is the Sexiest Man Alive Ready to Settle Down?

Ten years ago, Matthew McConaughey was plucked from obscurity to play the lead role in "A Time to Kill" and was labeled Hollywood's Next Big Thing. He's now been labeled again. At age 36, the actor was dubbed "the sexiest man alive" by People magazine.

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