Actress Glenne Headly dies, aged 62

Glenne Headly

by James White |
Published on

A performer who worked equally well on stage and screens of all sizes, has died suddenly. Glenne Headly was 62.

Born in New London, Connecticut, Headly was raised by her grandmother and mother, and spent her early life in San Francisco and Pennsylvania. Moving to join her mother in New York, she enrolled at the Martha Graham Studios dance academy for ballet and attended classes for gifted children while at school. Heading to the High School of Performing Arts (as portrayed, though not directly used for shooting) in 1980's Fame), she graduated with honours in drama before studying at a small American college in Switzerland.

Headly returned to the US and lived again in New York, appearing on stage for little to no money while supplementing her income as a waitress by day. She began to focus more on the stage after moving to Chicago, where she began to find more work, along with her first husband, John Malkovich. Asked to join the famed Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble, she shined, and made the move to film when Arthur Penn wrote a role for her in Four Friends.

Yet she continued to work in the theatre even as she found more movie roles, including in Making Mr. Right, Seize The Day and, eventually, the one that would truly help to launch her screen career, 1988's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

She'd go on to appear in an eclectic roster of movies, including Dick Tracy, Mortal Thoughts, Getting Even With Dad, Mr. Holland's Opus, What's The Worst That Could Happen?, Two Days In The Valley, and more recently, Don Jon and The Circle.

On TV, she received an Emmy nomination for her performance in Lonesome Dove and had a recurring role as Dr. Abby Keaton on ER. A mix of TV movies and guest star parts fill up her CV, spanning such shows as Monk, Parks And Recreation and The Night Of. At the time of her death – the cause had not be announced when this piece was written – she had been at work on Hulu comedy series Future Man. "It is with deep sorrow that we confirm the passing of Glenne Headly," says her representatives' statement. "We ask that her family’s privacy be respected in this difficult time." She's survived by her husband Byron McCulloch and son Stirling.

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