Glenn Close

Glenn Close (born March 19, 1947) is an American actress, singer and producer. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including three Tony Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, three Primetime Emmy Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. A seven-time Academy Award nominee, she has more nominations without a win than any other living actor, and holds the record for being the actress with the most nominations without winning.[1] In 2016, Close was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

Born to the surgeon William Close in Greenwich, Connecticut, Close majored in theater and anthropology at the College of William & Mary. She began her professional career on stage in 1974 with Love for Love and was mostly a New York stage actress until the early 1980s. Her work included 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 came in The World According to Garp (1982), which was followed by supporting roles in the films The Big Chill (1983) and The Natural (1984); all three earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Close went on to establish herself with lead roles in Fatal Attraction (1987) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988), both of which earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Close won two more Tony Awards for Death and the Maiden in 1992 and Sunset Boulevard in 1995. She won her first Primetime Emmy Award for the 1995 television drama film Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story, and she continued a successful career in Hollywood with starring roles in Reversal of Fortune (1990), 101 Dalmatians (1996), and Air Force One (1997), among others. Further television work came for Close in the 2000s, with her portrayal of Eleanor of Aquitaine in the 2003 television film The Lion in Winter earning her a Golden Globe Award. From 2007 to 2012, Close starred as Patty Hewes in the drama series Damages, which won her a Golden Globe Award and two more Primetime Emmy Awards. She returned to the Broadway stage in a 2014 revival of A Delicate Balance.[2] During this period, she received two Academy Award nominations for Albert Nobbs (2011) and The Wife (2017), and also won a third Golden Globe for the latter.

Close has been married three times, and she has a daughter from her relationship with producer John Starke. She is the president of Trillium Productions and has co-founded the website FetchDog. She has made political donations in support of Democratic politicians, and is vocal on issues such as gay marriage, women's rights, and mental health.

Glenn Close
Glenn Close - Guardians of the Galaxy premiere - July 2014 (cropped)
Close at the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014
BornMarch 19, 1947 (age 71)
ResidenceBedford Hills, New York, U.S.
Alma materCollege of William & Mary
OccupationActress, singer, producer
Years active1974–present
Notable work
Cabot Wade
(m. 1969; div. 1971)

James Marlas
(m. 1984; div. 1987)

David Evans Shaw
(m. 2006; div. 2015)
Partner(s)John Starke (1987–1991)
AwardsFull list
Glenn Close-signature

Early life and family

Close was born on March 19, 1947 in Greenwich, Connecticut, to William Taliaferro Close,[3] a doctor who operated a clinic in the Belgian Congo and served as a personal physician to Zaire's ruler Mobutu Sese Seko,[4] 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.[5]

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."[6] 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."[7]

When Close was seven years old, her parents joined the Moral Re-Armament (MRA), a movement in which her family remained involved for fifteen years. During this period, Close's family lived in communal centers. Close has 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. She once stated that her desire to become an actress allowed her to break away from MRA, adding: "I have long [ago] 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."[8] 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 a singing group called Up With People and attended Rosemary Hall (now Choate Rosemary Hall), graduating in 1965.[9] During her time in Up With People, Close organized a small singing group called 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."[10]

When she was 22, Close broke away from MRA.[11] She attended The College of William & Mary, double majoring in theater and anthropology. 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.[12] It was in the College's theater department that Close began to train as a serious actor under Howard Scammon, William and Mary's long-time professor of theater. 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 William & Mary to lecture and to visit the theater department. In 1989, Close was the commencement speaker at William & Mary and received an honorary doctor of arts degree.



Early roles and breakthrough (1980–89)

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.[15] 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.''[16] 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.[17] 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.[18][19] 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.[20] Jagged Edge received favorable to positive reviews and grossed $40-million on a $15-million budget.[21]

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.

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."[17] Close received her fourth Oscar nomination for this role[22] and also won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture Actress.

