Crispin Hellion Glover is an American actor, recording artist, filmmaker, and author. Famous for portraying quirky characters, he occupies a special place in the entertainment industry. Starting his acting career at the age of 13, he played small roles in several sitcoms before making his film debut in the 1983 sex comedy ‘My Tutor.’ He received his breakthrough role of ‘George McFly’ in ‘Back to the Future.’ The movie was a massive hit and helped Glover demonstrate his individuality and talent. He went on to portray titular characters in ‘Bartleby’ and ‘Willard’ and starred as ‘Rodion Raskolnikov’ in the film adaption of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's ‘Crime and Punishment.’ As an author, he has published six books to date, with 1988’s ‘Rat Catching’ being the most prominent. In 1989, he came up with his first album ‘The Big Problem Does Not Equal the Solution, The Solution Equals Let It Be,’ a collection of songs and readings. Later, he tried his hand at directing with the surreal film ‘What Is It?’
Childhood & Early Life
Born on April 20, 1964, in New York City, New York, Crispin Glover is the only child of actor Bruce Glover and his performer wife Mary Elizabeth Lillian Betty Krachey (née Bloom Koerber). His mother retired right after his birth. The family moved to Los Angeles, California where he grew up in a culturally rich and artistic household. He is of English, Czech, Swedish, and German descent and was named after the famous Saint Crispin's Day speech from William Shakespeare’s historical play ‘Henry V’.
He studied at Mirman School from first grade through ninth grade, then enrolling at Venice High for the tenth and eleventh and at Beverly Hills High School for the twelfth grade. He received his high school graduation degree in 1982.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
Crispin Glover began acting professionally at the age of 13 in situational comedies such as ‘Happy Days’ and ‘Family Ties’. After appearing in his first film ‘The Tutor’, he followed it up with ‘Teachers’ (1984), ‘Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter’ (1984), ‘Back to the Future’ (1985) and the third instalment of the Beaver trilogy, ‘The Orkly Kid’ (1985). In 1986, he starred alongside Keanu Reeves in ‘River’s Edge’, in one of his career-defining roles as Layne.
His next important outing was in the British independent comedy-buddy film ‘Rubin & Ed’ (1991) as Rubin. In the same year, he played Andy Warhol in Oliver Stone’s ‘The Doors’. In the action-comedy ‘Charlie’s Angels’ (2000) and its sequel ‘Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle’ (2003), he portrayed the silent assassin known simply as the ‘Thin Man’.
One of the two films where he was cast as the titular characters, ‘Bartleby’ (2001), was the film adaptation of the short story ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener’ by Herman Melville. The other, ‘Willard’ (2003), was based on Stephen Gilbert’s horror fiction ‘Ratman's Notebooks’. In 2002, he got the chance to work with Israeli director Menahem Golan in ‘Crime and Punishment’.
Glover debuted as a director with ‘What Is It?’ (2005), which premiered at the Sundance Festival that year. In 2007, he released its sequel ‘It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine.’ which was written by and stars Steven C. Stewart. At present, he is making his third film as a director, which he intends to be the vehicle for his father and himself to act together for the first time.
More recently, he worked with ‘Back to the Future’ director Zemeckis after 22 years in the 3D Motion Capture epic fantasy ‘Beowulf’ (2007), portraying the monster Grendel. He then acted in the second and third instalments of ‘Open Season’ as Fify, the toy poodle, and is set to appear in the upcoming films ‘The Brits Are Coming’ and ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’.
Over the course of the last 24 years, Crispin Glover has constructed—rather than written—about 15 to 20 books. His first ever literary work was ‘Billow and the Rock’. Appropriating old books and publications that are now in public domain, he shuffles texts, omits standing passages and includes his own writings and paintings to create something quite different from the original piece. A great example of this is ‘Rat Catching’, for which he used Henry C. Barkley’s ‘Studies in the Art of Rat Catching’ (1896).
He has released four other books through his own publishing company Volcanic Eruptions: ‘Oak-Mot’ (1989), ‘Concrete Inspection’ (1990), ‘What it is and How it is Done’ (1992), and ‘Round My House’ (2016).
In 1989, while he was on a break from acting, Glover composed his debut studio album ‘The Big Problem Does Not Equal the Solution, The Solution Equals Let It Be.’ Released through Restless Records and produced by Barnes & Barnes, it contains readings from ‘Rat Catching’ and ‘Oak-Mot’, original songs including ‘Clowny Clown Clown’ and ‘Getting out of Bed’, and odd renditions of Jules Léotard’s ‘The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze’ and Charles Manson’s ‘Never Say “Never” to Always”.
In the history of cinema and popular culture, one of the most influential films of all time is Robert Zemeckis' ‘Back to the Future’ (1985). It is a story about a young adult, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), who travels to the past and meets the younger versions of his parents. Glover portrayed George McFly, Marty’s hapless and eccentric father, who, over the course of the film, turns confident and assertive.
Continue Reading Below
On July 28, 1987, he made an appearance on NBC’s ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ to promote ‘River’s Edge’. What neither the audience nor Letterman himself knew was that Glover had put on a wig, large pair of glasses, skintight pinstripe pants, and platform shoes to appear in character as Rubin from his then-unreleased movie ‘Rubin & Ed’. The interview took an even weirder turn when Glover started to read unflattering stories about himself from L.A. Weekly and proceeded to throw an impromptu kick inches away from Letterman who immediately walked off the stage!
Despite the wide recognition Glover received for his role in ‘Back to the Future’, he did have some serious creative differences with Zemeckis, particularly about the ending of the film, and it ultimately resulted in the role being reduced and recast in its sequel. The filmmakers used old footages from the first movie for the sequel and actor Jeffrey Weissman was told to put on prosthetics to look like Glover.
Glover filed a lawsuit against the producers on the grounds that his likeness was used without his permission and eventually settled for an out-of-court agreement. As a result, new clauses were added by the Screen Actors Guild to their collective-bargaining agreement that prohibits filmmakers to such things any more.
Awards & Achievements
In 1986, Crispin Glover received a Saturn Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for ‘Back to the Future’.
He was ranked third in the Best Actor category at the 2004 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards.
For ‘What Is It?’ he won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Film at Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2005. He also was conferred with the Carnet Jove Jury Award for the film at the 2006 Sitges -Catalonian International Film Festival.
In 2007, he returned to the Sitges -Catalonian International Film Festival to win the New Visions Award - Special Mention for ‘It is Fine! Everything is Fine.’ (shared with David Brothers).
Over the years, Crispin Glover has dated actress Fairuza Balk, singer Jessicka, former Penthouse Pet of the Month (September 1999) Alexa Lauren, Russian model Marina Drujko, and television actress Courtney Peldon among others. He lives between his two homes in Los Angeles and Czech Republic.
Glover has a collection of wax eyeballs!