Theater people all come from difficult backgrounds. I heard Glenn Close didn’t though. Her father was a doctor.
My mother made this observation on the average of once or twice a week over a thirty year period: Glenn Close was the only actress in the business who had a "happy childhood." It follows that the subtitle for this collection might be:
Glenn Close, did you or did you not have a happy childhood? I have to know.
Glenn Close's father, William, had been a surgeon, and at one point, ran a clinic in the Belgian Congo while serving as personal physician to Mobutu Sese Seko. That in itself does not sound like the makings of a "normal" upbringing, although my bias to some extent has been formed by working as a doctor and observing first hand the effect of an all encompassing vocation. Not insignificantly, upon his return to the States, Dr. Close joined a cult. I'm thinking there was little pretense of normalcy within the Close family unit and once at college, the future actress deliberately and gleefully chose her double major of theater and anthropology.
My mother's contention was that no one in their right mind would select a career on the stage. You have to be damaged in some way, she'd say although maintained her befuddlement in the case of Glenn Close. That her father was a jungle doctor who enrolled his family in a cult not only did not seem odd to her but upheld an idyllic air.
I would be obligated on my mom's behalf, were I to encounter Ms. Close, say in Times Square, to grab her by the arm and ask pointedly: Did you have a happy childhood? And if she were unwilling to respond, I'd have to follow her for as many blocks as it would take, pressing further: Did you, did you, did you, did you?