Glover at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festivalpremiere of Freaky Deaky
|Born||Crispin Hellion Glover
April 20, 1964
New York City, U.S.
Crispin Hellion Glover (born April 20, 1964) is an American film actor, director, screenwriter, recording artist, publisher, and author. Glover is known for portraying eccentric people on screen such as George McFly in Back to the Future, Layne in River's Edge, unfriendly recluse Rubin Farr in Rubin and Ed, Andy Warhol in The Doors, the "Thin Man" in the big screen adaptation of Charlie's Angels and its sequel, Willard Stiles in the Willard remake, The Knave of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, Phil in Hot Tub Time Machine, and as a Willy Wonka parody in Epic Movie. He is also the voice of Fifi in the Open Season franchise and most recently has appeared in the screen adaption of the Elmore Leonard novel "Freaky Deaky". Next he played a World War 1 era German speaking Clairvoyant in the Polish Language film "Hiszpanka" and an unwitting employee in service of Robert De Niro's Character in "The Bag Man."
In the late 1980s, Glover started his company, Volcanic Eruptions, which publishes his books and also serves as the production company for Glover's films, What Is It? and It is Fine. Everything is Fine! Glover tours with his movies and is currently supervising the building of sets for his next productions at property he owns in the Czech Republic.
Glover was raised as an only child, born in New York City and moved to Los Angeles with his family at the age of five. His father is actor Bruce Glover and his mother, Mary Elizabeth Lillian Betty Krachey (née) Bloom Koerber, was an actress and dancer 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 middle name, Herbert. His father is of English, Czech, and Swedish descent, and his mother is of German and Czech ancestry. As a child, Glover attended The Mirman School from grade one through nine. He then attended both Venice High for grade ten and eleven, and Beverly Hills High School only for grade twelve; 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 1983's My Tutor. That led to roles in Teachers (1984) and Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984). He then worked with director Trent Harris on the third chapter ofthe 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. However, Glover and the producers did not agree on terms for him to appear in the sequels, so the role of the character was greatly reduced and recast. Zemeckis used footage of Glover filmed for the first movie in Back to the Future Part II (Glover being billed as "George McFly in footage from Back to the Future" in the closing credits) combined with new footage of Jeffrey Weissman wearing a false chin, nose and cheekbones, and various obfuscating methods – in the background, wearing sunglasses, rear shot, upside down – to play the role of George McFly. Because these methods suggested that Glover himself had performed for the film, he sued the producers on the grounds that they did not own his likeness. Subsequently, there are now clauses in the Screen Actors Guild collective bargaining agreements to the effect that this is no longer permitted.
He has continued to play exceedingly eccentric types, e.g., 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 via performance capture technology. The film was Glover's first collaboration with director Robert Zemeckis since the original Back to the Future film. He also voiced the character 6 in the film 9.
Glover appeared on Late Night with David Letterman on July 28, 1987, to promote the movie River's Edge, in which he starred. Unbeknownst to Letterman and the audience, Glover appeared in character as "Rubin", from a then-unreleased movie Rubin and Ed, wearing platform shoes and a wig. Rather than a conventional interview, Glover staged an Andy Kaufman-like prank. After being goaded by a woman in the audience (who some argue had been planted), Glover stated that he "knew that this was gonna happen" and that "the press, they can do things, they can twist things around". After challenging Letterman to an arm-wrestling match, Glover delivered an impromptu karate kick a few feet from Letterman while stating, "I'm strong... I can kick!" Letterman then abruptly ended the segment by walking off stage, saying "I'm going to check on the Top 10", as the program cut to commercial.
The subsequent confusion and controversy surrounding his appearance was compounded by the fact that Rubin and Ed was not actually released until 1991; however, the movie had been in development since before Back to the Future — Crispin had actually already devised Rubin's "look" by 1985. Almost no one, apparently including Letterman, understood what Glover was doing and the interview became the hallmark of the "weird" TV guest.
