Glenn Close

Glenn Close

Born: March 19, 1947
Age: 76
Birthplace: Greenwich, Connecticut, U.S.
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Glenn Close (born March 19, 1947) is an American actress, singer, and producer. She began her professional stage career in 1974 in Love for Love, and was mostly a New York stage actress through the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s, appearing in both plays and musicals, including the Broadway productions of Barnum in 1980 and The Real Thing in 1983, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.

Her film debut was in The World According to Garp (1982), which she followed up with supporting roles in The Big Chill (1983) and The Natural (1984); all three earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She would later receive nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in Fatal Attraction (1987), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), and Albert Nobbs (2011). She won two more Tony Awards in the 1990s, for Death and the Maiden in 1992 and Sunset Boulevard in 1995, while she won her first Emmy Award for the 1995 television film Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story.

She starred as Eleanor of Aquitaine in the 2003 television film The Lion in Winter, winning a Golden Globe Award. In 2005, she starred in the drama series The Shield. Then, from 2007 to 2012, she starred as Patty Hewes in the FX drama series Damages, a role that won her a second Golden Globe Award and a further two Emmy Awards. She has voiced the character of Mona Simpson in the animated sitcom The Simpsons since 1995. She returned to Broadway in November 2014, in a revival of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance.[2] Her other films include Jagged Edge (1985), Hamlet (1990), Reversal of Fortune (1990), 101 Dalmatians (1996), Paradise Road (1997), Air Force One (1997), Cookie's Fortune (1999), 102 Dalmatians (2000), Heights (2005), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The Girl With All The Gifts (2016), and The Wife (2017).

Close is a six-time Academy Award nominee, tying the record for being the actress with the most nominations without winning (along with Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter). As of 2018[update], Close has more Oscar nominations without a win than any other living actor.[3] In addition, she has been nominated for four Tony Awards (three wins), fourteen Emmy Awards (three wins), thirteen Golden Globe Awards (two wins), two Drama Desk Awards (one win), and eight Screen Actors Guild Awards (one win). She has also won an Obie Award and has been nominated for three Grammy Awards and a BAFTA Award. Close has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

Close was born on March 19, 1947 in Greenwich, Connecticut, to William Taliaferro Close,[4] a doctor who operated a clinic in the Belgian Congo and served as a personal physician to Zaire's ruler Mobutu Sese Seko,[5] and socialite Bettine Moore Close. She has two sisters, Tina and Jessie, and two brothers, Alexander (nicknamed Sandy) and Tambu Misoki, whom Close's parents adopted while living in Africa.[6]

During her childhood, Close lived with her parents in a stone cottage on her maternal grandfather's estate in Greenwich. Close has credited her acting abilities to her early years: "I have no doubt that the days I spent running free in the evocative Connecticut countryside with an unfettered imagination, playing whatever character our games demanded, is one of the reasons that acting has always seemed so natural to me."[7] Although Close has an affluent background, she has stated that her family chose not to participate in WASP society. She would also avoid mentioning her birthplace whenever asked because she did not want people to think she was a "dilettante who didn't have to work."[8]

When she was seven years old, her parents joined the Moral Re-Armament (MRA), in which her family remained involved for fifteen years, living in communal centers. Close described MRA as a "cult" that dictated every aspect of her life, from the clothes that had to be worn to what she was allowed to say. In an interview Close stated that her desire to become an actress allowed her to break away from MRA, stating: "I have long forgiven my parents for any of this. They had their reasons for doing what they did, and I understand them. It had terrible effects on their kids, but that’s the way it is. We all try to survive, right? And I think what actually saved me more than anything was my desire to be an actress."[9] She spent time in Switzerland when studying at St. George's School in Switzerland.

Close traveled for several years in the mid-to-late 1960s with an MRA singing group called Up With People and attended Rosemary Hall (now Choate Rosemary Hall), graduating in 1965.[10] During her time in Up With People, Close organized a small singing group, the Green Glenn Singers, consisting of herself, Kathe Green, Jennie Dorn, and Vee Entwistle. The group's stated mission was "to write and sing songs which would give people a purpose and inspire them to live the way they were meant to live."[11]

When she was 22, Close broke away from MRA,[12] attending the College of William & Mary, and double majoring in theatre and anthropology. It was in the College's theatre department that she began to train as a serious actor, under Howard Scammon, W&M's long-time professor of theatre. During her years at school in Williamsburg, she also starred in the summer-time outdoor drama, "The Common Glory," written by Pulitzer Prize author Paul Green.[13] She was elected to membership in the honor society of Phi Beta Kappa.[14] Through the years, Close has returned to W&M to lecture and visit the theatre department. In 1989, Close was the commencement speaker at W&M and received an honorary doctor of arts degree.



