Crispin Hellion Glover
April 20, 1964
New York City, U.S.
Crispin Hellion Glover (born April 20, 1964) is an American actor. He is known for portraying eccentric characters on screen, such as George McFly in Back to the Future (1985), Layne in River's Edge (1986), Andy Warhol in The Doors (1991), Bobby McBurney in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), the Thin Man in Charlie's Angels (2000) and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003), Willard Stiles in Willard (2003), Grendel in Beowulf (2007), The Knave of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland (2010), Phil in Hot Tub Time Machine (2010), and Mr. World in the Starz television series American Gods (2017–2021).
In the late 1980s, Glover started his company, Volcanic Eruptions, which publishes his books and also serves as the production company for his films, such as What Is It? (2005) and It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine. (2007).
Glover is an only child, born in New York City. He moved to Los Angeles with his family at the age of five. He is the son of actor Bruce Glover and actress and dancer Marion Elizabeth Lillian Betty Krachey, who retired upon his birth. He was named after the Saint Crispin's Day speech from William Shakespeare's play Henry V, which his parents enjoyed. "Hellion", his real middle name, had earlier been used as a false middle name by his father, who did not like his own real Germanic middle name, Herbert.
Glover's father is of English, Czech, and Swedish descent, while his mother has Czech (area surrounding Milevsko) and German ancestry. As a child, Glover attended the Mirman School from first through ninth grades. He then attended both Venice High for 10th and 11th grades, and Beverly Hills High School for 12th grade; he graduated in 1982.
Glover began acting professionally at the age of 13. He appeared in several sitcoms as a teenager, including Happy Days and Family Ties. His first film role was in My Tutor (1983), which subsequently led to roles in Teachers and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (both 1984). He then worked with director Trent Harris on the third chapter of the Beaver Trilogy, entitled The Orkly Kid. In this short film, he portrayed a small-town man who organizes a local talent show to showcase his obsession with Olivia Newton-John, much to the embarrassment of the local community. At the climax of the film, Glover does his rendition, in full drag, of Newton-John's "Please Don't Keep Me Waiting" from her 1979 album Totally Hot.
His breakout role was as George McFly in Robert Zemeckis's Back to the Future, an international box-office success in 1985; his character was the father of Marty McFly, despite being three years younger than Michael J. Fox in real life. Glover and the producers could not agree on suitable terms for him to appear in the sequels, so the role was greatly reduced and recast.
He has continued to play exceedingly eccentric types, including playing Andy Warhol in Oliver Stone's The Doors in 1991, as well as the title characters in Bartleby (2001) and Willard (2003). He received mainstream attention as the Thin Man in the Charlie's Angels films; the character had initially been cast as a speaking role, but Glover, noting that the lines as written were exposition, convinced the producers to eliminate the lines to create a precise image for the character.
Glover appeared in the 2007 film Beowulf as the monster Grendel, playing the part through performance capture technology. The film was Glover's first collaboration with director Robert Zemeckis since the original Back to the Future film. He voiced the character "6" in the film 9. Glover played Ilosovic Stayne/the Knave of Hearts in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. He played the one-armed bellman in Hot Tub Time Machine, and the unwitting employee of Robert De Niro's character in The Bag Man.
Fake Shemp Lawsuit
In Back to the Future Part II, Zemeckis reused brief footage of Glover that had been filmed for the first film. Glover was billed as "George McFly in footage from Back to the Future" in the closing credits. The older footage was combined with new footage of actor Jeffrey Weissman wearing a false chin, nose and cheekbones, and various obfuscating methods – in the background, wearing sunglasses, rear shot, upside down – to play George McFly. Because these methods suggested that Glover himself had performed for the film, he successfully sued the producers on the grounds that they had used his likeness without permission, as well as not having paid him for the reuse of the footage from the original film. He was awarded a reported $760,000, and as a result of this suit, clauses in the Screen Actors Guild collective bargaining agreements now state that producers and actors are not allowed to use such methods to reproduce the likeness of other actors, what is known as a Fake Shemp.
In 1989, during a hiatus from films, Glover released an album titled The Big Problem Does Not Equal the Solution, The Solution Equals Let It Be through Restless Records, produced by Barnes & Barnes. The album features original songs such as "Clowny Clown Clown", odd versions of Lee Hazlewood's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'", and Charles Manson's "I'll Never Say Never to Always" (sung in falsetto), and readings from his art books Rat Catching and Oak Mot. Sample pages from these books are featured in the album's liner notes.
