Long considered one of Oscar’s most overdue actresses, Glenn Close is in the running yet again for gold this year thanks to “Hillbilly Elegy,” which will be released November 24 in theaters and on Netflix. She most recently received her seventh career nomination for “The Wife” (2018), a record among all living actresses, but lost yet again thanks to Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”). Will she now earn Oscar bid #8 for her latest big-screen performance? Get a closer look at Close’s seven Oscar nominations by touring our photo gallery above.
Close (a Best Supporting Actress front-runner) and Amy Adams (a Best Actress contender) star as a mother and daughter in Netflix’s “Hillbilly Elegy.” Directed by Ron Howard, the film explores the lives of an Appalachian family based on J.D. Vance’s memoir of the same name. As luck would have it, Adams is another overdue actress who’s hoping to finally win an Oscar this year after losing her previous six nominations. They both have roles tailor-made for awards — Adams’ Bev struggles with drug addiction while Close’s Mawmaw is virtually unrecognizable behind a wig and glasses. Make your Oscar predictions right now to let us know if you think one or both of them will be nominated at the 2021 Academy Awards.
Here’s a closer look at Close’s seven career Oscar nominations. Captions by Kevin Jacobsen.
‘The World According to Garp’ (1982) — Best Supporting Actress nominee
Close’s Oscar journey began very naturally at the start of her film career, earning a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her first feature film role in “The World According to Garp.” Playing Jenny Fields, a single mom who turns into a feminist icon, Close won prizes from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review, but she would lose to the other critics’ darling that year at the Oscars, Jessica Lange in “Tootsie.” Nevertheless, “Garp” established Close as an actress the Oscars would deeply admire in the years to come
‘The Big Chill’ (1983) — Best Supporting Actress nominee
As if getting a nomination for her first film wasn’t impressive enough, Close went on to earn her second Best Supporting Actress bid a year later for her second film, “The Big Chill.” This time Close played Sarah Cooper, a baby boomer hosting her old college friends after the funeral of one of their own. Close’s Oscar nomination may have come as a surprise given she didn’t earn a single mention anywhere else, and she lost to Linda Hunt for her transformative role in “The Year of Living Dangerously.”
‘The Natural’ (1984) — Best Supporting Actress nominee
Close’s streak continued in 1984, where “The Natural” netted her a third consecutive nomination. Again nominated in Best Supporting Actress, Close played Iris, the childhood sweetheart of a gifted baseball player. Once again, Close nabbed an Oscar nomination without any precursors. She would lose to Peggy Ashcroft in Best Picture nominee “A Passage to India.”
‘Fatal Attraction’ (1987) — Best Actress nominee
Here came perhaps the defining moment of Close’s career as she transitioned from the warm earth mother to the powerhouse she continues to be known as today. “Fatal Attraction” featured Close playing Alex Forrest, an obsessive publishing editor who has an affair with a married man and won’t let him toss her to the side. The chilling performance became instantly iconic and prompted much social debate as it became the no. 2 film at the box office in 1987. This earned Close her first Best Actress nomination at the Oscars, where she lost to Cher in “Moonstruck,” a decidedly warmer performance to embrace.
‘Dangerous Liaisons’ (1988) — Best Actress nominee
Close finished off her incredible Oscar run in the ‘80s with a Best Actress nom for “Dangerous Liaisons,” another devilish role. The actress played the scheming Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, a widow plotting an elaborate act of revenge. This earned her a fifth Oscar nomination in just seven years. While there may have been a growing sense that Close was overdue, and “Dangerous Liaisons” was a Best Picture nominee, the academy went with Jodie Foster in “The Accused.” It is difficult to know for sure, but this may have been one of Close’s best if not the best chance to win in the ‘80s, due to the wicked fun of her performance, her growing overdue status and support for her film.
‘Albert Nobbs’ (2011) — Best Actress nominee
After the ‘80s, Close went on a lengthy hiatus from the Oscars, though she made up for it by winning three Tonys and three Emmys when she wasn’t scaring a whole new generation as Cruella de Vil in “101 Dalmatians.” Her return to the Oscars would come in the form of “Albert Nobbs,” a longtime passion project of hers about a woman posing as a man to work as a butler. It was here that Close became the most nominated living actor without winning, though pundits agreed she didn’t have a strong chance of emerging victorious. She would lose Best Actress to another powerhouse with somewhat of an “overdue” narrative, Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady.”
‘The Wife’ (2018) — Best Actress nominee
Close’s most recent nomination marked her fourth for Best Actress, while the other three were for Best Supporting Actress. She played loyal spouse Joan Castleman in “The Wife” opposite Jonathan Pryce‘s domineering Joe Castleman, who received news that he would be receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature. Soon their lives were upended when it was revealed Joan had been the ghostwriter on many of her husband’s manuscripts. Despite winning the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards for this role, Close lost her elusive Oscar yet again to Colman in a bit of an upset.
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