Professional debut (1974-79)

Close started her professional stage career in 1974 at the age of 27 and her film work in 1982 at 35.[14] During her senior year of college, Close became inspired to pursue a career in acting after watching an interview of Katharine Hepburn on The Dick Cavett Show.[15] The following day she called her school's theater department to be nominated for a series of auditions through the University Resident Theatre Association and TCG.[14] Eventually she was given a callback and hired for one season to do three plays at the Helen Hayes Theatre, one of those plays being Love for Love directed by Hal Prince.[16] She continued to appear in many Broadway and Off-Broadways in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Close made her television debut in 1975; it was a small role in the anthology series Great Performances. In 1979, she filmed the television movie Orphan Train and Too Far to Go. The latter film, included Blythe Danner and Michael Moriarty in the cast, Close played Moriarty's lover. In 1980, director George Roy Hill discovered Close on Broadway and asked her to audition with Robin Williams for a role in The World According to Garp, which would become her first film role.[17]

Breakthrough in Hollywood (1982-89)

The 1980s proved to be Close's most successful decade in Hollywood. She made her debut film performance in The World According to Garp which earned Close her first Oscar nomination. She played Robin Williams' mother, despite being just four years older. The following year she played Sarah Cooper in The Big Chill, a character that director Lawrence Kasdan said he specifically wrote for her. The movie received positive reviews and was a financial success. Close became the third actor to receive a Tony, Emmy, and Oscar (Academy Award) nomination all in the same calendar year after the release of The Big Chill.

In 1984 Close was given a part in Robert Redford's baseball drama The Natural, and although it was a small supporting role she earned a third consecutive Oscar nomination. Close, to this day, credits her nomination to cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, stating ''That hat was designed so the sunlight would come through. We waited for a certain time of day, so the sun was shining through the back of the stadium. And he had a lens that muted the people around me. It was an incredibly well thought-out shot. And I honestly think that's the reason I got nominated.''[18] Close also starred opposite Robert Duvall in the drama The Stone Boy (1984), a film about a family coping after their youngest child accidentally kills his older brother in a hunting accident.

Eventually, Close began to seek different roles to play because she did not want to be typecast as a motherly figure.[19] She starred in the 1985 romantic comedy Maxie, alongside Mandy Patinkin. Close was given favorable reviews and even received her second Golden Globe Award nomination, but the movie was critically panned and under-performed at the box office.[20][21] In 1985 Close starred in the legal thriller Jagged Edge, opposite Jeff Bridges. Initially, Jane Fonda was attached to the role, but was replaced with Close when she requested changes in the script. Producer Martin Ransohoff was against the casting of Close because he said she was "too ugly" for the part. Close eventually heard about this and said she didn't want Ransohoff on set while she was making her scenes. Director Richard Marquand stood by her side and sent Ransohoff away. Infuriated, Ransohoff went to the studio heads trying to get Close and Marquand fired from the picture. The studio refused, stating they were pleased with their work in the film.[22] Jagged Edge received favorable to positive reviews and grossed $40-million on a $15-million budget.[23]

In 1987, Close played the disturbed book editor Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction; this was the role that propelled her into stardom. The movie became a huge box-office success, the highest-grossing film worldwide of that year. The character of Alex Forrest has been considered one of Close's most iconic roles; the phrase "bunny boiler" has even been added to the dictionary, referring to a scene from the movie.

Close at the 49th Venice Film Festival

During the re-shoot of the ending, Close suffered a concussion from one of the takes when her head smashed against a mirror. After being rushed to the hospital, she discovered, much to her horror, that she was actually a few weeks pregnant with her daughter. Close stated in an interview that, "Fatal Attraction was really the first part that took me away from the Jenny Fields, Sarah Coopers—good, nurturing women roles. I did more preparation for that film than I've ever done."[19] Close received her fourth Oscar nomination for this role[24] and also won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture Actress.[citation needed]

She played a scheming aristocrat, the Marquise de Merteuil, in 1988's Dangerous Liaisons.[14] Close earned stellar reviews for this performance, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress.[25] In addition, she received her first BAFTA nomination but did not win. Close's final film role of the decade was Immediate Family (1989), a drama about a married couple seeking to adopt a child. Producer Lawrence Kasdan had Close star in the film, as he directed her previously in The Big Chill.