Glover recorded a version of the Michael Jackson song "Ben" to coincide with the release of his 2003 film Willard; the song had been written for the sequel to the original 1971 version of the film. In the music video for the song, he sings to a rat named Ben.
Several songs using Glover's name as the title have been recorded by various artists, including shoegaze/gothic rock band Scarling., Chicago outsider musician Wesley Willis, and a New Jersey-based band called Children in Adult Jails.
Glover, himself, reports to have written between 15 and 20 books. Oak-Mot and Rat Catching are featured prominently during his Big Slide Show presentation, and are presented as visual art as much as written art. He constructs the books by reusing old novels and other publications that have fallen into the public domain due to their age (for example, Rat Catching was constructed from an 1896 book Studies in the Art of Rat Catching, and Oak-Mot was constructed from an 1868 novel of the same title). He rearranges text, blacks out certain standing passages, and adds his own prose (and sometimes images) into the margins and elsewhere, thus creating an entirely new story. Five of his books have been published so far, through his publishing company, Volcanic Eruptions. Other known titles include The Backward Swing and A New World.
- Billow and the Rock (1983)
- Rat Catching (1988)
- Oak-Mot (1989)
- Concrete Inspection (1990)
- What it is, and How it is Done (1992)
- Round My House (2016)
* The publishing years listed above may not represent first-edition publication dates, but subsequent available editions.
Glover made his directorial debut with 2005's What Is It?, a surreal film featuring a cast of actors with Down syndrome. It premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. With a budget of only $150,000, it took almost a decade to complete, and was originally intended to be a short film. Most of the primary footage was shot in 12 days, stretched over a two-and-a-half-year period. Production was mostly funded by Glover's roles in Willard and the Charlie's Angels films.
Glover's second film, It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine., was written by Utah writer and actor Steven C. Stewart. Stewart was born with severe cerebral palsy and had been confined to a nursing home for about 10 years. The film is a fantastical psychosexual retelling of life from Stewart's point of view. It premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
Glover has completed shooting his third feature film as a director, which he developed as a vehicle for his father Bruce Glover and himself to act together. This film is not part three of the It? trilogy.
Glover was recognized for his directorial work in 2013 when the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City staged the series It Is Crispin Hellion Glover. The program consisted of screenings of all of his directorial work, live performances, and speaking engagements.
Glover has residences in Los Angeles and the Czech Republic. His residence Zámek Konárovice, 45 minutes east of Prague by train, is a 17th-century 20-acre (8.1 ha) chateau that is recognized as historically significant by the Czech government. The property requires constant upkeep and restoration; according to Glover, "[The property] is a lifetime project that will be in continuous flux and repair for hundreds of years from now, as it has been the hundreds of years before I 'owned' it."
Glover is not married, nor does he have children, citing his busy career as one of the reasons for which he feels unfit to be a father, as he feels that a father should be there for his children. From 2001 to 2003, Glover dated Alexa Lauren, a Penthouse magazine 'Pet of the Month' for September 1999.
Late Night appearance
Glover appeared on Late Night with David Letterman on July 28, 1987, to promote River's Edge. To the surprise of Letterman and the audience, Glover appeared wearing platform shoes and a wig. During the interview, Glover behaved erratically and nearly kicked Letterman in the face, causing Letterman to walk off the set. Four years later, the film Rubin & Ed premiered, in which Glover has a starring role as titular character Rubin Farr. After the release of Rubin & Ed, some speculated that Glover was acting in-character as Rubin Farr during his appearance on Late Night. Glover has refused to go into detail about the reasons for his behavior on the show, other than to mention that he was flattered that fans are still speculating on the performance decades later. He also stated that he prefers there to be an "air of mystery" about the appearance.
