Glenn Close

Occupation: Actress, Aerobics instructor
Date of Birth: March 19, 1947
Place of Birth: Greenwich, Conn., USA
Sign: Sun in Pisces, Moon in Aquarius
Relations: Father: William (surgeon); mother: Bettine; godmother: Glenn Andrews; sisters: Tina (artist), Jessie (author, illustrator); brother: Alexander (agronomist); ex-husbands: Cabot Wade (rock guitarist), James Marlas (venture capitalist); ex-companion: John Starke (producer); fiancÚ: Steve Beers (carpenter); daughter: Annie Maude Starke
Education: The College of William and Mary; B.A. in drama and anthropology


GLENN CLOSE is such a complete actress you almost can't stand it. She also sings very well  a clear lyric soprano. During a 1997 vacation to Mexico's Baja California, Close and her daughter Annie joined a whale-watching expedition to a coastal lagoon. The actress took a fellow passenger's remark that whales are often attracted by music as her cue to belt out a stirring impromptu rendition of "Amazing Grace." Lo and behold, a forty-foot female Pacific gray whale and her calf surfaced right next to the boat, and even allowed the delighted whale-watchers to pet them. Mere coincidence? We think not. Whales are not the only creatures to have been captivated by Close over the years. Even mammals who shave and think up their own pickup lines, like Michael Douglas, have been known to fall under her spell. Sure, Douglas only fell for her in a movie  1987's Fatal Attraction, in which his philandering lawyer learned that hell hath no fury like a one-night-stand (Close) spurned  but you see our point. With multiple Obie, Tony, and Emmy Awards on her mantle, and five Oscar nominations to her credit, it is clear that Close has also bewitched the critics, and she seems destined to remain one of Hollywood's foremost leading ladies for years to come.

There aren't any proper royal families in the United States, but if you pricked Glenn Close's finger, she just might bleed blue. A twelfth-generation New Englander, she was born to patrician parents in Greenwich, Connecticut, a town her ancestors helped found in the late 1600s. When Close was on the brink of adolescence, her mother and father hooked up with the ultra-conservative Moral Rearmament movement, a quasi-cult that demanded unattainable levels of virtue from its followers. Shortly thereafter, the family relocated to Zaire, where Close's surgeon father organized and operated a medical clinic for the next sixteen years. After attending boarding schools in Zaire and in Switzerland, Close and her siblings returned to Greenwich to live with their maternal grandmother. There, Close entered Rosemary Hall, an exclusive girls' boarding school where she nurtured her childhood love of acting by forming a six-member theatrical troupe, The Fingernails (self-billed as "The Group With Polish"), whose credits included an original skit titled Tarzan and Jane as Played by Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen. Never one to shrink from a uniquely challenging role, Close also played Romeo in a school production of Romeo and Juliet.

Moral Rearmament again came to bear on Close's life in the five years between her 1965 graduation from Rosemary Hall and her entrance into the College of William and Mary in 1970. During that period, which the actress now refers to as her "lost life," she became so caught up in the movement's moralistic ideals that she joined the counter-counterculture singing group Up With People and toured the United States and Europe, wielding her exquisite voice in defense of that hippie anathema, "old-fashioned values." Emotional fallout from her 1969 marriage to guitarist Cabot Wade caused her to come to her senses, and she dumped both Wade and Up With People to flee to the comparatively safe haven of William and Mary. Following graduation, she broke into professional theater with the New Phoenix Repertory Company, making her Broadway bow in the lead role of a 1974 production of Love for Love. Close remained active in theater for the next six years, until a fateful casting call for a Broadway production of Barnum placed her in the showy supporting role of Charity Barnum, wife of legendary circus ringmaster P.T. Barnum. Close lit up the stage with her performance, catching the eye of director George Roy Hill, who subsequently cast her in her first feature-film role, that of Robin Williams's fearlessly feminist mother in 1982's The World According to Garp.

Though Williams was the movie's titular hero, the show-stealing Close was rewarded with her first Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actress (subsequent roles in The Big Chill and The Natural also garnered her Best Supporting Actress noms, and her performances in Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons invited nods in the Best Actress category; she has yet to win the coveted Oscar). Since that sterling debut, her cinematic career has ranged all over the map. In addition to scaring the hell out of Michael Douglas in the thriller Fatal Attraction, she went mano-a-scheming-mano with Řbervillain John Malkovich in the lavish period drama Dangerous Liaisons (1988); mothered Mel Gibson in Hamlet (1990); and whupped Michael Keaton's butt  she did her own fight scenes  in Ron Howard's The Paper (1994).

Television has also proven to be a fertile medium for Close's talent. In 1984, a then-record sixty million viewers caught her Emmy-winning performance opposite Ted Danson in the made-for-TV incest drama Something About Amelia; she snared a second Emmy for her role as a mail-order housekeeper in the frontier drama Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991); her third was bestowed upon her for her portrayal of Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer in Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (1995). Close scored her first Tony for Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, in 1984, and won her second, eight years later, for her performance in Ariel Dorfman's Death and the Maiden. In 1995, she snagged a third Tony, this time for her performance as Sunset Boulevard's narcissistic silent-screen star Norma Desmond.

The year 1996 provided unique challenges for the master thespian: in addition to reading diary entries for the deeply affecting documentary Anne Frank Remembered, Close turned in scenery-chewing performances as a madam in Mary Reilly; as the fur-hungry Cruella DeVil in the live-action version of Disney's 101 Dalmatians (notorious around Hollywood for her immense collection of movie costumes, Close had a special stipulation written into her contract with Disney that ensured she would be able to keep DeVil's duds after production wrapped on the film); and as a hilariously self-absorbed First Lady to Jack Nicholson's President in Tim Burton's quirky alien invasion extravaganza Mars Attacks!. Close showed up in theaters as the no-nonsense V.P. to Harrison Ford's ass-kicking President in the 1997 summer hijack thriller Air Force One, and then cropped up in a brief appearance in the comedy In & Out. Her next big-screen outing came in 1999, in Robert Altman's family comedy-melodrama Cookie's Fortune, and she provided the voice for the character of Kala in Disney's animated Tarzan, released in June 1999. She's set to produce and star in a network television movie based on the true-life story of political visionary Coya Knutson. Roles in Soul Survivors, Sable Island, and Mother Love are also in the pipeline.

Over the years, Close has had a couple of husbands (rock guitarist Cabot Wade and venture capitalist James Marlas), and bore daughter Annie  the product of an extended relationship with producer John Starke  out of wedlock at the age of forty-one. Following May-September flings with actor Woody Harrelson and hockey star Cam Neely, Close became affianced to Steve Beers, a carpenter whom she met in 1995 on the set of Sunset Boulevard.

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