Established actress (1990-99)

In 1990 Close went on to play the role of Sunny von Bülow opposite Jeremy Irons in Reversal of Fortune to critical acclaim. The film drew some controversy since it dealt with the Claus von Bülow murder trial, while the real Sunny von Bülow was still in a vegetative state. Sunny's children also publicly criticized the movie.[26][27] In the same year, Close played Gertrude in Franco Zeffirelli's film adaption of Hamlet. It was the first Shakespeare role that Close had ever attempted on screen (she appeared in 1975 in a stage production of King Lear in Milwaukee). Close would later go on to join the cast of The House of the Spirits, reuniting her with Jeremy Irons. She also had a cameo appearance in Steven Spielberg's Hook (1991) as a pirate. In 1992, Close starred in Meeting Venus for which she received critical acclaim and won Best Actress (Golden Ciak) at the Venice Film Festival. In the same year, Close became a trustee emeritus of The Sundance Institute.[28]

Close appeared in the newsroom comedy-drama The Paper (1994), directed by her good friend Ron Howard. She would go on to appear in the alien invasion satire Mars Attacks! (1996) as The First Lady and as the sinister Cruella de Vil in the Disney hit 101 Dalmatians. Close's portrayal of Cruella de Vil was universally praised and earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a comedy. The film was also a commercial success, grossing $320.6 million in theaters against a $75 million budget. The following year, Close appeared in another box office hit with Air Force One (1997), playing the trustworthy vice president to Harrison Ford's president. Close would later star in the war film Paradise Road (1997) as a choir conductor of the women imprisoned by the Japanese in World War II. In 1999, Close provided the voice of Kala in Disney's animated film Tarzan. She later went on to receive great reviews for her comedic role as Camille Dixon in Cookie's Fortune (1999).[29]

Independent films and break (2000-07)

Close began to appear in television movies rather than doing theatrical films in the early 2000s. She returned as Cruella de Vil in 102 Dalmatians (2000). Although the film received mixed reviews, it performed well at the box office. Close later filmed The Safety of Objects which premiered in 2001, a movie about four suburban families dealing with maladies. This was Kristen Stewart's first film role, and Close and Stewart would later reunite in the 2015 film Anesthesia. Close starred in Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her in the same year, this would be one of many future collaborations with director Rodrigo Garcia. In 2004, she played Claire Wellington, an uptight socialite in the comedy The Stepford Wives opposite Nicole Kidman and Christopher Walken. She provided the voice of the Blue Fairy in the English version of Pinocchio (2002) and Granny in the animated film Hoodwinked (2005). Close continued to do smaller films like Le Divorce (2003) and The Chumscrubber (2005). In 2005, she reunited with director Rodrigo Garcia to do Nine Lives; he would later direct Close in the film Albert Nobbs (2011). In the same year, she starred in the film Heights (2005), an independent drama centered on the lives of five New Yorkers. Close's performance was lauded by critics.[30][31] In 2007, Close joined friend and previous co-star Meryl Streep in the ensemble drama Evening. This would be Close's final theatrical film role of the decade, since she began to star in her own television series, Damages (2007). Close was asked about her contributions to independent films, to which she responded "I love the casts that gather around a good piece of writing certainly not for the money but because it is good and challenging. Sometimes I've taken a role for one scene that I thought was phenomenal. Also my presence can help them get money, so it's I think a way for me to give back."[32]

Return to film (2011-present)

Close at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival

In December 2010, Close began filming Albert Nobbs in Dublin. She had previously won an Obie in 1982 for her role in the play on stage. She had been working on the film, in which she appeared alongside 101 Dalmatians co-star Mark Williams, for almost 20 years, and aside from starring in it, she co-wrote the screenplay and produced the film.[33][34] Close expressed that it became more important for her to make this film to stimulate conversations about transgender issues, "There came a point where I asked, 'Am I willing to live the rest of my life having given up on this?' And I said, 'No I won't.' Some people will change their point of view, and those who are either too old, or too blinkered, to accept the beauty of difference will just have to 'die off'."[35] In the film, Close played the title role of Albert Nobbs, a woman living her life as a man in 1800s Ireland after being sexually assaulted as a young girl. While the film itself received mixed reviews, Close and Janet McTeer received rave reviews for their performances. Close's performance was noted for being her most subtle and introverted performance yet and a departure from her other roles. She received Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and multiple critics nominations for her performance. Close was asked about the fact of not having an Oscar during the film's awards campaign, for which she answered: "And I remember being astounded that I met some people who were really kind of almost hyper-ventilating as to whether they were going to win or not, and I have never understood that. Because if you just do the simple math, the amount of people who are in our two unions, the amount of people who in our profession are out of work at any given time, the amount of movies that are made every year, and then you're one of five. How could you possibly think of yourself as a loser?"[36]

Along with Viola Davis and Uma Thurman, Close was featured in the 2012 documentary Love, Marilyn, reading excerpts from Marilyn Monroe's diaries. Critic Stephen Farber has described the film as "One of the most skillful and entertaining summaries of Marilyn's endlessly fascinating rise and fall."[37] After her television series Damages ended, Close returned to film in 2014, in which she played Nova Prime Rael in the science fiction film Guardians of the Galaxy.[38][39] Close also appeared in the independent movie 5 to 7 (2014) and Low Down (2014). In 2016, she appeared in The Great Gilly Hopkins and Warcraft. She also starred in the British zombie horror drama The Girl with All the Gifts (2016) as Dr. Caldwell, a scientist researching a cure to save humanity.