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.[23] 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 publicly criticized the movie.[24][25] 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.[26]

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. Ford stated in an interview that the role of the vice president was already written for a woman and that he personally chose Close for the role after meeting her at a birthday party for then-president Bill Clinton.[27] 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).[28]

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.[29][30]

In 2007, she acted alongside her 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."[31]

Return to film (2011–present)

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.[32][33] 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'."[34] In the film, Close played the title role of Albert Nobbs, a woman living her life as a man in 19th century Ireland after being sexually assaulted as a young girl. While the film itself received mixed reviews, Close received rave reviews, as it was noted for being her most subtle and introverted performance yet and a departure from her other roles.

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?"[35]

After her television series Damages ended, Close returned to film in 2014, in which she played Nova Prime Rael in the Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy.[36][37] She also appeared in the independent movie 5 to 7 (2014) and Low Down (2014). In 2016, she appeared in The Great Gilly Hopkins and 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 science fiction thriller produced by Netflix.[38] 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.

Close garnered widespread critical acclaim for her performance in the 2018 released drama The Wife which had first premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.[39][40] The film is an adaptation of Meg Wolitzer's novel of the same name. It centers on Joan Castleman (played by Close) who questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her husband, where he is set to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.[41] Close won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role, and the Critics' Choice Award for Best Actress. She earned her seventh Academy Award nomination, her fourth time being nominated in the Best Actress category, which has made her the most nominated living performer without a win. In addition, Close received a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role nomination.

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.[42][43]


Television debut and early success (1975–88)

Glenn at damages premiere (cropped)
Close at an event for Damages

Close made her television debut in 1975 with a small role in the anthology series Great Performances. In 1979, she filmed the television movies Orphan Train and Too Far to Go. The latter film included Blythe Danner and Michael Moriarty in the cast, and Close played Moriarty's lover.

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. She appeared 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.

Critical recognition (1990–2002)

In the 1990s, Close 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. In addition, Close has also provided the voice of Mona Simpson, from The Simpsons, since 1995.[44] Entertainment Weekly named Close one of the 16 best Simpsons guest stars.[45] In 2001, she starred in a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical South Pacific as Nellie Forbush on ABC. She guest-starred on Will and Grace in 2002, portraying a satirical version of Annie Leibovitz, which earned her an Emmy nomination for Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Close has also hosted Saturday Night Live in 1989 and in 1992.[46][47]

The Lion in Winter and The Shield (2003–06)

In 2003, Close 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.[48] 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.[49][50]

Damages and critical acclaim (2007–present)

Shortly after her stint on The Shield, Close was approached by FX executives who pitched a television series for her to star in. 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.[51] 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.[52] Close stated that her role of Patty Hewes was the role of her life. She also kept in contact with her co-star Rose Byrne, and the two have become 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 guest spot.[53]

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.[54]


Glenn Close Back Stage During Rehearsal For Sunset Blvd (cropped)
Close as Norma Desmond in the musical Sunset Boulevard

Professional debut (1974–80)

Close started her professional stage career in 1974 at the age of 27 and her film work in 1982 at 35.[14] In her senior year of college, 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.[55] She continued to appear in many Broadway and Off-Broadway plays in the 1970s and early 1980s. 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.

Sunset Boulevard and further success (1981–2002)

Close won her first Tony Award in 1984 for The Real Thing, directed by Mike Nichols. In 1992 she won her second Tony Award for Death and the Maiden.[14]

One of her most notable roles on stage was Norma Desmond in the Andrew Lloyd Webber production of Sunset Boulevard, for which Close won her third 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."[56]

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.[57]

Return to stage (2008–15)

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.[58] 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.

