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Glenn Close Movies: 13 Flicks Starring the Award-Winning Actress

From Disney classics to psychological thrillers!

Twenty years ago, a movie star wouldn’t even consider venturing into television, which was considered low brow entertainment at the time. The likes of Streep, Foster, Kidman and others didn’t even read TV scripts given to them by their agents. That all changed thanks to Glenn Close, who read the script for The Shield and signed on for 13 episodes in 2005, moving outside the realm of movies.

Such began the resurrection of the Golden Age of television, spearheaded by the brave Close, who had already showcased her talent on the big screen and garnered several awards. But the eight-time Academy Award-nominated actress didn’t stop there.

The Shield, 2005
Glenn Close and Michael Chiklis on set of The Shield, 2005Bob Riha Jr/WireImage/Getty Images

She also starred in the legal thriller series Damages between 2007 and 2012. With all of this in mind, it’s no surprise to hear that the Greenwich, Connecticut-born actress is now co-starring in Apple TV’s The New Look as Carmel Snow, editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar from 1934 to 1958.

I was thrilled when Todd (Kessler) asked me to step into the daunting shoes of Carmel Snow and only hope I do justice to one of the truly iconic game-changing figures in the history of fashion,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.

Glenn Close’s early days as an actress

Glenn Close, 1985
Glenn Close, 1985JACQUES MORELL/Sygma via Getty Images

Close has epitomized an era of Hollywood glamour and star status in a career spanning over six decades, bringing home three Tony Awards, three Emmys and three Golden Globes. In 2019, Time Magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Her first professional role was on the stage in 1974 in Love for Love, and she received her first Tony nomination for her role in Barnum. Her later wins were for roles in The Real Thing, Death and the Maiden and Sunset Boulevard, where she showcased her musical talents. In fact, Close does her own singing in every movie.  

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Glenn Close, 1985
Glenn Close, 1985LGI Stock/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Born Glenda Veronica “Glenn” Close, when she was 13, her father, who was the personal doctor for Mobuto Sese Seko, opened a clinic in the Belgian Congo — now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He ran it for 16 years and during most of that time, Glenn lived between Africa and Swiss boarding schools.

When Seko, the Congolese dictator, went missing for a year after a revolution in 1960, the entire Close family returned to Connecticut, where she began refining her acting skills.

Glenn Close, 1984
Glenn Close, 1984Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images

After years on stage, Close turned to film and as luck would have it, director George Roy Hill saw her on Broadway and asked her to audition with Robin Williams for a role in The World According To Garp. She was 35 years old when she made her debut in the 1982 hit film, playing Robin Williams’ mother, despite being just four years older than he was.

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This role was the beginning of an illustrious film career. Here are some standout Glenn Close movies from over the years.

Glenn Close movies

1. The World According to Garp (1982)

For her breakthrough role as Jenny Fields opposite the late Robin Williams, Close received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Based on the John Irving novel of the same name, the movie follows the life of T.S. Garp (Williams) and his mom, Jenny.

Garp is a struggling young writer who envisions himself as a serious one, while his radical mom pens a feminist manifesto that catapults her into a cultural icon.

2. The Big Chill (1983)

Who can forget the music from this film? Plus, a stellar cast of Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Tom Berenger, Kevin Kline and other notable Hollywood players.

The film focuses on a group of old college friends who gather for a weekend reunion at a South Carolina vacation home after the funeral of Alex, another one of their college friends.

Originally, Kevin Costner was the deceased, but later ended up on the cutting room floor. The seven friends use this time to reacquaint themselves now that they are older and more experienced in life.

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3. The Natural (1984)

Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford), a rather unknown, middle-aged baseball batter, appears seemingly out of nowhere and becomes a legendary player with almost supernatural talent. He takes a losing 1930s team to the top of the league with the aid of a bat cut from a lightning struck tree. Could this really be the secret to his superpower? Close, who plays Iris Gaines, shows up at the ballpark as a kind of guardian angel.

A little bit of trivia: the bat is now displayed alongside Roy Hobbs’ jacket in an exhibit titled “Baseball and the Movies” at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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4. Jagged Edge (1985)

After a wealthy San Francisco woman is murdered in her beach house, her husband Jack (Jeff Bridges) finds himself accused of her murder.