In 2017, Close appeared alongside Noomi Rapace and Willem Dafoe in What Happened to Monday, a Netflix original movie which premiered in August.[40] Also that year, she was reunited with actors John Malkovich (her co-star in Dangerous Liaisons) and Patrick Stewart (co-star in The Lion in Winter) in the romantic comedy The Wilde Wedding, and co-starred in Crooked House, a film adaptation of the novel by Agatha Christie. She also played Owen Wilson and Ed Helms' characters' mother in the comedy Father Figures, which opened in December 2017.[41] That same year, Close starred in an adaptation of novelist Meg Wolitzer's The Wife,[42] which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and garnered her critical acclaim.[43][44][45]

Upcoming projects

Close will star in Duchess, playing Anna Anderson, who claimed to be the Grand Russian Duchess Anastasia.[46] It was announced in 2017 that Paramount wanted Close to play Norma Desmond in a remake of Sunset Boulevard, though the film is still in early development.[47] In 2019, Close will star as shipping magnate Maundy Lindros in the opera, Easter, a reimagining of The Detective.[48][49]


Close began to do television movies in the early 1980s beginning with The Elephant Man and in 1984, starred in the critically acclaimed drama Something About Amelia, a Golden Globe-winning television movie about a family destroyed by sexual abuse of the incest type. (Ted Danson appeared as the abusing husband-father; Roxana Zal acted out the role of Amelia, the daughter-victim of Danson's character, which role first brought Zal to prominence.) She starred alongside Keith Carradine in Stones for Ibarra (1988), a television film adaption from the book written by Harriet Doerr and produced by the Hallmark company.

Close at an event for Damages

In the 1990s she starred in the highly rated Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991), as well as its two sequels. She also impersonated the title subject of the fact-based made-for-TV movie Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story in 1995, for which she won her first Emmy. Close has also provided the voice of Mona Simpson, from The Simpsons, since 1995.[50] Entertainment Weekly named Close one of the 16 best Simpsons guest stars.[51] In 2001 she starred in a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical South Pacific as Nellie Forbush on ABC. Close guest-starred on Will and Grace in 2002, portraying a satirical version of Annie Leibovitz, earning her an Emmy nomination for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Close has also hosted Saturday Night Live in 1989 and in 1992.[52][53]

"I think this character did a lot for women on television because she was unapologetic. She was brilliant and good at what she did. Some people would say 'she's evil' or 'she's a bitch,' but they've always said that about women who were powerful." —Close discussing her character Patty Hewes


In 2003 she played Eleanor of Aquitaine in the Showtime produced film The Lion in Winter. Close won a Golden Globe and Screen Actor's Guild award for her performance. In 2005 Close joined the FX crime series The Shield, in which she played Monica Rawling, a no-nonsense precinct captain, this became her first TV role in a series. Close stated that she made the right move because television was in a "golden era" and the quality of some programs had already risen to the standards of film.[54] John Landgraf, CEO of FX, stated that network was the "first to bring a female movie star of Glenn Close’s stature to television." He also credits her collaboration with the network with promoting roles for women on television, as well as influencing other film actors to switch to the small screen.[55][56]

Close was later approached by FX executives who pitched a television series for her to star in, that would only be filmed in New York City. In 2007, Close played the ruthless and brilliant lawyer Patty Hewes on Damages for five seasons. Her portrayal of this character was met with rave reviews and a plethora of award nominations, in addition she went on to win two consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama series.[57] Close's win also made her the first Best Actress winner in a drama series at the Emmy's for a cable show. Throughout the show's run, she became one of the highest paid actresses on cable, earning $200,000 per episode.[58] Close stated that her role of Patty Hewes in the series was the role of her life. Close also kept in contact with her co-star Rose Byrne, and the two have become great friends. After the series ended, Close stated that she would not return to television in a regular role, but that she was open to do a miniseries or a guest spot.[59]

In 2017, Close starred in a half hour comedy pilot for Amazon, titled Sea Oak. The pilot premiered online with viewers voting to choose if it wanted Amazon to produce the series. Although it received favorable reviews it was not picked up.[60]


Close as Norma Desmond in the musical Sunset Boulevard.