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][59]

Close and Jim Dale performing Busker Alley

Continued acclaim (2016–present)

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.[60] 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.[61] 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.[62] 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.[63][64]

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.[65][66][67] 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."[68] Variety, Parade, The Guardian and Entertainment Weekly also gave the new production positive reviews.[69][70][71]

In 2018, Close made a return to the stage, where, from September to December, she featured in the Off-Broadway play, Mother of the Maid, at the Public Theater in New York City.[72]

Close has also hosted the 46th and 49th annual Tony Awards. She was inducted into The Theater Hall of Fame in 2016 for her work on stage.[73]

Reception, acting style, and legacy

Close is regarded as an extraordinarily versatile actress with an immersive acting style.[75] 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; she is a supple actor who performs subtle feats."[14] Close is also professionally trained by acting coach Harold Guskin, who also mentored 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."[76] Close says that she went to every rehearsal in order to master her acting skills .[77][78]

On method acting, Close claims that while she found it an interesting technique, it was not her preferred style.[79] 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."[80] 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, later casting Close in the movie version of the latter production.[81] "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."[81]

However, Close is consistently praised for her roles as the villain or antagonist in her performances.[82][83] Her character in Fatal Attraction was ranked number 7 on AFI's 100 years...100 heroes and villains list.[84] 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."[85] 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."[86] 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."[87]

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.[88] As of 2018, films featuring Close have grossed over $1.3 billion in North America.[89] She is also regarded as a gay icon, after having played numerous campy roles on screen and stage.[90][91]

Personal life

Relationships and family

Close has been married three times, with each marriage ending in divorce. Her first marriage—which Close has described as "kind of an arranged marriage"—ended before she attended college.[92] 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.[93] She was married to businessman James Marlas from 1984 to 1987.[93] Later, Close began a relationship with producer John Starke, whom she had met on the set of The World According to Garp.[93] Their daughter, Annie Starke, was born in 1988 and is an actress.[94] Close and Starke separated in 1991.[93] In 1995, Close was engaged to carpenter Steve Beers, who had worked on Sunset Boulevard; the two never married, and their relationship ended in 1999.[93] In February 2006, Close married executive and venture capitalist David Evans Shaw in Maine,[93][95] but they divorced in August 2015.[96]

Business ventures and assets

Close currently resides in Bedford Hills, New York but still has a condo in the West Village.[97] She also owns properties in Wellington, Florida, and Bozeman, Montana.[98][99] In the early 1990s she owned a coffee shop in Bozeman, but sold it in 2006.[100] In 2011 Close sold her apartment in The Beresford for $10.2 million.[101] She also runs a 1,000 acre ranch in Wyoming.[102]

Close is the president of Trillium Productions Inc.[103][104] Her company has produced films like Albert Nobbs, Sarah Plain and Tall, and South Pacific. With Barbra Streisand she produced the TV film Serving in Silence (1995), for which both were nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie.

In 2007 she co-founded FetchDog, a dog accessories catalog and Internet site. Part of her work was publishing blogs in which she interviewed other celebrities about their relationships with their dogs. She sold the business in 2012.[105][106]

Interests and beliefs

Close was born into a Democratic family.[107] Her political donations have mostly been made in support of Democratic politicians, including Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Angus King and Barack Obama.[108] She also spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.[109][110] Close voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election and attended his inauguration.[111][112] In a 2016 interview with Andrew Marr for the BBC, Close criticized Donald Trump, calling his campaign "terribly frightening."[113] She later reiterated her sentiments about Trump, stating, "he doesn’t stand for anything I believe in."[114] In 2018, Close campaigned for Kathleen Williams and Debbie Stabenow in each of their respective elections.[115]

Close keeps all of her costumes after completing films and rents them out to exhibits.[116][117] She lent one of the dresses she wore in Dangerous Liaisons to Madonna for her 1990 VMA performance of "Vogue".[118][119] In 2017, she donated her entire costume collection to Indiana University Bloomington.[120]

Close is a New York Mets fan, and has sung the national anthem at Shea Stadium and Citi Field numerous times since 1986.[121][122]

Due to her upbringing, Close has stated that she is a spiritual but irreligious person.[123]


