"I've often been mistaken for Meryl Streep, although never on Oscar night." Glenn Close
One of Oscars' most nominated actresses of the 1980s, Glenn Close gathered five Oscar nominations for her roles in The World According to Garp (1982), The Big Chill (1983), The Natural (1984), Fatal Attraction (1987) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988). The talented actress gained more praise while acting in Something About Amelia (1984, TV), Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995, TV, won an Emmy), Mars Attacks (1996), In the Gloaming (1997, TV, nominated for an Emmy), Air Force One (1997), Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End (1999, TV, also executive-produced, nominated for an Emmy), The Safety of Objects (2001, screened at Toronto Film Festival), The Lion in Winter (2003, TV, won a Golden Globe) and The Stepford Wives (2004).
On stage, Close, who played Cruella De Vil in 101 Dalmatians (1996) and 102 Dalmatians (2000), garnered three Tony Awards for her performance in the plays “The Real Thing” (1984), “Death and the Maiden” (1992) and “Sunset Boulevard” (1995). The Favorite Motion Picture Actress at the 1988 People's Choice awards recently played Captain Monica Rawling on the FX crime series “The Shield.” A good friend of renowned actress Meryl Streep, Close will star in the upcoming Therese Raquin, Paint, and Sunset Boulevard (reprise her stage role).
One of Hollywood's most illustrious actresses, 5'7" tall Glenn Close has been connected to several well-known names. In the 1970s, she was involved with actors Len Cariou (also singer) and Kevin Kline. Along with producer John Starke (relationship ended 1991), with whom she owned the production company Trillium Productions, Close has one daughter. Close then briefly dated actor Woody Harrelson (relationship ended September 1991) and hockey player Cam Neely (Boston Bruins). After breaking off her engagement with carpenter Stephen Beers (engaged in March 1995, broke up in 1999), Close began dating actor Robert Pastorelli.
"I never wanted to be a man. I feel sorry for them." Glenn Close
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of surgeon William T. Close and mother Bettine Close, Glenn Close was born on March 19, 1947, in Greenwich, Connecticut. When she was 13, her father formed a clinic in the Belgian Congo (now Zaire) for Moral Rearmament, where Glenn and her sisters, Jessie (author, illustrator) and Tina (artist), spent their teenage years. Her paternal grandfather, Edward Close Sr. (physician), was the director of the American Hospital and once married to Marjorie Merriweather Post, heiress to the Post cereal fortune and mother to actress Dina Merrill.
Glenn Close attended Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut and a boarding school in Switzerland. She studied Drama and Anthropology at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she earned a B.A. in 1974 and became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society.
In 1969, Close tied the knot with rock guitarist Cabot Wade, but they divorced in 1971. She then married business executive James Marlas in 1984, but their marriage ended in divorce in 1987. Along with sister Jessie, Close co-owns a 1960s-themed coffee shop, Leaf and Bean, and a neighboring bookstore, Poor Richards, near Bozeman, Montana.
"She's such a chameleon. She can do anything," Jada Pinkett Smith said about Glenn Close.
Along with repertory group Fingernails, Glenn Close began acting on stage and subsequently joined conservative folk-singing group Up With People which she toured with for five years. Her professional debut was as one fourth of the Green Glen Singers in the original production of "Up With People." In 1974, she signed up with the Phoenix Theatre Company in New York City and made her Broadway debut in their production of "Love for Love." She then played Mary Tudor in the Richard Rodgers-Sheldon Harnick musical about Henry VIII, "Rex" in 1976 Close’s Broadway appearances led her to TV roles. She was cast in the TV movies The Rules of the Game (1975), Too Far to Go (1979, NBC), Orphan Train (1979) and The Elephant Man (1982). She also continued acting on stage, playing Charity Barnum in the stage musical about Phineas T. Barnum’s biography, "Barnum" (1980, also in its national tour), for which she scored her first Tony Award nomination.
Impressed by Close’s performance in the musical “Barnum,” filmmaker George Roy Hill cast her in his big screen adaptation of John Irving's best-selling novel, The World According to Garp (1982). Her first motion picture role as Jenny Fields, Robin Williams’ title character's well-known, eccentric, feminist-activist mother (Close was only five years older than Williams in real life), earned Close her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. That same year, she returned on stage, starring in the Off-Broadway production "The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs" and won an OBIE award.
A second Oscar nomination followed the next year. Close was nominated for the prestigious award for her divergent supporting role as yuppie Sarah in Lawrence Kasdan's musical comedy The Big Chill (1983, with Tom Berenger and Jeff Goldblum). Close was then nominated for an Emmy for her costarring role, opposite Ted Danson, in the groundbreaking ABC movie about incest, "Something About Amelia" (helmed by Randa Haines) and earned a third Oscar nomination for her turn as Robert Redford's girlfriend in Barry Levinson’s baseball drama, inspired by Bernard Malamud's novel, The Natural (both in 1984). She also netted Tony Awards for starring opposite Jeremy Irons in Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing," directed by Mike Nichols.
