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Glenn Close, Garber, Wilson et al. in NORMAL HEART Benefit, 10/18

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Producer Daryl Roth announced that Glenn Close will play the role of "Dr. Emma Brookner" in the upcoming, Joel Grey-directed, 25th anniversary staged reading of Larry Kramer's ground-breaking play, The Normal Heart. She joins cast members Victor Garber, Jason Butler Harner, John Benjamin Hickey, Joe Mantello, Jack McBrayer, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Patrick Wilson in the one-night-only event that will benefit The Actors Fund and Friends In Deed. The historic reading will take place at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street) on Monday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m.

The Normal Heart focuses on the terrifying early years of the AIDS epidemic in New York and the criminal silence of official America in dealing with it. First produced by Joseph Papp and directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg for New York's Public Theater, The play was a critical sensation and ran for 294 performances.

Having been a part of the original production of The Normal Heart at The Public Theater, in which he played the role of Ned Weeks, Mr. Grey has special insight into the play, as well as a passionate commitment to the piece and to the issue it revolutionized: the AIDS epidemic. This reading comes on the heels of the sold-out, acclaimed reading of The Normal Heart at Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse in May, which was also directed by Mr. Grey.

Regular tickets range from $75 t0 $150. VIP tickets, which include premium seating, an invitation to a private after-party with the cast and a special listing in the souvenir program, range from $500 to $1000. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 212.221.7300, ext 133.

Frank Rich in the New York Times wrote of the original production, "The stage seethes with the conflict of impassioned, literally life-and-death argument." In his Newsweek review, Jack Kroll called it, "Extraordinary ... a fierce and moving human drama." Other responses included Liz Smith in the New York Daily News: "An astounding drama ... a damning indictment of a nation in the middle of an epidemic with its head in the sand. It will make your hair stand on end even as the tears spurt from your eyes;" while legendary director Harold Prince stated, "I haven't been this involved - upset - in too damn long. Kramer honors us with this stormy, articulate theatrical work."

The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone - performers and those behind the scenes - who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping nearly 12,000 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund's programs include social services and emergency assistance, health care and insurance, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has - for over 125 years - been a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition.

Founded by Mike Nichols and Cynthia O'Neal in 1991, Friends In Deed -- The Crisis Center for Life-Threatening Illness -- has helped transform many thousands of lives through a wide array of free programs and services. Friends In Deed provides emotional and spiritual support for anyone diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening physical illnesses. Support is also available for family, friends, and caregivers of those who are ill, and anyone dealing with grief and bereavement. All services are free of charge.

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Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Award winning actress Glenn Close will next star in the title role of the feature film Albert Nobbs, alongside Amanda Seyfried, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Orlando Bloom. Rodrigo Garcia will direct from a script by John Banville and Close. She is also a producer on the film. Close has headlined the critically acclaimed original legal thriller, Damages, on FX for three seasons. The drama will move to Direct TV this next season, with all new episodes. For her riveting portrayal of high-stakes litigator ‘Patty Hewes', Glenn was nominated for a 2010 Emmy Award and won two consecutive Emmys as "Best Actress in a Drama Series" for Damages' first two seasons. For the show's 2009 premiere season, she won a Golden Globe Award in addition to the Emmy and received a SAG nomination. She was also nominated for a 2010 Golden Globe and SAG Award. Prior to Damages, Close won rave reviews and an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Captain Monica Rawling in a season-long story arc on FX's The Shield.

Glenn Close made her feature film debut in George Roy Hill's The World According to Garp. Her performance in the film earned her awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review as well as her first Academy Award nomination. She was subsequently Oscar-nominated for her performances in Lawrence Kasdan's The Big Chill; Barry Levinson's The Natural; Adrian Lyne's smash Fatal Attraction; and Stephen Frears' Dangerous Liaisons (for which she was also a BAFTA Award nominee).

Close's other films include Richard Marquand's Jagged Edge; Barbet Schroeder's Reversal of Fortune; Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet; István Szabó's Meeting Venus; Ron Howard's The Paper; Stephen Herek's 101 Dalmatians; Kevin Lima's 102 Dalmatians; Wolfgang Petersen's Air Force One; Robert Altman's Cookie's Fortune; Rose Troche's The Safety of Objects; Merchant Ivory's Le Divorce; Chris Terrio's Heights; Rodrigo García's Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her and Nine Lives; and Lajos Koltai's Evening.

Close's ten Golden Globe Award nominations include a win for "Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture for Television" for her performance in Andrei Konchalovsky's adaptation of The Lion in Winter (which also earned her a SAG Award). The Lion in Winter is also among the television projects that have brought her twelve Emmy Award nominations, among them a win for her portrayal of real-life hero Margarethe Cammermeyer in Jeff Bleckner's Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story, which Close executive produced.

Her other notable films for television include Jack Hofsiss' taped staging of The Elephant Man; Randa Haines' Something About Amelia; Jack Gold's Stones for Ibarra; Christopher Reeve's In the Gloaming (for which she won a CableACE Award); and Richard Pearce's musical remake of South Pacific, in which she starred and sang as Nellie Forbush, and which she executive-produced. She executive produced and starred thrice opposite Christopher Walken in the Sarah, Plain and Tall trilogy, directed, alternately, by Glenn Jordan and Joseph Sargent. She likewise executive produced and starred in The Ballad of Lucy Whipple, directed by Jeremy Kagan.

Glenn Close made her professional theater, and Broadway, debut in Harold Prince's revival of Love for Love. Other early stage credits include Paul Giovanni's The Crucifer of Blood and Simone Benmussa's adaptation of The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs, for which she won an Obie Award. Close's first Tony Award nomination came for her role in Joe Layton's musical Barnum and she subsequently won Tony Awards for her performances in The Real Thing and Death and the Maiden, both directed by Mike Nichols. For her portrayal of Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Sunset Boulevard, Close won a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and a Dramalogue Award. She would later reteam with the show's director, Trevor Nunn, in London for his Royal National Theatre revival of A Streetcar Named Desire.
She has been honored with a Crystal Award from Women In Film; a GLAAD Media Award; a People's Choice Award; the National Association of Theatre Owners' Female Star of the Year award at ShoWest; and a Gotham Award for her contributions to the New York independent filmmaking community. She is a trustee emeritus of The Sundance Institute, having served as a board member for 16 years.

In 2009, Glenn Close participated in the launch of BringChange2Mind.org, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to confronting, head-on, the stigma associated with mental illness. It was created by Close together with the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF), Fountain House, and Garen and Shari Staglin of IMHRO (International Mental Health Research Organization), and has the support of the major mental health organizations in this country. The idea for this campaign evolved out of Close's first-hand observation of battles with mental illness within her family and subsequent volunteer work at Fountain House, a globally-acclaimed, New York based, clubhouse model program that provides people with mental illness critical access to education, employment and community.

Close actively supports Puppies Behind Bars and their program Dog Tags: Service Dogs for Those Who've Served Us. She recently co-directed, narrated and co-produced Pax, a documentary short subject that looks at the program and the affect it has had on one particular soldier, Sergeant Bill Campbell, who returned home from Iraq with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. The film is currently playing in film festivals around the country and won an Honorable Mention at the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival. Close is also a Founding Member of the Panthera Conservation Advisory Committee. Panthera is an international nonprofit whose sole mission is conservation of the world's 36 species of wild cats.

 

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