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Glenne Headly, ‘Dick Tracy’ and ‘Mr. Holland’s Opus’ Star, Is Dead at 63

The Emmy-nominated "Lonesome Dove" star was a founding member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Glenne Headly Glenne Headly arrives at the premiere of "The Joneses" in Los Angeles onPremiere The Joneses LA, Los Angeles, USA

Glenne Headly at the premiere of “The Joneses” in 2010

Matt Sayles/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Emmy-nominated actress and founding member of the Steppenwolf Theater Company Glenne Headly has passed away at the age of 63. The cause of death is unknown at this time. “It is with deep sorrow that we confirm the passing of Glenne Headly,” said Headly’s reps in a statement. “We ask that her family’s privacy be respected in this difficult time.”

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A renowned film, television, and theater actress, Headly starred opposite Warren Beatty in “Dick Tracy” (1990), and earned an Emmy nomination for her work in the television miniseries of Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove.” She played Iris Holland opposite Richard Dreyfuss in “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” and flexed strong comedic chops in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” opposite Steve Martin and Michael Caine.

More recently, she starred as the mother of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s titular character in “Don Jon,” and alongside Tom Hanks in James Ponsoldt’s “The Circle.” On the television side, Headly appeared on “ER,” NBC’s “Encore! Encore!” and the critically-acclaimed HBO mini-series “The Night Of.” At the time of her death, Headly was in production on Hulu’s “Future Man,” with Josh Hutcherson and Ed Begley, Jr.

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Headly got her start onstage as a founding member of Chicago’s lauded Steppenwolf Theatre Company, known for producing plays by Austin Pendleton and Tracy Letts. It was there that she met her first husband, John Malkovich, who directed her alongside Kevin Kline and Raul Julia in a 1985 production of George Bernard Shaw’s “Arms and the Man” on Broadway. New York Times theater critic Frank Rich wrote of her performance:

“Sporting enough Victorian blond curls to outfit both Gish sisters and speaking in a honeyed but slightly mischievous trill, the actress provides an alternately smart and petulant schoolgirl one small step away from maturity. When she at last possesses all of Shaw’s philosophical trump cards -leaving both of her suitors with none – Miss Headly plays her hand with a winning, newly awakened adult poise that reduces both Mr. Kline and Mr. Julia to helpless tots.”

Headly is survived by her husband Byron McCulloch and son Stirling.

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