|1984||Racing with the Moon||Gatsby Boy|
|Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter||Jimmy Mortimer|
|1985||The Orkly Kid||Groovin' Larry Hoff||Short film|
|Back to the Future||George McFly||Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1986||At Close Range||Lucas|
|1990||Where the Heart Is||Lionel|
|Wild at Heart||Cousin Dell|
|1991||Little Noises||Joey Kremple|
|The Doors||Andy Warhol|
|Rubin and Ed||Rubin Farr|
|1993||Even Cowgirls Get the Blues||Howard Barth|
|What's Eating Gilbert Grape||Bobby McBurney|
|1995||Dead Man||Train Fireman|
|1996||The People vs. Larry Flynt||Arlo|
|2000||Nurse Betty||Roy Ostery|
|Charlie's Angels||Thin Man|
|Fast Sofa||Jules Langdon|
|2002||Crime and Punishment||Rodion Raskolnikov|
|Like Mike||Stan Bittleman|
|2003||Willard||Willard Stiles||Nominated—Saturn Award for Best Actor|
Nominated—Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Actor
|Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle||Thin Man / Anthony|||
|2004||Incident at Loch Ness||Party guest||Cameo|
|2005||What Is It?||Dueling Demi-God Auteur / The Young Man's Inner Psyche and Id||Also writer, producer, editor, additional cinematography and music supervisor|
Ann Arbor Film Festival Jury Award for Best Narrative Film
Sitges Film Festival Midnight X-Treme Award
Method Fest Film Festival Maverick Award
|Drop Dead Sexy||Eddie|
|2006||Simon Says||Simon / Stanley|
|2007||It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine.||—||Co-director with David Brothers, producer, co-editor and music supervisor|
Sitges Film Festival Special Jury Mention New Visions Award
|The Wizard of Gore||Montag the Magnificent|
|2008||Open Season 2||Fifi||Voice|
|Freezer Burn: The Invasion of Laxdale||Viergacht|
|2009||The Donner Party||William Foster|
|2010||Alice in Wonderland||Ilosovic Stayne / The Knave of Hearts|
|Hot Tub Time Machine||Phil Wedmaier|
|Mr. Nice||Ernie Combs|
|Open Season 3||Fifi||Voice|
|2012||Freaky Deaky||Woody Ricks|
|2014||The Bag Man||Ned|
|Aimy in a Cage||Claude Bohringer|
|2018||The Con is On||Gabriel Anderson|
|We Have Always Lived in the Castle||Uncle Julian Blackwood|
|2020||Smiley Face Killers||Hooded Figure|||
|TBA||By the Rivers of Babylon||William||Post-production|
|TBA||Untitled Crispin Hellion Glover Project||Brutus||Also writer, producer and editor; post-production<|
|1981||The Best of Times||Crispin||Pilot|
|1982||The Facts of Life||Cadet No. 1||Episode: "The Big Fight"|
|1983||The Kid with the 200 I.Q.||New Student||Television film|
|High School U.S.A.||Archie Feld||Television film|
|Happy Days||Roach||Episode: "Vocational Education"|
|Hill Street Blues||Space Cadet||Episode: "Honk If You're a Goose"|
|1984||Family Ties||Doug||Episode: "Birthday Boy"|
|1993||Hotel Room||Danny||Episode: "Blackout"|
|2010||Funny or Die Presents||Thomas Edison||Episode: "105"|
|2015||Texas Rising||Moseley Baker||5 episodes|
|2017–2021||American Gods||Mr. World||12 episodes|
|2018||Saat des Terrors||James Logan Davis||Television film|
|2020||Red Bird Lane||Jonah||Unaired pilot|
|2022||Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities||Richard Upton Pickman||Episode: "Pickman's Model"|
|1989||"Clowny Clown Clown"||Man / Rubin Farr||Also director|
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- Reflection on Fata Morgana & Lessons of Darkness.. Retrieved September 23, 2007 Archived September 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
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- La Carmina (February 15, 2011). "Crispin Glover Talks Prague, Castles, Absinthe And Film". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
- Freeman, Hadley (July 30, 2015). "Crispin Glover: 'When you raise questions people say, 'You're crazy". The Guardian. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
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- Smith, Lory (1999). Party in a Box: The Story of the Sundance Film Festival. Gibbs Smith. p. 3. ISBN 978-0879058616.
The movie starred Crispin Glover as Rubin - he was actually in the Rubin character the infamous night he nearly karate-kicked off David Letterman's nose.
- Yamato, Jen (January 20, 2015). "Bill Hader To Narrate Cult Film Documentary 'Beaver Trilogy Part IV' – Sundance". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 29, 2021.
- "Crispin Glover on David Letterman," interviewed by Frank Hyoguchi.. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
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- McNary, Dave (October 7, 2017). "Film News Roundup: Crispin Glover, Ronen Rubinstein to Star in Horror Movie 'Smiley Face Killers'". Variety.com. Retrieved October 7, 2017.