Glover returned to the Letterman show twice after that, the first about a month later, and then again almost 3 years after where he participated in a more nearly standard interview, but made it questionable whether he was ever on the show before and used a variety of delay tactics explaining the incident; he did say something about it being "an interesting thing." Glover then appeared two years later promoting a record album. When again asked about his first appearance, Glover launched into a long story, mentioning meeting a fellow resembling himself named Rubin, and needing to appear on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson simultaneous to his appearance with Letterman. Here Letterman cut him off to talk about the album Glover was promoting, as the time allotted for the interview was more than halfway over. Glover has subsequently refused to go into detail about the reasons for his behavior on the show, other than to mention that he's flattered that fans are still speculating on the performance more than 20 years later. Glover has also mentioned that he prefers there to be an "air of mystery" about the appearance.
In 1989, during a hiatus from films, Glover released an album called The Big Problem Does Not Equal the Solution, The Solution Equals Let It Be through Restless Records, produced by Barnes & Barnes (of "Fish Heads" fame). The album features original songs like "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 Catchingand Oak Mot (see Books section below). Sample pages from these books are featured in the album's liner notes. The back cover of the album is a collage of figures relating to each track on the album, with an inscription: "All words and lyrics point to THE BIG PROBLEM. The solution lay within the title; LET IT BE. Crispin Hellion Glover wants to know what you think these nine things all have in common." He included a telephone number on the back of the album, encouraging listeners to phone when they had figured out the element that all pieces had in common. He has said the telephone number was a pre-internet way of letting people know about the books. As for the "Nine things in common" Glover has said "It is really just the theme of the album." Glover later commented that he was surprised how many people realized what it was.
He recorded a version of the Michael Jackson song "Ben" to coincide with the release of the 2003 film Willard; the song had been written for the sequel to the original 1971 version of this film. In the music video for the song, he sings to a rat named Ben.
A number of songs using Glover's name as the title have been recorded by various artists, including shoegaze/gothic rock band Scarling., Chicago outsidermusician Wesley Willis and a New Jersey-based band called Children in Adult Jails. In the early 2000s, a Kansas City band named itself Onward Crispin Glover.
Glover has 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 which have fallen into 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. Four of his books have been published so far, through his publishing company, Volcanic Eruptions. Other known titles include The Backward Swing, A New World and Round My House.
|1983||Billow and the Rock‡|
|1992||What it is, and How it is Done•|
†The publishing years listed above may not represent first edition publication dates, but may include subsequent available editions.
•Out of Print.
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. The movie, with a budget of only $150,000, 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 the actor'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-actor Steven C. Stewart. Stewart was born with a severe case of cerebral palsy and had been confined to a nursing home for about ten years. The second film is a fantastical psycho-sexual re-telling of life from Stewart's point of view. It premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Glover is currently developing other feature films that are outside of the trilogy and planning a third film called It Is Mine which will end the It? Trilogy.
|1981||Best of Times||Crispin|
|1982||The Facts of Life||Cadet No. 1|
|1983||The Kid with the 200 I.Q.|
|High School U.S.A.||Archie Feld|
|Hill Street Blues||Space Cadet|
|Racing with the Moon||Gatsby Boy|
|Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter||Jimmy|
|1985||The Orkly Kid||Larry|
|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||Dell|
|1991||Rubin and Ed||Rubin Farr|
|The Doors||Andy Warhol|
|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||The Thin Man|
|Fast Sofa||Jules Langdon|
|2002||Crime and Punishment||Raskolnikov|
|Like Mike||Stan Bittleman|
|2003||Willard||Willard Stiles||Chainsaw Award for Best Actor
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actor
|Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle||The Thin Man|
|2004||Incident at Loch Ness||Party Guest|
|2005||What Is It?||Dueling Demi-God Auteur / The young man's inner psyche||Director
Jury Award for Best Narrative Film
|Drop Dead Sexy||Eddie|
|2006||Simon Says||Simon / Stanley|
|The Wizard of Gore||Montag the Magnificent|
|It is Fine. Everything is Fine!||Director|
|2008||Open Season 2||Fifi||Voice|
|Freezer Burn:The Invasion of Laxdale||Viergacht|
|2009||The Donner Party||William Foster|
|2010||Alice in Wonderland||The Knave of Hearts|
|Hot Tub Time Machine||Phil|
|Open Season 3||Fifi||Voice|
|2012||Freaky Deaky||Woody Ricks|