top of page

Glenn Close
Paternal 10th cousin, once removed.

I am related to this amazing lady through her father, Dr. William Close AND through her mother, Elizabeth Mary Hester "Bettine" Moore (my 9th cousin, 2x removed). Glenn's 9th Great-Grandparents are Hugh Calkins (or Caulkins) and Anne Eaton, my 10th Great-Grandparents.


On Glenn's father's side of the family, we are related all the way back to King Edward I of England and his 2nd wife, Margaret (Marguerite) of France. To make this even more confusing, King Edward I is my 22nd Great-Grandfather twice, once through his 1st marriage to Eleanor of Castille (their son, King Edward II was my 21st Great-Grandfather) as well as thought Edward I and Margaret through their son Edmund. Glenn's father is descended from Edward I and Margaret through their son Thomas of Brotherton. Confused yet???

I forget which line I first discovered Glenn on, but I believe that it was through the Caulkin side of the family, which is our closest family relationship. As with all my famous distant cousins, I have never met Glenn in person, I only know her as most of us do - as an amazing actor capable of performing magnificently as different characters on the screen.

I remember first seeing Glenn's acting abilities in the movie The Big Chill. At that time she was a "new" actor to me, but I immediately thought she was quite memorable. The next time I remember seeing her on the screen was in the 1987 film Fatal Attraction, a film in which Glenn played what can best be described as a "psychopath" and I remember a lot of water cooler talk about that particular character.

Glenn was born on March 19, 1947 in Greenwich, Connecticut. She is 1 of 4 children born to Dr. William Close and Elizabeth Mary Hester "Bettine" Moore.  Glenn has 2 sisters, Tina and Jessie, and 2 brothers, Alexander "Sandy" and Tambu Misoki (adopted). 

Glenn grew up on her maternal Grandmother's estate in Greenwich. Although her upbringing was affluent, Glenn's family stayed away from "WASP" society and Glenn herself would not mention her birthplace as she did not want people thinking that she was someone who didn't have to work. Clearly Glenn's family did not allow their comfortable lifestyle to go to their heads, as so many people who are well-off do. Good for them!

Glenn's parents the group Moral Re-Armament (MRA), a moral and spiritual movement established in the US in 1938. In my research I have read that Glenn said that the MRA was a cult that controlled and dictated every aspect of their lives, including what clothes they wore and what they were allowed to say. As part of this group, Glenn traveled with Up With People, and off-shoot organization founded by the MRA. Glenn was with Up With People for several years, traveling and singing songs that were to give the audience "a purpose and to live their lives the way that they were meant to live".

At age 22, Glenn left MRA out of her desire to become an actor. Glenn was inspired to become an actor after watching an interview with another paternal cousin of mine as well as of Glenn, actor Katherine Hepburn, on the Dick Cavett Show. Glenn was in her senior year at college and she began to train as a serious actor. 

Glenn began her professional acting career on the stage in 1974 at the age of 27. In 1975, Glenn made her television debut with a small role in Great Performances, an anthology series dedicated to the performing arts. In 1979 Glenn filmed to made-for-tv movies, Orphan Train and Too Far to Go.

Glenn's Hollywood breakthrough roles would come in the 1980's. She was discovered on Broadway by Director George Roy Hill, who asked her to audition for a movie starring Robin Williams - it was The World According to Garp (1982), a film that this author has yet to watch from start to finish, but as I write this I do recall seeing her in it. For that role, Glenn's first Hollywood movie, she would nominated for an Academy Award. Not a bad start to her long career in Hollywood!

Glenn's Hollywood debut was followed up with 1983's The Big Chill (a film I have watched many times). Glenn received another nomination for an Academy Award for that role, and also received a nomination the same year for a Tony and an Emmy; only the third actor to have been nominated for all 3 awards in the same year.

Glenn was well on her way, and during the 1980's, she had roles in both major Hollywood films as well as TV movies. Glenn's range of acting abilities is vast and multi-dimensional. One of the measures I personally use to determine whether or not an actor is exceptional is their ability to convince me that they are the character that they are playing, and while I am watching them act, I don't think of a previous character that they played. To me this is exceptional acting, and Glenn certainly has that ability. From playing a psychotic stalker in Fatal Attraction to a shallow First Lady in Mars Attacks, and as an incredible voice actor, Glenn has an impressive versatility in her acting abilities.

Apparently the Academy thinks so as well, as Glenn has been nominated for 8 Academy Awards. Unfortunately Glenn has yet to win an Academy Award...but I'm certain that this will happen in the future; she's just too good to go unrecognized by her peers.

Glenn has been married 3 times and has 1 daughter, Annie, who was born on April 26, 1988. She is the daughter of producer John H. Starke (he and Close were not married). Annie is following her mother's footsteps and is an actor who has appeared in film and on Broadway.

Outside of acting, Glenn is a businesswoman, philanthropist, a campaigner for human rights issues such as women's rights and same gender marriage. Glenn is a supporter and volunteer for wildlife conservation efforts  as well as to help eradicate the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health and many other good causes.

The issue of mental illness is important to Glenn, having experienced this in her own family with her sister Jessie's bi-polar disorder. In 2010, Glenn had her DNA sequenced in order to publicize her family's history of mental illness. As someone who has taken several DNA tests searching for answers, I applaud Glenn's action with her own DNA as it can reveal some very important information that helps not only the person taking the test, but many others as well.

It would seem to this writer that Glenn Close not only has an impressive range in her acting abilities, but she is a lady who lends her powerful voice to worthwhile causes to help make this a better world. For me, this is a quality far more important than her acting abilities, but I still enjoy watching her perform :)

bottom of page