Close has had an extensive career performing in Broadway musicals. She began performing in 1974, and received her first Tony Award nomination in 1980 for Barnum. One of her most notable roles on stage was Norma Desmond in the Andrew Lloyd Webber production of Sunset Boulevard, for which Close won a Tony Award, playing the role on Broadway in 1993-94.[14] For her role, Close was met with critical acclaim. David Richards of The New York Times wrote in 1994 that "Glenn is giving one of those legendary performances people will be talking about years from now. The actress takes breathtaking risks, venturing so far out on a limb at times that you fear it will snap. It doesn't."[61]

Close was also a guest star at the Andrew Lloyd Webber fiftieth birthday party celebration in the Royal Albert Hall in 1998. She would later re-team with the show's director, Trevor Nunn, in London for his Royal National Theatre revival of A Streetcar Named Desire in 2002.[62] Close won a Tony Award in 1984 for The Real Thing, directed by Mike Nichols. In 1992 she won another Tony Award for Death and the Maiden.[14] In 2008, Close performed at Carnegie Hall, narrating the violin concerto The Runaway Bunny, a concerto for reader, violin and orchestra, composed and conducted by Glen Roven. She provided the voice of the "Giant" in the Summer 2012 production of the musical Into the Woods at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The production also featured Amy Adams as The Baker's Wife and Donna Murphy as The Witch.[63] In 2014 she starred in a production of the Pirates of Penzance for the Public Theater in New York, playing the role of Ruth. This production featured Kevin Kline, Martin Short and Anika Noni Rose.

Close and Jim Dale performing Busker Alley

In October 2014, Close returned to Broadway in the starring role of Agnes in Pam MacKinnon's revival of Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance at the Golden Theatre. Her co-stars were John Lithgow as Tobias, Martha Plimpton as Julia and Lindsay Duncan as Claire. The production grossed $884,596 over eight preview performances during the week ending Oct. 25, setting a new house record at the Golden Theatre. The production received mixed reviews, although the cast was praised.[2][64]

In April 2016, she returned as Norma Desmond in the musical Sunset Boulevard in an English National Opera production in the West End in London.[65] Close was met with rave reviews after returning to this same role twenty-three years later. Both The Times and The Daily Telegraph gave the production five stars and praised her performance.[66] During the production Close was forced to cancel three shows due to a chest infection. She was hospitalized but later recovered and finished the remaining shows.[67] Close won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical Performance, and was nominated for her first Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical.[68][69]

The ENO London production of Sunset Boulevard transferred to the Palace Theatre on Broadway, with Close reprising her role. It opened on February 9, 2017 in a limited run, selling tickets through June 25, 2017. The production features a 40-piece orchestra, the largest in Broadway history.[70][71][72] Close in particular was lauded by critics for her new incarnation of Norma Desmond. As The New York Times called it "one of the great stage performances of this century."[73] Variety, Parade, The Guardian and Entertainment Weekly also gave the new production positive reviews.[74][75][76]

Close has hosted the 46th and 49th annual Tony Awards. In 2016, Close was inducted into The Theater Hall of Fame for her work on stage.[77]

2018 marked a return to the stage, where, from September to December, she is featured in the Off-Broadway play, Mother of the Maid, at the Public Theater in New York City.[78]

Reception, acting style, and legacy

"I love the chemistry that can be created onstage between the actors and the audience. It's molecular even, the energies that can go back and forth. I started in theater and when I first went into movies I felt that my energy was going to blow out the camera." — Glenn Close on acting


Close is regarded as an extraordinarily versatile actress with an immersive acting style.[80] In 1995, Close guest starred on Inside the Actors Studio to discuss her film career. James Lipton described her as an actor who "can find an outstanding number of layers in a role or a single moment; Close is a supple actor who performs subtle feats."[14] Close is also professionally trained by acting coach Harold Guskin, who also taught Kevin Kline, Bridget Fonda and James Gandolfini. Working with Guskin, Close learned several important lessons, which she said she's applied to her career as well as her life. One such lesson, she claims, was to "read the lines off the page" and remembering to breathe. Close states, "You have to maintain a certain openness, and if you don't maintain that, you lose something vital as an actor. It's how we're wired, and it's not a bad thing."[81] Close says that in order to continue to learn her trade she went to every rehearsal.[82][83]

