Veteran actress Glenne Headly died Thursday night at 62, and a report on her cause of death suggests that she suffered complications after being treated for blood clots. The actress was best-known for roles in films such as Dick Tracy and Mr. Holland’s Opus, as well as numerous other characters on stage and television.
The sad news of Headly’s death was confirmed on Friday morning by Variety, which posted the following statement from Headly’s representative.
“It is with deep sorrow that we confirm the passing of Glenne Headly. We ask that her family’s privacy be respected in this difficult time.”
While reports on Glenne Headly’s cause of death were not immediately available, TMZ updated its original report to state that, per its sources, the actress was rushed to the hospital last week to “get treatment for blood clots.” While she seemed to be getting better after some time in the hospital, she had reportedly taken a turn for the worse on Thursday.
As Deadline noted, Headly’s career had started in theater, where she had been an original member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She starred in stage productions such as Extremities, where she appeared alongside Susan Sarandon, and Arms & The Man, with Kevin Kline and the late Raul Julia. But it was Glenne Headly’s appearance in Dick Tracy, where she starred as Tess Trueheart alongside Warren Beatty in the titular role, that had helped make her a household name.
Other notable film credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Sgt. Bilko, which both starred Steve Martin as the male lead, and Mr. Holland’s Opus, where she appeared as the wife of Richard Dreyfuss’ titular character. Younger fans may also be familiar with Glenne Headly’s role as the mother of Lindsay Lohan’s character in the film Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.
As a television actress, Headly earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special for her role as Elmira Boot Johnson in the 1989 CBS miniseries Lonesome Dove. Ms. Headly was cast in the third season of ER as Dr. Abby Keaton, and she was most recently seen in the HBO miniseries, The Night Of.
At the time of Glenne Headly’s death, she was in production on the Hulu comedy series, Future Man, which is being produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. She had also recently finished filming Villa Capri alongside Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones, which is scheduled to premiere on November 22, according to Heavy.
It’s still not clear how blood clots had contributed to Glenne Headly’s cause of death, but a fact sheet from the National Institutes of Health describes a potentially fatal condition called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. These are blood clots that “form in a vein deep in the body,” which could occur for a variety of reasons, such as a lack of motion, a sufferer’s blood being thicker than normal, or damage to a vein’s inner lining. DVT often occurs in patients older than 60, or with a history of being overweight or obese. When the blood clots reach the lungs and block blood flow, this results in a pulmonary embolism, which could damage the lungs and cause a patient’s death.
One famous person who may have had a similar cause of death to Glenne Headly is comedian Garry Shandling, who died in March 2016 after he had developed blood clots in his lungs. According to USA Today, a report from the Los Angeles coroner’s office had determined his cause of death in December that year, after thoroughly reviewing his medical records and toxicology tests. Initially, it was believed that Shandling had suffered a fatal heart attack, but Variety noted that the comedian had complained one day before his death about leg pain and shortness of breath; the latter of which is the most common symptom of a pulmonary embolism.
Despite TMZ‘s above report, no official statement has been made about Glenne Headly’s cause of death. She is survived by her husband, Byron McCulloch, and their son, Stirling.
UPDATE [6/9/2017, 4:41 p.m. ET] – Correction to Glenne Headly’s age at the time of her death, and information on her final film project.
[Featured Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]