Charitable work

Glenn Close - 2005 (7311023326)
Close in 2005

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.[124] 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.[125][126] She was honored with a GLAAD Media Award in 2002 for promoting equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.[127] She volunteered and produced a documentary for Puppies Behind Bars, an organization that provides service dogs for wounded war veterans.[128][129]

Close is also a trustee of The Wildlife Conservation Society[130] and volunteers at Fountain House in New York City, a facility dedicated to the recovery of men and women who suffer with mental illness.[131] 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.[132] Close has also been a longtime supporter of late friend Christopher Reeve's foundation.[133][134] She is also a member of the CuriosityStream Advisory Board.[135]

Mental health initiatives

Close was a founder and is chairperson of BringChange2Mind,[136] a US campaign to eradicate the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness, supporting her sister Jessie who has bipolar disorder.[11][137] In 2010, Close announced to the public that she had her DNA sequenced in order to publicize her family's history of mental illness.[138] 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.[139]

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.[140] She was awarded the WebMD Health Hero award in 2015 for her contributions to mental-health initiatives.[141] 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.[142] She frequently promotes her charitable causes through her Instagram account.[143]


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External links

101 Dalmatians (1996 film)

101 Dalmatians is a 1996 American live-action comedy adventure film based on Walt Disney's animated 1961 movie adaptation of Dodie Smith's 1956 novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians. Directed by Stephen Herek and co-produced by John Hughes and Ricardo Mestres, it stars Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson, Joan Plowright, Hugh Laurie, Mark Williams and Tim McInnerny. Unlike the 1961 film, none of the animals have speaking voices in this version.

101 Dalmatians was released on November 27, 1996. It grossed $320.6 million in theaters against a $75 million budget. In its critical consensus, Rotten Tomatoes called the film "a bland, pointless remake" but praised Close's performance. Close was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The film was also nominated for a BAFTA award for best makeup effects. A sequel, 102 Dalmatians, was released on November 22, 2000 with Close and McInnerny reprising their roles.

49th Tony Awards

The 49th Annual Tony Awards was held at the Minskoff Theatre on June 4, 1995, and broadcast by CBS. Hosts were Glenn Close, Gregory Hines, and Nathan Lane.

Albert Nobbs

Albert Nobbs is a 2011 British-Irish drama film directed by Rodrigo García and starring Glenn Close. The screenplay, by Close, John Banville, and Gabriella Prekop, is based on a 1927 novella by George Moore.

The film received mixed reviews, but the performances by Glenn Close and Janet McTeer were praised; they were nominated for the Academy Award in the categories of Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. They also received Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Makeup.

The novella had been earlier adapted as a play titled The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs in which Close starred Off-Broadway in 1982 and for which she won an Obie Award for Best Actress.

Damages (TV series)

Damages is an American legal thriller television series created by writing and production trio Daniel Zelman, Glenn Kessler, and Todd A. Kessler. It premiered on July 24, 2007 on FX and aired for three seasons before moving to the DirecTV channel Audience Network in 2010, airing for two further seasons and concluding in 2012.The plot revolves around the brilliant, ruthless lawyer Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) and her newest protégée, recent law school graduate Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne). Each season features a major case that Hewes and her firm take on while also examining a chapter of the complex relationship between Ellen and Patty. The first two seasons center on the law firm Hewes & Associates in New York City, while later seasons center more on Patty and Ellen's relationship as Ellen attempts to distance herself from Hewes & Associates professionally and personally.

The series is known for its depiction of season-long cases from the point of view of both a law firm and an opponent. It is also noted for the technical merit of its writing, including its effective use of plot twists and non-linear narrative. It has received critical acclaim and various award nominations, with Close and Željko Ivanek winning Primetime Emmy Awards for their performances. Other established actors in the cast include Ted Danson, William Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden, Timothy Olyphant, Martin Short, Lily Tomlin, John Goodman, Ryan Phillippe, Dylan Baker, Janet McTeer, and John Hannah.