On method acting, she claims that while she found it an interesting technique, it was not her preferred style.[84] Although Close does extensive research and preparation for her roles, she also relies less on the technicality of a performance saying, "Good acting I think is like being a magician, in that you make people believe; because it's only when they believe that they are moved. And I want people to get emotionally involved. I think technique is important but it isn't everything. You can have a great technical actor who'll leave people cold. That's not my idea of great acting. As audience, I don't want to be aware of acting."[85] Longtime collaborator and playwright, Christopher Hampton describes Close an actress who can very easily convey "a sense of strength and intelligence." Hampton worked on Sunset Boulevard and the stage production of Dangerous Liaisions, Hampton later cast her in the movie version.[86] "Glenn is often described as having a glacial or distant quality about her, but in person she's the absolute opposite: warm and intimate," says the actor Iain Glen, who co-starred with her in the 2002 stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire. "She was able to bring strength to the role, she was able to completely access that vulnerability. There was a real softness to her.[86]

However, Close is consistently praised for her roles as the villain or antagonist in her performances.[87][88] Her character in Fatal Attraction was ranked number 7 on AFI's 100 years...100 heroes and villains list.[89] Regarding her role in the series Damages, The New York Times remarked "There is no actor dead or alive as scary as a smiling Glenn Close."[90] Journalist Christopher Hooton also praised her saying, "Christopher Walken, Glenn Close, Al Pacino, and many others have a surprising danger in them. They're a little scary to be around, because you feel they might jump you or blow up at you at any time. They are ticking time bombs."[91] Film historian Cari Beauchamp has stated, "When you look at the top 10 actresses of the past 80 years, since sound came in, first you have Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn and Meryl Streep - but I think Glenn Close is definitely in that list, it's a combination of her guts, in the roles she chooses, and her perseverance. Frankly, she's taken roles that are more challenging than a lot of other people."[92]

On January 12, 2009, Close was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard, in front of the Roosevelt Hotel.[93] As of 2018[update], films featuring Close have grossed over $1.3 Billion in North America.[94] Close is also considered a gay icon, having played numerous campy roles on screen and stage.[95][96]

Personal life

Relationships and family

Close has been married four times, each ending in divorce. Her first marriage ended before going off to university. Close described it as "kind of an arranged marriage."[97] From 1969 to 1971, Close was married to Cabot Wade, a guitarist and songwriter, with whom she had performed during her time at Up with People.[98] She was married to businessman James Marlas from 1984 to 1987.[98] Soon afterwards, she began a relationship with producer John Starke, whom she had previously met on the set of The World According to Garp.[98] Their daughter, Annie Starke, was born on April 26, 1988, and is an actress.[99] They separated in 1991.[98] In 1995 Close was engaged to carpenter Steve Beers, who had worked on Sunset Boulevard, but the two never married, and they separated in 1999.[98] In February 2006, Close married executive and venture capitalist David Evans Shaw in Maine.[98][100] The couple divorced in August 2015.[101]

Business ventures and assets

Close currently resides in Bedford Hills, New York but still has a condo in the West Village.[102] She also owns properties in Wellington, Florida, and Bozeman, Montana.[103][104] In the early 1990s she owned a coffee shop in Bozeman, but sold it in 2006.[105] In 2011 Close sold her apartment in The Beresford for $10.2 million.[106] She also runs a 1,000 acre ranch in Wyoming.[107]

Close is the President of Trillium Productions Inc.[108][109] Her company has produced films like Albert Nobbs, Sarah Plain and Tall, and South Pacific. She also produced the film Serving in Silence (1995) with Barbra Streisand, for which they were both nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie.

In 2007 she co-founded FetchDog, a dog accessories catalog and Internet site. She published blogs where she interviews other celebrities about their relationships with their dogs. She sold the business in 2012.[110][111]

Interests and beliefs

Close was born into a Democratic family.[112] In addition, she has donated money to the election campaigns of mostly Democratic politicians, including Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Angus King and Barack Obama.[113] She also spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.[114][115] Close voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election and attended his inauguration.[116][117] In a 2016 interview with Andrew Marr for the BBC, Close criticized Donald Trump, calling his campaign "terribly frightening."[118] She later reiterated her sentiments about Trump, stating, "he doesn’t stand for anything I believe in."[119] In 2018, Close campaigned for Kathleen Williams and Debbie Stabenow in each of their respective elections.[120]

Close keeps all of her costumes after completing films and rents them out to exhibits.[121][122] She lent one of the dresses she wore in Dangerous Liaisons to Madonna for her 1990 VMA performance of "Vogue".[123][124] In 2017, she donated her entire costume collection to the Indiana University Bloomington[125]

Close is a New York Mets fan, and has sung the national anthem at Shea Stadium and Citi Field numerous times since 1986.[126][127]

Due to her upbringing, Close has stated that she is a spiritual person but irreligious.[128]


