News Column

Glenn Close and clothes coming to Williamsburg

August 26, 2013


Aug. 26--WILLIAMSBURG -- That ivory off-the-shoulder knit dress could make some baby boomer men shudder, even if they couldn't recall where they'd seen it.

That was among the dresses worn by actress Glenn Close in the 1987 film "Fatal Attraction," about a married man's spurned mistress who flips out and turns murderous. It was a movie that caused wayward men to think twice about infidelity.

Costumes from that film and other of Close's well-known projects go on display here soon in a show created for the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary.

The exhibition "Glenn Close: A Life in Costume" opens Sept. 29, during the weekend Close and her husband, David Shaw, will be in Williamsburg to receive the college's Cheek Medal Award for their contributions to the arts.

Close is a 1974 William & Mary graduate who studied theater and anthropology before heading out to become a star of stage, screen and, in recent years, with "Damages," of the small screen, too. Her best-known films include the 1996 "101 Dalmatians" and 2011's "Albert Nobbs," which she produced, co-wrote and starred in.

Shaw, who married Close in 2006, is a biotech entrepreneur and an art collector.

Besides "Fatal Attraction," costumes will be displayed that were worn by Close in the films "101 Dalmatians," "102 Dalmatians" and "Albert Nobbs." Clothing from her mid-1990s Tony Award-winning role as Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard" will go on view, as well as one of those gorgeous suits she wore as the tough-as-nails lawyer on the legal thriller "Damages," shown on FX starting in 2007 and then on DirecTV until 2012.

None of Close's appearances are open to the public, and she will not appear in the museum as the exhibition opens that Sunday, a college publicist said.

She will speak at the college's second annual Arts & Entertainment Festival on Sept. 28, but that event is open only to William & Mary alumni, faculty, students and employees. During that event she will discuss her film career.

Close won three Tony awards for Broadway roles, including for "Sunset Boulevard." She also earned six Academy Award nominations for her movie work.

According to, Close keeps all of her costumes after a production ends.

Close said for the release, "I am thrilled to bring this exhibition to the place that prepared me so well, on so many levels, for my life and my career."

The show will remain on view at the Muscarelle Museum through Jan. 12. The museum is at 603 Jamestown Road on campus, and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission will be $15 to the show. For more information, visit or call (757) 221-2700.


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