Dangerous Liaisons

Dangerous Liaisons is a 1988 American period romantic drama film directed by Stephen Frears and written by Christopher Hampton based on his play Les liaisons dangereuses which was the adaptation of the 18th-century French novel of the same name by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.

It stars Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Swoosie Kurtz, Mildred Natwick, Peter Capaldi, Keanu Reeves and Uma Thurman.

Dangerous Liaisons was released theatrically on December 16, 1988 by Warner Bros. It received generally positive reviews from critics with major praise drawn towards Close and Pfeiffer's performances, screenplay, production values and costumes. Although it was a moderate commercial success grossing $34.7 million against its $14 million budget, it was cited as a box office disappointment.

The film received seven nominations at the 61st Academy Awards, including for Best Picture and won three; Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design.

Fatal Attraction

Fatal Attraction is a 1987 American psychological erotic thriller film directed by Adrian Lyne from a screenplay written by James Dearden, based on his 1980 short film Diversion. Starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close and Anne Archer, the film centers on a married man who has a weekend affair with a woman who refuses to allow it to end and becomes obsessed with him.

Fatal Attraction was released on September 18, 1987 by Paramount Pictures. It received generally positive critical response and generated controversy at the time of its release. The film became a huge box office success, grossing $320.1 million against a $14 million budget, becoming the highest grossing film of 1987 worldwide.

At the 60th Academy Awards, it received six nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (for Close), Best Supporting Actress (for Archer), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

Heights (film)

Heights is a 2005 Merchant Ivory Productions film that follows a pivotal twenty-four hours in the interconnected lives of five New Yorkers. It stars Elizabeth Banks as Isabel, a photographer, James Marsden as Jonathan, a Jewish lawyer and Isabel's fiancé, Glenn Close as Diana, Isabel's mother, Jesse Bradford as Alec, an actor, and John Light as Peter, a journalist.

Jagged Edge (film)

Jagged Edge is a 1985 American courtroom thriller written by Joe Eszterhas and directed by Richard Marquand. The film stars Glenn Close, Jeff Bridges, Peter Coyote and Robert Loggia (who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role).

Mona Simpson (The Simpsons)

Mona Penelope Simpson (née Olsen) is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She has been voiced by several actresses, including Maggie Roswell, Tress MacNeille, Pamela Hayden, and most prominently, Glenn Close. Glenn Close's performances as Mona have been well received by critics and she was named one of the top 25 guest stars on the show by IGN.

Mona was the estranged wife of Abe Simpson and the mother of Homer Simpson. In the episode "Mother Simpson" where she was introduced, it was established that Homer believed that his mother was dead, a lie his father, Abe, told him when in reality she was on the run from the law after she sabotaged Mr Burns' biological warfare laboratory. Mona first appeared in the second season in a flashback in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?". She returned in the seventh season for her first main appearance in "Mother Simpson" and also had a large role in "My Mother the Carjacker". The character appeared again in Season 19's "Mona Leaves-a", but died during the episode. An Inception-inspired dream version of her appears in Season 23's "How I Wet Your Mother". In the episode "Let's Go Fly a Coot", she is revealed to have met Abe when she was a waitress in a cantina bar and he broke the sound barrier to impress her.

The character is named after writer Richard Appel's ex-wife, the American author (and Steve Jobs' biological sister) Mona Simpson. The inspiration for the character is Bernardine Dohrn of the Weather Underground.

Mother Simpson

"Mother Simpson" is the eighth episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 19, 1995. After faking his own death to get a day off work, Homer reunites with his mother Mona, who he thought had died 27 years ago. It was directed by David Silverman and was the first episode to be written by Richard Appel. Glenn Close makes her first of seven guest appearances as Homer's mother.