Charitable work

Close at the 2012 Paris premiere of Albert Nobbs

Close has campaigned for many issues like gay marriage, women's rights, and mental health. In 1989 she attended pro-choice marches in Washington D.C. with Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda.[129] In 1998, Close was a part of a star-studded cast which performed The Vagina Monologues at a benefit. It raised $250,000 in a single evening with proceeds going to the effort to stop violence against women.[130][131] She was honored with a GLAAD Media Award in 2002 for promoting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.[132] She volunteered and produced a documentary for Puppies Behind Bars, an organization that provides service dogs for wounded war veterans.[133][134]

Close is also a trustee of The Wildlife Conservation Society[135] and volunteers at Fountain House in New York City, a facility dedicated to the recovery of men and women who suffer with mental illness.[136] She is a founding member of the Panthera Conservation Advisory Committee. Panthera is an international nonprofit whose sole mission is conservation of the world's 36 species of wild cats.[137] Close has also been a longtime supporter of late friend Christopher Reeve's foundation.[138][139] She is also a member of the CuriosityStream Advisory Board.[140]

Mental health initiatives

Close was a founder and is chairperson of BringChange2Mind,[141] a US campaign to eradicate the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness, supporting her sister Jessie who has bipolar disorder.[12][142] In 2010, Close announced to the public that she had her DNA sequenced in order to publicize her family's history of mental illness.[143] During the month of July 2013, Close put up over 380 designer items up for auction on eBay from the wardrobe her character Patty Hewes wore on Damages. All proceeds were raised to go to her charity BringChange2Mind. Close had director and friend Ron Howard direct the foundation's first PSA. John Mayer also lent his song "Say" for the advert.[144]

In 2013 Close went to the White House to urge passage of the Excellence in Mental-Health Act that was written to expand treatment for the mentally ill and to provide access to mental-health services. The bill was signed into law by President Obama in April 2014, and will provide $1.1 billion in funding to help strengthen the mental-health-care system in the US.[145] She was awarded the WebMD Health Hero award in 2015 for her contributions to mental-health initiatives.[146] On June 16, 2016, Close donated $75,000 to the Mental-Health Association of Central Florida in order to fund counselling and other assistance to victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.[147] She frequently promotes her charitable causes through her Twitter account.[148]

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Glenn Close



Year Title Role Notes
1982 The World According to Garp Jenny Fields
1983 The Big Chill Sarah Cooper
1984 The Natural Iris Gaines
The Stone Boy Ruth Hillerman
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes Jane Porter Voice, uncredited
1985 Jagged Edge Theodosia "Teddy" Barnes
Maxie Jan Cheyney / Maxie Malone
1987 Fatal Attraction Alexandra "Alex" Forrest
1988 Dangerous Liaisons Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil
Light Years Queen Ambisextra Voice
1989 Immediate Family Linda Spector
1990 Reversal of Fortune Martha "Sunny" von Bülow
Hamlet Queen Gertrude
1991 Hook Gutless Cameo
Meeting Venus Karin Anderson
1993 The House of the Spirits Ferula Trueba
1994 The Paper Alicia Clark
1996 Mars Attacks! First Lady Marsha Dale
101 Dalmatians Cruella de Vil Live-action version of the 1961 animated cartoon feature
Mary Reilly Mrs. Farraday
1997 Paradise Road Adrienne Pargiter
Air Force One Vice President Kathryn Bennett
1999 Cookie's Fortune Camille Dixon
Tarzan Kala Voice
2000 102 Dalmatians Cruella de Vil Live-action sequel to 101 Dalmatians (1996)
Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her Dr. Elaine Keener
2001 The Safety of Objects Esther Gold
2003 Le Divorce Olivia Pace
Pinocchio The Blue Fairy Voice; English dub
2004 Heights Diana
The Stepford Wives Claire Wellington
2005 Tarzan II Kala Voice, direct-to-DVD
The Chumscrubber Carrie Johnson
Nine Lives Maggie
2006 Hoodwinked! Granny Voice
2007 Evening Mrs. Wittenborn
2011 Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil Granny Voice
Albert Nobbs Albert Nobbs Also writer and producer
2014 Low Down Gram
Guardians of the Galaxy Nova Prime Irani Rael First live action appearance of the character
2015 5 to 7 Arlene
Anesthesia Marcia Zarrow
The Great Gilly Hopkins Nonnie Hopkins
2016 Warcraft Alodi Uncredited
The Girl with All the Gifts Dr. Caroline Caldwell
2017 What Happened to Monday Nicolette Cayman
The Wilde Wedding Eve Wilde
The Wife Joan Castleman
Crooked House Lady Edith
Father Figures Helen Baxter


