Del Close

Actor, Director, Teacher
This eccentric, outspoken actor and writer is best-known within his own profession for being the acting coach and "metaphysician" for such young comics as Gilda Radner, John and James Belushi, Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd ... Read more »
Born: 03/09/1934 in Manhattan, Kansas, USA

Filmography

Actor (15)

The Upright Citizens Brigade (Ucb) 1998 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Public Eye 1992 (Movie)

HR Rineman (Actor)

Opportunity Knocks 1990 (Movie)

Williamson (Actor)

Fat Man and Little Boy 1989 (Movie)

Dr Kenneth Whiteside (Actor)

Next of Kin 1989 (Movie)

Frank (Actor)

The Blob 1988 (Movie)

Reverend Meeker (Actor)

Light of Day 1987 (Movie)

Dr Natterson (Actor)

The Big Town 1987 (Movie)

Deacon Daniels (Actor)

The Untouchables 1987 (Movie)

Alderman (Actor)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off 1986 (Movie)

English Teacher (Actor)

Thief 1981 (Movie)

Mechanic (Actor)

The Last Affair 1975 (Movie)

(Actor)

Get Smart 1965 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

Dream Breakers (TV Show)

Actor

First Steps (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

This eccentric, outspoken actor and writer is best-known within his own profession for being the acting coach and "metaphysician" for such young comics as Gilda Radner, John and James Belushi, Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Chris Farley and other "Saturday Night Live" members. After several abortive tries at college, the Kansas-born Close took to the road in the 1950s, working as a carnival barker and fire-eater ("Azrad the Incombustible"). He toured the country with various theatrical companies in the 1950s, including working alongside Nichols and May at the Compass Players in St. Louis in 1957. Later, Close co-founded Chicago's comedy group Second City (1960) and San Francisco's improvisational group The Committee (1963). Close also worked with such 1950s and 60s performers as Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl and Tiny Tim. A Midwestern Timothy Leary, Close experimented with every drug imaginable and enthusiastically procured them for John Belushi, Lenny Bruce and others. (Close gave up drugs in the early 1980s after Belushi's death.)

Relationships

Charna Halpern

Companion

Dwight Eisenhower

Cousin
second cousin

EDUCATION

Kansas State College

Manhattan , Kansas

Milestones

1988

Once again returned to Second City to stage "The Gods Must Be Lazy"

1985

TV-movie debut, "First Step"

1983

Again fired from Second City; developed comedy workshops at CrossCurrents and later ImprovOlympic

1982

Kicked own substance abuse problems after drug-related death of friend and protege Belushi

1973

Appeared in small role in "American Graffiti"

1972

Returned to Chicago

1970

Founded theater company in Austin, Texas

1963

Co-founded The Committee in San Francisco

1960

Co-founded Second City in Chicago; fired in 1965 over his substance abuse and emotional problems

1959

Acted in the Off-Broadway musical "The Nervous Set"

1958

Arrived in New York to do stand-up comedy; began using heroin

1957

Appeared with the Compass Players, alongside Mike Nichols and Elaine May, among others

1950

First show business job, throwing spaghetti "worms" at moviegoers during late-night horror shows

1949

Published science fiction magazine (CATACLYSM) with friend

Raised in Manhattan, Kansas

Acted in TV sitcoms like "Get Smart"

Played Polonius to Aidan Quinn's "Hamlet", directed by Robert Falls

Directed Second City revues, nuturing talent like John Belushi, Harold Ramis and others

Toured the US with various theatrical companies in the 1950s

Hired by producer Jean Doumanian to run improv sessions at "Saturday Night Live"

Played The Ghost of Christmas Past in annual "Christmas Carol" production at the Goodman Theater, Chicago

Arrested for possession of marijuana

Bonus Trivia

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Close has written several science fiction comic books.

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He willed his skull to the Goodman Theatre in hopes that it would be used in future productions of "Hamlet"

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