Crispin Hellion Glover is a multifaceted American artist. He is primarily known as a film actor, but is also a publisher, filmmaker and author. His career has been marked by some portrayals of wonderfully eccentric people, such as George McFly in BACK TO THE FUTURE or Willard Stiles in WILLARD. In the late 1980s, Glover started his own publishing company Volcanic Eruptions which turned in to a production company in the 1990's for his film works.
Born in New York City, Glover moved to Los Angeles at the age of three and a half. As a child, he attended the Mirman School for the academically gifted. His father, Bruce Glover, is an actor best remembered for playing the offbeat SPECTRE assassin Mr. Wint in the James Bond movie DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, and one of Jack Nicholson's hood assistants Duffy in CHINATOWN. Crispin Glover's first professional acting appearance was in 1978 in Los Angeles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in "The Sound of Music." He played Friedrich Von Trapp and Florence Henderson played Maria. He also appeared in some commercials and several sitcoms as a teenager, including HAPPY DAYS and FAMILY TIES. His first film role was in 1983's MY TUTOR. He has a small role in RACING WITH THE MOON opposite Sean Penn. He also played the title role in an AFI film THE ORKLY KID, in which he portrayed a young man whose obsession with Olivia Newton-John raises the ire of his small-town neighbors. Later that year he appeared in FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER (1984) and then TEACHERS (1984). Also in 1984 came his breakout performance as as George McFly in Robert Zemeckis' BACK TO THE FUTURE.
BACK TO THE FUTURE was an international box office smash following its release in 1985. Glover followed the release of that film with RIVER'S EDGE. From that point, Glover pursued a defiantly individualistic path. His characters were notable for their peculiar personality traits and unconventional thought processes. He played Andy Warhol in Oliver Stone's THE DOORS in (1991) and has continued to play exceedingly eccentric types, e.g. the title characters in BARTLEBY (2001) and WILLARD (2003). He has received some considerable mainstream attention recently as the "Thin Man" in the CHARLIE'S ANGELS films.
In 1987, Glover appeared on "Late Night with David Letterman" to promote his new film RIVER'S EDGE, wearing a long wig and platform shoes. His bizarre appearance was exceeded only by his unusual behavior, which was thought by some to have been influenced by drugs, while others presume it was a conceptual art piece (the character has a similar look to the character he played later in 1990's Rubin from RUBIN AND ED. After an attempt to challenge Letterman to an arm wrestling match, Glover feigned an impromptu karate kick just inches from Letterman's face. Letterman abruptly ended the segment and cut to commercial. The segment is available on Youtube.com. Glover never formally explained his behavior while appearing on the show. The character appears again in the video for "Clowny Clown Clown" and seems to have made some recent appearances almost twenty years later also available in YouTube.com posts. It is also noted that in the film FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER Glover, when asked to perform a dance, performed a wild dance. This clip is also available on YouTube.com.
From 1987 to1989, in between shooting films, Glover released an album called "The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be" through Restless Records, produced by Barnes & Barnes (of "Fish Heads" fame). The album features original songs like "Clowny Clown Clown" (which has its own music video), covers of Lee Hazlewood's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" and Charles Manson's "Never Say Never to Always," and readings from his art books Rat Catching and Oak Mot (Glover made new books utilizing elements from old books and by adding original and altered pictures, text, and drawings). Sample pages from these books are featured in the album's liner notes. The music itself is similar to outsider music, with seemingly absurd, dream-like lyrics.
The back cover of the album is a collage of figures relating to each track on the album, with a puzzle: "All words and lyrics point to THE BIG PROBLEM. The solution lay within the title; LET IT BE. Crispin Hellion Glover wants to know what you think these nine things all have in common." He included a telephone number in the collage on the back of the album, encouraging listeners to phone when they had figured out the "solution". Glover later commented that he was surprised how many people figured it out. Currently in reprints the telephone number has been replaced with www.CrispinGlover.com.
In 2003, he recorded a cover version of the Michael Jackson classic song "Ben" to coincide with the release of the film Willard. In the eccentric music video for the song which Glover directed and is included on the Willard DVD, he sings to a rat named Ben. This video also is available on Youtube.com
There have also been at least three songs written about him, titled "Crispin Glover," one by a New Jersey-based band Children In Adult Jails, the band Scarling., as well as Wesley Willis. The Colorado band Warlock Pinchers also released a song entitled "Where the hell is Crispin Glover?". In addition, some members of the indie rock rock band Reggie and the Full Effect were at one time in a local Kansas City band known as, "Onward Crispin Glover."
After receiving a number of requests to act in first time director's films, Glover decided he wanted to try his hand at directing. Having collaborated on unfinished video projects with David Brothers since the 1980's, Glover started WHAT IS IT? as a short and then determined that there was a feature film in it. After considerable effort to produce the film entirely with his own money over nine years, he premiered WHAT IS IT? at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Glover toured with the film theatrically in 2006, performing his slide show prior to the film and discussing the film with the audience after the screening. He plans to continue this unique model of distribution with the remaining films in the "It" series. His second feature as a director is IT IS FINE! EVERYTHING IS FINE. which premieres at Sundance in 2007. The last film in the "IT" trilogy is IT IS MINE.
When 20-year-old Crispin Glover learned he had landed the role of George McFly in "Back to the Future," he assumed the director had selected him to play the shy and slightly bumbling teenager who attends Hill Valley High in 1955.
"I was really happy with the role, but when I found out that I would also be playing George McFly at 47 -- that's when I knew this film would be fun," says Glover.
"Back to the Future" marks Glover's fifth feature film. He was most recently seen in "Teachers" appearing with Nick Nolte and Ralph Macchio as a rebellious high school student who is shot by the police. His previous film credits include "Friday the 13th, Part IV," "Racing with the Moon" and "My Tutor." He is particularly proud of a film which he starred in last year at the American Film Institute. Directed by AFI student Trent Harris, the film is called "The Orkly Kid."
Glover was born in New York. His father is actor Bruce Glover and his mother is a former dancer-actress. The trio moved to Los Angeles when he was four, and he began acting while still in elementary school.
A talented child actor who had an agent by the age of 13, Glover won a co-starring role in the Los Angeles production of "The Sound of Music" starring Florence Henderson. While attending both Venice and Beverly Hills High, he also found time for acting classes with such coaches as Dan Mason and Peggy Furie.
After high school, he appeared on such television series as "Hill St. Blues," "Family Ties " and "Happy Days."
"It was just about this time that I decided to focus in on motion pictures," Glover recalls. "I think it's important to know your direction."
As the 47-year-old George McFly, Glover's on-set performances often broke up both the cast and crew. Borrowing a low but quirky voice from an old acting teacher he once knew, his posture and hand gestures seem to take on a life of their own .... until he is no longer a fresh-faced high school student, but a rather sad-faced suburban male, just struggling to keep up.
"I used to play with a character like that in acting classes," he notes. "I also borrowed from my father, using some of the gestures I've grown up watching."
Off-camera, Glover is known as an eccentric dresser ("I prefer old clothes") and drives a 1961 convertible Studebaker. He enjoys painting, and in fact convinced co-star Lea Thompson to paint a canvas with him one night during the production.
Steven Spielberg presents a Robert Zemeckis film "Back to the Future," starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson. The screenplay is by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, with music by Alan Silvestri. It is produced by Bob Gale and Neil Canton. The executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall. The director is Robert Zemeckis.
as of June 5, 1985