Actress Glenn Close is best known for her many Oscar-nominated roles
Actress Glenn Close turns 76 today
Actress Glenn Close was born on March 19, 1947, in Greenwich, Connecticut, into an upper-class family with a long history in the northeastern United States. She grew up with two sisters, Jessie and Tina, and one brother, Sandy. Although her parents, Dr. William Close and Bettine Moore Close, were both born into an elite social circle, they did not raise Close and her siblings in that world. In 1954, Close’s parents joined Moral Rearmament (MRA), a group with cult-like trappings that sent its members out into the world to convert people to its brand of spirituality. When Close was thirteen, her parents moved the family to the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) to spread the word; Dr. Close also operated a clinic there. Close split her time between Africa and boarding schools in Switzerland. She later attended the prep school Rosemary Hall back in Greenwich before joining the MRA-associated singing group Up With People, with which she toured throughout Europe and the United States for four years. Close broke away from the group at age 22 in order to attend the College of William and Mary, where she studied drama and anthropology. After college, Close moved to New York City. There, she and good friend Meryl Streep joined the Phoenix Theatre Company. Close soon began her acting career in earnest. She made her Broadway debut in 1974’s “Love for Love”. At first, she loved the stage so much that she did not seriously consider film acting. Close’s talent, though, translated well to the silver screen. In 1980, after seeing her in a Tony-nominated role in Barnum, director George Roy Hill cast Close as Jenny Fields, a feminist writer, in his film “The World According to Garp”. For her first film role, Close received an Academy Award nomination it was the first of six nominations she would receive. Close’s reputation as a powerful dynamo in Hollywood was cemented by her role in the thriller “Fatal Attraction”, that of Alex Forrester, a seductive but psychotic stalker. During filming, Close found out that she was pregnant with her first and only child, Annie Maude Starke, whose father is John Starke. Only seven weeks after giving birth to Annie, Close started filming a lead role in the film “Dangerous Liaisons”, for which she received another Oscar nomination. In the 1990’s, Close would win two Tonys for Best Actress, one in 1992 for “Death and the Maiden”, and one as Andrew Lloyd Weber’s handpicked Norma Desmond in the 1995 revival of “Sunset Boulevard”. She also took more comedic roles, such as Cruella de Vil in 1996’s live-action “101 Dalmatians” and First Lady Marsha Dale in 1996’s “Mars Attacks!”. Close also had a recurring voice-acting role on the animated television show “The Simpsons” as Mona Simpson, Homer’s estranged mother. In the 2000’s, Glenn Close has primarily focused on television, taking a role in The Shield’s fourth season and guest starring on the critically acclaimed drama “The West Wing”. In 2007, she took a starring role in “Damages” as lawyer Patty Hewes (2007– 2012). “It’s rare to have a woman, a mature woman, in a position of real power where she’s calling the shots and she’s in with the big guys,” Close explains. “It’s fun.” Close would go on play 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.
By Ken Warren, 2018
Watch Glenn Close in a scene from 1988 “Dangerous Liaisons”
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