That same year (1984), Close dubbed Andie MacDowell's dialogue as Miss Jane Porter in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and played a role in Christopher Cain's family drama The Stone Boy (starring Robert Duvall). She eventually won her first leading film role as lawyer Teddy Barnes, who defends and falls in love with Jeff Bridges' character, in Richard Marquand's Jagged Edge (1985) and as Jan/Maxie in Paul Aaron's light comedy, based on Jack Finney's novel, Maxie (1985, alongside Mandy Patinkin).
Close continued to perform on stage. She costarred with William Hurt in the staging of "Joan of Arc at the Stake" in New York City and appeared on Broadway, opposite Sam Waterston, in "Benefactors" (1985-1986). Back on the silver screen, Close changed her image by portraying Michael Douglas' affair-lover, the psychotic Alex Forrest, in Adrian Lyne's drama thriller Fatal Attraction (1987). Her chilling performance ranked No. 7 on the American Film Institute's “The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains” and snagged Close a Best Actress Oscar nomination.
1988 saw Close lending her voice to the animated Gandahar and starring in the TV film Stones for Ibarra (both in 1988). She also received another Oscar nomination for Best Actress, thanks to the portrayal of cunning Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil in Stephen Frears' film, based on the novel Les Liasons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos and the subsequent Christopher Hampton play, Dangerous Liaisons. On the small screen, she was the associate producer of the documentary "Do You Mean There Are Still Real Cowboys?" for the PBS series "American Experience" and hosted NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” show in 1989.
In the early 1990s, Barbet Schroeder cast her to play Jeremy Irons' wealthy, lies-in-coma wife in the adaptation of defense attorney Alan Dershowitz's book, Reversal of Fortune (also starring Ron Silver) and Franco Zeffirelli handed her the role of Gertrude, the mother of Mel Gibson's Hamlet, in a film version of the Shakespeare classic play. She was also nominated for an Emmy for playing the title role of a single New England schoolteacher in CBS’ "Hallmark Hall of Fame" movie version of Patricia MacLachlan's book, Glenn Jordan-directed Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991, also executive-produced). Close later reprised her role in its sequels, Skylark (1993, helmed by Joseph Sargent) and Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End (1999, directed by Glenn Jordan, both with Christopher Walken).
After 6 years disappearing from Broadway, Close returned with Tony winning roles opposite Richard Dreyfuss and Gene Hackman in "Death and the Maiden" (1992) and as Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical adaptation of “Sunset Boulevard” (1994). On screen, she starred in The House of the Spirits (1993), The Paper (1994) and took home an Emmy for her turn as the lesbian Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer in NBC’s true-story-based movie Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995, directed by Jeff Bleckner, Close also executive-produced). The mid 1990s also watched Close playing First Lady to Jack Nicholson's President in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks and priceless Cruella de Vil, who kidnaps puppies to kill them for their fur, in Stephen Herek's colorful, live-action version of Disney's 1961 animated classic, 101 Dalmatians (based on Dodie Smith's novel). Close later reprised her Blockbuster Entertainment award-winning role in its 2000 installment, 102 Dalmatians, helmed by Kevin Lima.
In 1997, Close became one of the women prisoners in a Japanese concentration camp in Bruce Beresford's war drama Paradise Road and played the Emmy-nominated role of the mother of an Aids-victim son in the HBO movie, directed by Christopher Reeve, In the Gloaming. That same year, Close also portrayed the US Vice-President, coping with a hostage crisis involving the First Family, in Wolfgang Petersen's Air Force One (Harrison Ford played the President) in which she won a Blockbuster Entertainment award. She then starred as a Southern pushy theatre director in director-producer Robert Altman's Cookie's Fortune (1999).
Entering the new millennium, Close played nurse Nelly Forbush in the ABC remake of South Pacific (based on James Michener's novel and Oscar Hammerstein II's book) and produced and starred in the TNT original movie, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. She recreated her Off-Broadway role in "Albert Nobbs" (2001), director Istvan Szabo's adaptation of the one-person stage play "The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs" and appeared in London at the Royal National Theatre in “Streetcar Named Desire.”
Close starred opposite Timothy Olyphant in Rose Troche's adaptation of A.M. Homes' book, The Safety of Objects (screened at Toronto Film Festival) and joined Nicole Kidman and Bette Midler in Bryan Forbes' remake of the 1975 cult classic, The Stepford Wives. She also took home a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award for her portrayal of the wife of King Henry II (Patrick Stewart) in director Andrei Konchalovsky’s 2003 TV movie The Lion In Winter.
Close guest starred as a potential Supreme Court justice on the NBC drama "The West Wing" in March of 2004. She continued to act on the big screen in such recent films as Heights, Nine Lives, The Chumscrubber and Tarzan II (voice). She also joined the cast of the FX drama series “The Shield,” starring as Captain Monica Rawling, a 25-year veteran of the police force, for the 2002 series’ fourth season.
In her upcoming films, Close will costar with Ludivine Sagnier and Giovanni Ribisi in Charles Stratton's Therese Raquin and with Salma Hayek and James Franco in Robert Altman's satirical ensemble comedy/thriller Paint. She will also reprise her stage role as Norma Desmond, a cynical screenplay writer, in the big screen version Sunset Boulevard.
"Celebrity is death. Celebrity, that's the worst thing that can happen to an actor." Glenn Close