Glenne Headly, ‘Dick Tracy’ and ‘Lonesome Dove’ Star, Dies at 62

Emmy-nominated actress Glenne Headly has died at age 62, Variety has confirmed.

“It is with deep sorrow that we confirm the passing of Glenne Headly,” her reps said in a statement. “We ask that her family’s privacy be respected in this difficult time.”

The film, television actress, and theater actress was known for starring alongside Warren Beatty in 1990’s “Dick Tracy” as Tess Trueheart. She was nominated for an Emmy for her role in the 1989 miniseries “Lonesome Dove,” as well as the 1996 Showtime film adaptation of “Bastard Out of Carolina.” She was in production on the Seth Rogen-Evan Goldberg produced Hulu comedy series “Future Man” at the time of her death.


Dick Tracy

Glenne Headly’s Career in Photos

“Future Man” producer Sony Pictures Television said Headly’s role would not be recast but that she would remain in the episodes completed so far. The series revolves around a janitor and gamer by night who is recruited by mysterious visitors to travel through time in order to prevent the extinction of humanity. “Future Man,” which stars Ed Begley Jr., Eliza Coupe and Josh Hutcherson, is now lensing in Los Angeles.

“We are saddened by the sudden loss of Glenne Headly. Our deepest condolences go out to her family and friends. She was an incredible talent and will be missed,” Sony said in a statement.

Headly’s career began on the stage, when she was an originating member of Chicago’s renowned Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She went on to marry fellow ensemble member John Malkovich in 1982, though the pair divorced in 1988. She made her feature film debut in the 1981 dramedy “Four Friends.” In 2016, she appeared in “Stage Kiss” at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles; her other theater performances included “Arms and the Man,” with Malkovich directing, and Wallace Shawn’s “Aunt Dan and Lemon,” directed by Tom Cairns in London.


Glenne Headly

Stars Pay Tribute to Glenne Headly Online

She followed that role up with appearances in films like “Doctor Detroit,” “Fandango,” and Woody Allen’s “The Purple Rose of Cairo.” In 1988, she landed a starring role in the comedy “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” opposite Steve Martin and Michael Caine. She would partner with Martin again in the 1996 comedy “Sgt. Bilko.” She also starred in the Oscar-nominated drama “Mr. Holland’s Opus” as the wife of Richard Dreyfuss’ titular character and played Lindsay Lohan’s mother in “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.”

On the television side, she played Dr. Abby Keaton in Season 3 of “ER,” and had a starring role in the short-lived NBC comedy series “Encore! Encore!” Recently, she appeared in the HBO miniseries “The Night Of,” as well as the feature drama “The Circle” along with Emma Watson and Tom Hanks.

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

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed Headly’s age as 63; Headly was 62. 

Celebrities Who Died in 2017

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  1. P.L. Miller says:

    She was brilliant in “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” Have they released cause of death?

  2. Babymama says:

    “Making Mr Right” is how I remember her. Then I had to look up the cast of ” The Night Of” because I knew she looked familiar. RIP

  3. Simon Paiva says:

    I always associate her with my childhood. I remember watching her in “Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels’ with my dad in the 90’s, when I was just a kid, that and “Dick Tracy” as well, re watched the former recently. She was a unique, singular comedic actress, truly one of a kind. R.I.P.

  4. paully says:

    RIP screen great.. In Dirty Rotten Scoundrels she was funnier than the rest.. Expert comic timing..

  5. Paul Goodwin says:

    She was so funny and fetchingly cute in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and I thought she was great in everything she was in, very sad to lose her so young.

  6. Michael Little says:

    She was terrific in the right role. I think of ‘Two Days in the Valley’ and also her recurring role in the TV series ‘Monk’. RIP

  7. Alex Meyer says:


  8. Timely Comment says:

    Rest in Peace.

    Her “Tess Trueheart” in DICK TRACY was a quiet voice, grounded and real, so I looked for her other film roles… and her DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS was a contrast. Actorly, theatrical mastery there!

    Thank you, Glenne Headley.

  9. Donald Lehner says:

    Very saddening to learn of this. I absolutely adored her in Scoundrels and subsequently anything else she’d done. She was so pretty and funny and talented. My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time. XOXO Ms. Headley. Heaven has a new Angel .

  10. wishinwell says:

    Sad to hear enjoyed her work, remember her last in tv show “Monk”. Condolences to loved ones.

  11. Ingot9455 says:

    It is cruel of you to mention the dismal ‘Dick Tracy’ in the lede of the article when she had done much finer work throughout her career.

  12. Eleanor Hannon says:

    Our sincerest condolences to Aunt Joan, Byrin and Stirling and the Shaw Family. She was a wonderful and powerful actress. The best! Such a terrible loss for all. May she Rest In Peace

  13. I just saw in The Circle playing the wife of the recently departed Bill Paxton. Hope he greets her with open arms out there…

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