George Clooney has declared the past 12 months to be the worst year of his life, after dealing with death, depression and health problems.

Among his long list of woes, the 44-year-old actor had to deal with painful spinal damage after gaining a huge amount of weight for his role in his latest movie SYRIANA.

He says, "When I started the movie I had gone through a series of sort of unhappy times. Some bad things had happened in my life and it's also depressing to put on that much weight that quickly. I did it in 30 days.

"So I was really sort of reflecting what I was going through in a way. It wasn't a lot of acting, it was just sort of me playing a part I wasn't very happy in and I wasn't very happy at the time either.

"On my way to Morocco (where Syriana was filmed), leaving my house, there was a rattlesnake wrapped around my dog with its teeth in the back of his head. I had to get a baseball bat and beat the snake until it let go, but it killed the dog. That was the last thing the dog saw, me beating a snake with a bat.

"It was just one thing after another too. My brother-in-law, who was 46 years old, stood up and had a heart attack and died.

"My dad was running for an election that he lost in the middle of this shoot and stuff like that. So it felt like I was having a bad year."