Reversal of Fortune

Reversal of Fortune is a 1990 film adapted from the 1985 book Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case, written by law professor Alan Dershowitz. It recounts the true story of the unexplained coma of socialite Sunny von Bülow, the subsequent attempted murder trial, and the eventual acquittal of her husband, Claus von Bülow, who had Dershowitz acting as his defense. The film was directed by Barbet Schroeder and stars Jeremy Irons as Claus, Glenn Close as Sunny, and Ron Silver as Dershowitz. Screenwriter Nick Kazan originally envisioned Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer in the role of Claus von Bülow, but was thrilled with Irons' performance.

Something About Amelia

Something About Amelia is a 1984 television film about psychological trauma caused in a family by incest.

The film stars Ted Danson, Glenn Close, Roxana Zal, and Missy Francis.It was the most-watched network television show in the United States for the week of January 9-15, 1984.It received eight Emmy nominations in 1984, and won in three categories, for Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special (Leonard Goldberg / Michele Rappaport), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series (Roxana Zal) and for Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or a Special (William Hanley).The movie was also nominated for four Golden Globes and won two, for Best Miniseries or Television Film and for Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television (Ted Danson).

South Pacific (2001 film)

Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific is a 2001 television film, based on the musical South Pacific (1949). An ABC production, it was directed by Richard Pearce, and stars Glenn Close, Harry Connick, Jr., and Rade Šerbedžija (billed in U.S. as Rade Sherbedgia). It was also released on DVD.

Sunset Boulevard (musical)

Sunset Boulevard is a musical with book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Based on Billy Wilder's Academy Award-winning 1950 film of the same title, the plot revolves around Norma Desmond, a faded star of the silent screen era, living in the past in her decaying mansion on the fabled Los Angeles street. When young screenwriter Joe Gillis accidentally crosses her path, she sees in him an opportunity to make her return to the big screen. Romance and tragedy follow.

Opening first in London in 1993, the musical has had several long runs internationally and also enjoyed extensive tours. However, it has been the subject of several legal battles and ultimately lost money due to its extraordinary running costs.

The Big Chill (film)

The Big Chill is a 1983 American comedy-drama film directed by Lawrence Kasdan, starring Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, and JoBeth Williams. The plot focuses on a group of baby boomers who attended the University of Michigan, reuniting after 15 years when their friend Alex commits suicide. Kevin Costner was cast as Alex, but all scenes showing his face were cut. It was filmed in Beaufort, South Carolina.The soundtrack features soul, R&B, and pop-rock music from the 1960s and 1970s, including tracks by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Rolling Stones, and Three Dog Night.

The Big Chill was adapted for television as the short-lived 1985 CBS series Hometown. Later, it influenced the TV series thirtysomething.

The Natural (film)

The Natural is a 1984 American sports film based on Bernard Malamud's 1952 novel of the same name, directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Redford, Glenn Close, and Robert Duvall. Like the book, the film recounts the experiences of Roy Hobbs, an individual with great "natural" baseball talent, spanning the decades of Roy's career. It was the first film produced by TriStar Pictures.

The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actress (Close), and it was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress (Kim Basinger). Many of the baseball scenes were filmed in 1983 at War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York, built in 1937 and demolished in 1988. All-High Stadium, also in Buffalo, stood in for Chicago's Wrigley Field in a key scene.

The Wife (2017 film)

The Wife is a 2017 drama film directed by Björn Runge and written by Jane Anderson, based on the novel of the same name by Meg Wolitzer. It stars Glenn Close, Jonathan Pryce, and Christian Slater, and follows an woman who questions her life choices as she travels to Stockholm with her husband, who is to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The film premiered on September 12, 2017, at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released in the United States on August 17, 2018 by Sony Pictures Classics. It received generally positive reviews from critics, with Close's performance garnering high praise; she won the Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actress for her performance, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress.

The World According to Garp (film)

The World According to Garp is a 1982 American comedy-drama film produced and directed by George Roy Hill, written by Steve Tesich, and starring Robin Williams in the title role. It is based on the novel The World According to Garp by John Irving. For their roles, John Lithgow and Glenn Close were respectively nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 55th Academy Awards.

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