Born in a town her ancestors helped to create, Glenn Close came from a privileged family with two patrician parents in Greenwich, Connecticut. Soon after her parents joined the Moral Rearmament, an ultra-conservative political movement, they moved to Zaire, Africa. After attending boarding school in Zaire and Switzerland, she and her siblings returned to Greenwich to live with their maternal grandmother. Her love of acting was nurtured in Rosemary Hall, an exclusive girls' boarding school. She formed a six-member theatrical troupe, The Fingernails (self-billed as "The Group With Polish") and performed the more challenging roles in school plays.
The Moral Rearmament came into Glenn's life and during her years at the College of William and Mary she joined the movements singing group. There, she traveled around the country singing in defense of the movement's values. She returned to her college after an emotional fallout from her 1969 marriage to guitarist Cabot Wade.
She joined the New Phoenix Repertory Company after graduating and in 1974 played the lead role in a Broadway production of Love for Love. After six years of theater work, she was offered her first feature film role, that of Robin Williams's fearlessly feminist mother in 1982's The World According to Garp. Her performance was rewarded with her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Over the next few years she received two more nominations for Best Supporting Actress as well as three nominations for Best Actress, the most recent for her amazing performance as a woman masquerading as a man in Victorian England in Albert Nobbs.
Television has also proven to be a fertile medium for Close's talent. She has won a total of three Emmy awards between 1984 and 1995. On stage, Glenn 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.
In 2005, after having been nominated for a Golden Globe seven times, Glenn won the award for her performance in the TV movie The Lion in Winter. She followed this career high up with roles in the series The Shield, as well as the animated action comedy Hoodwinked! (2005) and the ensemble drama Evening (2007).
After working for a few years on the critically acclaimed series Damages, Close returned to film in glorious form in the drama Albert Nobbs (2011), in which she portrays a woman who is forced to pose as a man in order to work independently in 19th century Ireland. For her stellar work, Close earned another Academy Award nomination.
The legendary actress has continued working steadily in recent years, making appearances in the biographical drama Low Down (2014), starring Elle Fanning and John Hawkes, the superhero sci-fi adventure Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, and the family drama The Great Gilly Hopkins (2016). In 2017, Close starred alongside Owen Wilson and Ed Helms in the comedy Father Figures, and next to Gemma Arterton and Paddy Considine in the thriller The Girl with All the Gifts. She also reprised her role as Nova Prime in the hotly anticipated sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017).
Glenn returned to the big screen in the drama The Wife (2018) alongside Jonathan Pryce. For this role, she took home the award for Best Actress (drama) at the Golden Globes, and earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
In 2020, she starred in the Netflix film Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance's bestselling memoir of the same name. The film earned her an nominations for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Glenn has been married and divorced three times, first to Cabot Wade, second to venture capitalist James Marlas, and most recently to David Shaw. She has one child with producer John Starke.
Hillbilly Elegy (2020)
The Wife (2018)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Wilde Wedding (2017)
The Girl with All the Gifts (2017)
The Great Gilly Hopkins (2016)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
5 to 7 (2014)
Low Down (2014)
Albert Nobbs (2011)
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (2011)
Sunset Boulevard (2008)
Therese Raquin (2008)
Hoodwinked (2006) (voice)
The Chumscrubber (2005)
Nine Lives (2005)
The Stepford Wives (2004)
Le Divorce (2003)
Pinocchio (2002) (voice)
The Safety of Objects (2001)
102 Dalmatians (2000)
The Lady with the Torch (1999)
Cookie's Fortune (1999)
Tarzan (1999) (voice)
Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (1999)
Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration (1998)
Air Force One (1997)
Paradise Road (1997)
In & Out (1997)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
101 Dalmatians (1996)
Mary Reilly (1996)
Anne Frank Remembered (1995) (voice)
The Paper (1994)
The House of the Spirits (1993)
Meeting Venus (1991)
Reversal of Fortune (1990)
Immediate Family (1989)
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
Light Years (1988) (voice)
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Jagged Edge (1985)
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) (voice)
The Natural (1984)
The Stone Boy (1984)
The Big Chill (1983)
The World According to Garp (1982)