The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
Stars of the '80s
Glenn Close
Born 19 March 1947 in Greenwich, Connecticut -- a town her ancestors helped build -- Glenn Close spent her childhood in Zaire, where her physician father operated a clinic. Attending boarding schools in Zaire and Switzerland, she returned to Greenwich to enter an exclusive all-girl boarding school, Rosemary Hall, where she began to demonstrate her remarkable acting skills as part of a six-member theatrical troupe. She then toured the United States and Europe with the singing group, Up With People, before studying drama and anthropology at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. She launched her acting career in 1974 with the Phoenix Repertory, making her Broadway debut in Love for Love. Company of New York. Director George Roy Hill saw her Barnum, a Broadway musical, and cast her as Robin Williams' feminist mother in The World According to Garp (1982). She earned the first of five Oscar nominations for this performance.
Close gave powerful performances in The Big Chill (1983), Jagged Edge (1985), and Dangerous Liaisons (1988). She earned an Emmy nomination (her third) for her portrayal of Margarethe Cammermeyer in the NBC TV movie, Serving in Silence, the true story of a colonel who was discharged from the military after admitting she was a lesbian. In 1984, a record 60 million viewers watched her in the hit TV movie Something About Amelia. But Close will, perhaps, be best remembered for her role as Michael Douglas' vengeful lover in Fatal Attraction (1987). She continued to do stage work in the Eighties, and won a Tony Award for her performance in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing (1984).
Opening the 1990s with Reversal of Fortune (1990), Close portrayed Sunny Von Bulow, whose husband was accused of trying to murder her in one of the most sensational crime trials of the Eighties. In 1991 she appeared in Sarah, Plain and Tall, which became the most-watched installment of the long-running television program, "Hallmark Hall of Fame." In 1993 she starred in a sequel, Skylark, with Christopher Walken. She won another Tony for 1992's Maiden and yet another in 1995 for her role as Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Broadway musical, Sunset Boulevard. More recently, she has starred in Disney's 101 Dalmations and Air Force One. Close has been married twice, to rock guitarist Cabot Wade and venture capitalist James Marlas. A long-term relationship with producer John Stark produced a daughter, Annie.

1980s Filmography
The World According to Garp (1982)
The Big Chill (1983)
The Stone Boy (1984)
The Natural (1984)
Maxie (1985)
Jagged Edge (1985)
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Light Years (1988)
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
Immediate Family (1989)

Critics' Comments
The World According to Garp (1982)
"As Garp's beautiful, maddening mother, whose feminist autobiography outsells her son's serious work, [Close] is believable, touching, and an Oscar nominee."
-- People Weekly

Jagged Edge (1985)
"Close tries, but her role is criminally misconceived. We're supposed to see her as an intelligent career woman and divorced mother, but it's difficult to admire the ethics or logic of a lawyer who goes to bed with her client and then reacts like a child when she thinks he's lying."
-- People Weekly

Fatal Attraction (1987)
"Close throws herself into the physical abandon of the early reels with surprising relish, and becomes genuinely frightening when it comes clear she is capable of anything."
-- Variety

Glenn Close and Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction

Close was not the first choice to play Alex in Fatal Attraction, but rather the fourth. (Debra Winger was the first.)