Year Title Role Notes
1975 Great Performances Neighbour Episode: "The Rules of the Game"
1979 Too Far To Go Rebecca Kuehn TV film
Orphan Train Jessica TV film
1982 The Elephant Man Princess Alexandra TV film
1984 Something About Amelia Gail Bennett TV film
1988 Stones for Ibarra Sara Everton TV film
1989-1992 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) 2 episodes
1991 Sarah, Plain and Tall Sarah Wheaton TV film, also executive producer
1993 Skylark Sarah Witting TV film, also executive producer
1995 Serving in Silence Margarethe Cammermeyer TV film, also executive producer
Inside the Actors Studio Herself Season 2, episode 4
1995-2018 The Simpsons Mona Simpson (voice) 9 episodes
1997 In the Gloaming Janet TV film
1999 Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End Sarah Witting TV film, also executive producer
2000 Baby Adult Sophie TV film, narrator, also executive producer
2001 The Ballad of Lucy Whipple Arvella Whipple TV film, also executive producer
South Pacific Nellie Forbush TV film, also executive producer
2002 Will & Grace Fanny Lieber Episode: "Hocus Focus"
2003 Brush with Fate Cornelia Engelbrecht TV film
The Lion in Winter Eleanor of Aquitaine TV film
2004 The West Wing Evelyn Baker Lang Episode: "The Supremes"
Strip Search Karen Moore TV film
2005 The Shield Captain Monica Rawling 13 episodes
2007-2012 Damages Patricia "Patty" Hewes 59 episodes
2015 Louie Woman Episode: "Sleepover"
2016 Family Guy Herself (voice) Episode: "A Lot Going on Upstairs"
2017 Sea Oak Aunt Bernie Pilot
2018 Tales of Arcadia: 3Below Mothership (voice)
2019 Tales of Arcadia: Wizards Mothership (voice)


Year Title Role
1988 American Experience Executive producer
1990 Divine Garbo Host
1992 Broken Hearts, Broken Homes Executive producer
1999 The Lady with the Torch Host
2003 In Search of the Jaguar Narrator
2003 What I Want My Words to Do to You
2003 A Closer Walk
2007 Gabon: The Last Eden
2009 Home
2010 Pax Executive producer
2011 Not My Life Narrator
2012 Love, Marilyn
2015 Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw
2016 Broadway: Beyond the Golden Age Herself


Year title Role Notes
1974 Love for Love Angelica Broadway play (New Phoenix Rep at Helen Hayes Theatre)
1974 The Rules of the Game Neighbour
1974 The Member of the Wedding Janice
1976 Rex Princess Mary Broadway musical (Lunt-Fontanne Theatre)
1977 The Crazy Locomotive Off-Broadway (Chelsea Theater Center)
1977 Uncommon Women and Others Off-Broadway
1978 The Crucifer of Blood Irene St. Claire Broadway play (Helen Hayes Theatre)
1979 Wine Untouched Off-Broadway
1979 The Winter Dancers
1980 Barnum Chairy Barnum Broadway musical (St. James Theatre
1981 Uncle Vanya Elena Yale Repertory Theatre
1982 The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs Albert Nobbs Off-Broadway
1983 The Real Thing Annie Broadway play (Plymouth Theatre)
1985 For No Good Reason/Childhood Off-Broadway
1985 Joan of Arc at the Stake Concert[149]
1985 Benefactors Jane Broadway play (Brooks Atkinson Theatre)
1991 Brooklyn Laundry Los Angeles
1992 Death and the Maiden Paulina Salas Broadway play (Brooks Atkinson Theatre)
1993 Sunset Boulevard Norma Desmond Shubert Theatre, Los Angeles (musical)
1994 Sunset Boulevard Norma Desmond Broadway musical (Minskoff Theatre)
2002 A Streetcar Named Desire Blanche DuBois London (National Theatre)
2003 The Play What I Wrote Mystery Guest Star Broadway musical (Lyceum Theatre)
2006 Busker Alley Dame Libby St. Albans Off-Broadway musical (one-performance benefit concert)
2010 The Normal Heart Dr. Emma Brookner Walter Kerr Theatre (one- performance benefit concert)
2012 Into the Woods The Giant (pre-recorded voice) Delacorte Theater
2014 A Delicate Balance Agnes Broadway play (John Golden Theatre)
2016 Sunset Boulevard Norma Desmond West End (London Coliseum)
2017 Sunset Boulevard Norma Desmond Broadway Revival (Palace Theatre)
2018 Mother of the Maid Isabelle Romée The Public Theater

Glenn Close supports the following charitable causes: Mental Health, Animals, Environment.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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