Glenn Close Reminisces on Filming 'The Big Chill' with 'Beautiful' William Hurt: 'Good Times'

"Bill Hurt was one of the most beautiful human beings that I'd ever seen," Glenn Close said of her The Big Chill costar William Hurt, who died Sunday of natural causes

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Glenn Close is remembering the good times with her old pal William Hurt.

The Golden Globe winner, 74, reminisced about her decades-long friendship with the late actor Monday on Instagram after he died Sunday, beginning with their work together on the 1983 classic The Big Chill, which was only her second movie.

"Bill had grown his hair very scraggy, dirty-looking long blond hair and scruffy beard, because he played this character of a guy who dabbled in selling drugs," she recalled. "And he had these big arguments with [co-writer/director] Larry Kasdan as to whether he should shave and clean up or not. Bill did not want to, Larry wanted him to.

"I have to say that Bill Hurt was one of the most beautiful human beings that I'd ever seen, but I think his face, he felt was kind of an albatross around his neck because he felt people would be attracted to his work because of how he looked, rather than what was in his head and the art of an actor, what he was very, very serious about. Larry won, so we thankfully get to see the beautiful Bill during the movie," Close explained.

The Big Chill follows seven college friends who reunite at a South Carolina vacation home after the death of one of their own. The film earned three Academy Award nominations, including Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Close.

Spending the holidays on set, Close said she and Hurt decided to get custom red union suits adorned with the film's title for everyone on set, which they passed out together.

"He literally, during that walk, I'll never forget it — he howled at the moon. And he would sometimes launch into these very complex psychological musings, and he'd go from one subject to another, which in his head, was very logical but was very hard to follow... and I remember just saying to him, 'Bill, what the f— are you talking about?' " she recalled with a laugh.

Close added that since Hurt's death, she's been in contact with Kasdan, as well as costars Jeff Goldblum, Mary Kay Place, JoBeth Williams, Tom Berenger and Meg Tilly.

"The thing about doing a movie like that, spending so much time together, it really, really creates lasting friendships," she said, adding: "I think whenever we, by some lucky chance, cross each other's paths, time just kind of falls away because you've had this intense experience together. And that's what I felt about Bill."


The Hillbilly Elegy actress later turned to Hurt when she hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time in 1989. "My mother had said, 'There's nothing more boring than an actor talking about themself,' " Close recalled.

"So, I asked Bill to do the opening monologue for me, and it actually was pretty funny," she added. "He did a great job, it was wonderful."

Close reunited with Hurt again during his 10-episode arc on her FX show Damages in 2009, noting he "found it difficult" working in the fast-pace world of television.

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"We had some good times. But I'm thinking of him, I'm thinking of his family, I'm thinking of all the moments that he gave us and the movies that he was in and the shows that he did, Off-Broadway and on Broadway. He was an actor to his very molecules, and I just want to mark his passing as someone who appreciated him as an artist and as a friend. Rest in peace, Bill," Close concluded.

Hurt died of natural causes Sunday at age 71, surrounded by family, according to a social media statement from his son Will Hurt. He was previously diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer that spread to the bone.

"It is with great sadness that the Hurt family mourns the passing of William Hurt, beloved father and Oscar winning actor, on March 13, 2022, one week before his 72nd birthday. He died peacefully, among family, of natural causes. The family requests privacy at this time," his son wrote.

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