A well-regarded actress of stage, screen, and television, Glenne Headly has spent much her film career playing supporting roles, but occasionally gets to shine in leading roles such as that of the naive-seeming American "soap" heiress who gets the best of con artists Michael Caine and Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988). With her delicate but dramatic features, she is reminiscent of such actresses as Katherine Hepburn. Headly's training is firmly rooted in theater. She graduated from New York's High School of the Performing Arts and attended the Herman Berghof Studios and the American College of Switzerland before joining the prestigious Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago, where she worked opposite such respected actors as Gary Sinise, Laurie Metcalf, and John Malkovich (whom she married and later divorced). While with the troupe, Headly received four Jefferson Awards. Headly has directed two plays, one off-Broadway (Arms and the Man) and the other on Broadway (Extremities). Headly made her film debut in Four Friends (1981). Notable '80s films in which she played supporting roles include Eleni, which starred her then-husband Malkovich, and Woody Allen's Purple Rose of Cairo (both 1985). Following her performance in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Headly landed more leading roles such as that of Tess Trueheart in Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy (1990) and Mortal Thoughts (1991) in which she gave one of her best performances as an abused wife whose hard-drinking husband is murdered by her best friend. Headly also did well as Richard Dreyfuss' long-suffering wife in Mr. Holland's Opus (1995). Over the coming decades, Headly would enjoy a vibrant, ongoing presence on screen, appearing on shows like ER, Encore! Encore!, and Monk, as well as in several films like 2 Days in the Valley, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, and The Joneses.
by Sandra Brennan biography