Close was born on March 19, 1947 in Greenwich, Connecticut, the daughter of Bettine (née Moore) and William Taliaferro Close, a doctor who operated a clinic in the Belgian Congo.

Her parents came from prominent families. Her father was a descendant of the Taliaferros of Virginia; her paternal grandfather, Edward Bennett Close, a stockbroker and director of the American Hospital Association, was first married to Post Cereals' heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, making Glenn Close a relative of screenwriter/director Preston Sturges. Close is also a second cousin once-removed of actress Brooke Shields (Shields's great-grandmother Mary Elsie Moore was a sister of Close's maternal grandfather, Charles Arthur Moore).

Glenn Close's Family Tree