Glenne Aimee Headly (born November 13, 1955) is an American actress. She is known for her roles in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Mr. Holland's Opus. Headly has received Theatre World Awards and 4 Joseph Jefferson Awards, and was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards. Most recently, Glenne Headly and Ed Begley Jr. (Blunt Talk) have been tapped for lead roles opposite Josh Hutcherson in Future Man, Hulu’s half-hour comedy pilot from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
Headly was born in New London, Connecticut. Her first years were spent living under the care of her mother in San Francisco and her maternal grandmother in Lansford Pennsylvania. Early in her elementary school years, she joined her mother, who was then living in Greenwich Village, New York City, and grew up having a rich cultural life. She studied ballet at the Robert Joffrey school of ballet and modern dance at the Martha Graham Studios. In New York, she attended public schools, including P.S. 41, where she was placed in an IGC class for intellectually gifted children. It was here that a fifth grade teacher introduced her to the work of Jacques Cousteau in an oceanography class, spawning a lifelong interest for her in preserving the natural world. She later went on to the High School of Performing Arts, majoring in drama and graduated with honors.
Rather than continuing to study the dramatic arts, she attended a small American college in Switzerland from which she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree. Soon after, she moved to New York, taking day jobs as a waitress so that she could work nights in the theatre for little or no salary. Later she moved to Chicago, where she joined the "New Works Ensemble" at the St. Nicholas Theatre and was eventually cast in a Goodman Theatre production of Curse of the Starving Class, directed by Robert Falls and co-starring John Malkovich.
Film and television career
While appearing on the Chicago stage in Curse of the Starving Class, Headly was asked to join the Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble, who were looking to expand their group. She also appeared in several other productions. In Chicago, she was nominated for five Joseph Jefferson awards and won three for best supporting actress. She received her Actors' Equity card when cast by Vivian Matalon in a summer theatre production of Charley's Aunt and joined SAG when Arthur Penn wrote a breakout role for her in the film Four Friends.
In 1982 Headly married fellow ensemble member John Malkovich and moved with him to New York City. Soon after, she was cast to replace Ellen Barkin in Extremities with Susan Sarandon off Broadway. She then was cast in The Philanthropist, also off Broadway, and won a Theatre World Award for best newcomer. In New York, she appeared in Balm in Gilead with her fellow Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble members and Arms and the Man on Broadway with Kevin Kline and Raul Julia.
1988–1995: Early Career
Headly played several supporting roles in such films as Making Mr. Right, Paperhouse, Seize the Day and Nadine, but it was her role in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) opposite Steve Martin and Michael Caine that truly launched her film career. Headly was named Most Promising New Actress by the Chicago Film Critics Association.
She was then cast by Warren Beatty to appear opposite him as Tess Trueheart in Dick Tracy. She next starred opposite Demi Moore and Bruce Willis in Mortal Thoughts, directed by Alan Rudolph. In 1988 she divorced Malkovich after he had an affair with Michelle Pfeiffer during the filming of Dangerous Liaisons. In 1992, she went to Canada to work on a small Canadian film called Ordinary Magic with Ryan Reynolds and on the first day of filming, met her future husband Byron McCulloch, whom she married on August 25 of 1993.
She went on to appear in Mr. Holland's Opus (1995), Sgt. Bilko (1996), What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001), Breakfast of Champions (1999), Around the Bend (2004), 2 Days in the Valley (1996) and others.
On television, she had a recurring part on ER (1994) and Monk (2002) and was in the short-lived sit-com Encore! Encore! (1998) with Nathan Lane and Joan Plowright. She was in the live theatrical presentation of "On Golden Pond" as the troubled daughter of Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews and also appeared in the telefilms Women vs. Men (2002), My Own Country (1998) and Pronto (1997), among others. She received her second Emmy nomination for best supporting actress for Bastard Out of Carolina (1996), directed by Anjelica Huston.
Headly appeared in the television movies Winchell, And the Band Played On, Pronto, My Own Country and Women Vs. Men and was nominated for two Emmy Awards, for best supporting actress in a television movie for both Lonesome Dove (1989) and Bastard Out of Carolina (1996). She appeared as Julie Andrews' and Christopher Plummer's daughter in the 2001 live telecast of the play On Golden Pond for CBS. She was cast in the series Encore! Encore!, starring Nathan Lane and Joan Plowright, from 1998–1999, and had recurring roles as Dr. Abby Keaton on ER from 1996–1997 and as Leland Stottlemeyer's wife, Karen on Monk from 2003–2004.
In 2004, she played the mother of Lindsay Lohan's character in Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. Her recent appearances include the films The Amateurs (2005) (aka "The Amateurs"), The Namesake (2006), Comeback Season (2006), Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (2008), The Joneses (2009) and Don Jon (2013).
Headly is currently working several other projects, including Future Man and Strange Weather (2016).
Glenne Headly and Ed Begley Jr. have been tapped for lead roles opposite Josh Hutcherson in Future Man, Hulu’s half-hour comedy pilot from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
Headly will play Diane, Josh’s nurturing, ever-supportive mother. Her love for him, while unyielding and sweet, is also a detriment to his growth. She makes it almost impossible for Josh to move out; she does all his cooking, cleaning, laundry and dotes on him constantly. She’s recently retired and is getting back into smoking pot on a regular basis.
Headly was an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company from 1979 until 2005, although she never returned to Chicago to do a play after the late 1980s, believing that such a move would uproot and be disruptive to her family. She took a break from the stage altogether for ten years until 1999 when she starred on the London stage opposite Miranda Richardson in Aunt Dan & Lemon.
In 2003, Headly starred opposite David Hyde Pierce in The Guys as part of a revolving cast at The Actors' Gang in Los Angeles. She also appeared in Malkovich's production of Shaw's "Arms and the Man," with Kevin Kline at New York City's Circle in the Square Uptown.
1983: The Philanthropist
Headly in Christopher Hampton's Philanthropist at the Manhattan Theater Club in New York.
1984: Balm in Gilead
Headly in Lanford Wilson's Balm in Gilead presented by The Circle Repertory Company and the Steppenwolf Theater Ensemble.
1985: Arms and the Man
Headly starred as Raina in George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man, directed by John Malkovich, in New York.
1999: Aunt Dan and Lemon
Headly starred as Lemon in Aunt Dan and Lemon, written by Wallace Shawn, at the Almeida Theater in London.
Headly starred as Ellen in Detachments at the Tiffany Theater in Los Angeles. Written and directed by Colleen Dodson-Baker.
2001: My Brilliant Divorce
Headly starred as Angela Kennedy Lipsky in the premiere of My Brilliant Divorce at the Druid Theater in Galway, Ireland.
2012: The Jacksonian
Headly plays Eva White in The Geffen Playhouse's production of The Jacksonian, written by Beth Henley.
2016: Stage Kiss
Currently playing at the Geffen Playhouse, Headly stars in Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss through Sunday, May 15.