Clearly devastated by the event, he hires Teddy Barnes (Close) to defend him. Lines of professionalism versus personal relationship get blurred, yet Teddy agrees to continue to defend him. But who does she ultimately trust? There’s no shortage of twists and turns in this thriller.  

5. Fatal Attraction (1987)

Who can forget the line, “I won’t be ignored?” Alex Forrest (Close) becomes a New York lawyer and a married man’s (Michael Douglas) mistress for a weekend tryst.

Alex turns out to be a deranged stalker who won’t let go of him after their weekend, as she trails he and his entire family. You quickly get the message that she will stop at nothing to have him for herself.

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Fatal Attraction, 1987
Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, Fatal Attraction, 1987Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Not only does the film get sexually physical, but also violently physical — during a re-shoot, Close suffered a concussion when her head smashed against a mirror.

After being rushed to the hospital, she discovered that she was a few weeks pregnant with her daughter, actress Annie Starke. On the upside, she was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe in the category of Best Actress.

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6. Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

In this Oscar-winning film, Close stars in a classic role set in 18th century France as Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, alongside John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Merteuil challenges the Vicomte de Valmont (Malkovich) to seduce the soon-to-be-married Cecile de Volanges (Uma Thurman) and provide proof of his success. And what’s in it for him? He can spend the night with Merteuil. So, seduce he does, but his real desire is to seduce someone else — Madame de Tourvel (Pfeiffer).

7. Reversal of Fortune (1990)

Based on true events, we see wealthy Sunny von Bulow (Close) lying in a diabetic coma while European aristocrat husband Claus (Jeremy Irons) is arrested for attempted murder of his wife by giving her a fatal overdose of insulin.

Found guilty, Claus claims innocence and hires a famed lawyer and brilliant law professor, Alan Dershowitz, for his appeal. Unlike some other true crime thrillers, this film focuses on the prep work that Dershowitz and his law students put in as they try to find holes in the prosecution’s case and achieve a reversal of fortune.

8. Hamlet (1990)

The story about the Prince of Denmark has been played out on stage as well as small and big screens, but none had Glenn Close as Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother.

Not mourning the loss of Hamlet’s dad, the King, Gertrude quickly marries Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, the new King. Soon, the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears and tells his son that Claudius and Gertrude murdered him. So what’s a son to do? Tragedy ensues.

9. The Paper (1994) Glenn Close movies

New York City tabloid editor Henry Hackett is faced with tough decisions while he faces several serious life challenges and a tempting job offer. As anyone knows in the publishing world, long hours and low pay surround this job.

But the paper is facing financial strains, so publisher Bernie White brings in hatchet-woman Alicia Clark, marking one of Close’s most villainous and manipulative roles. Will the scoop surrounding the murder of two businessmen found in a parked car in Brooklyn save the day? 

10. 101 Dalmatians (1996)

Long after Walt Disney’s passing, Close realized her dream come true as Cruella De Vil, an evil high-fashion designer who dognaps fifteen innocent puppies, envisioning a luxurious coat made with their spotted fur.

11. Air Force One (1997) Glenn Close movies

Close plays Vice President Kathryn Bennett, who negotiates with the radicals who have hijacked Air Force One with the US President (Harrison Ford) and his family on board.

POTUS and family are on their way back home from Moscow after giving a speech. Terrorists take over Air Force One and everyone on board becomes hostages. The terrorists threaten to shoot one hostage every 30 minutes until their demands are met — but they didn’t know that the Prez is a veteran and former Medal of Honor winner who fights to save the day.  

12. Albert Nobbs (2011) Glenn Close movies

Glenn is almost unrecognizable as 19th century Irish “man” Albert Nobbs, an eccentric well past middle age. Posing as a male so she can work as a butler in Dublin’s elegant hotel, which is run by stingy and controlling Marge Baker, Albert saves his pennies so that someday he can open his own business. He meets a handsome painter and looks to escape the lie he has been living all these years.

13. Crooked House (2017) Glenn Close movies

A more recent entry on the Glenn Close movies making up this list, this could be one of Agatha Christie’s most twisty tales. A spy turned private detective is lured by his former lover to catch her grandfather’s murderer before Scotland Yard exposes dark family secrets.

In this classic Christie detective story, former diplomat Charles Hayward has returned from Cairo to London to become a private detective. Close plays Lady Edith de Haviland, who has moved in to care for her motherless nephews.

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