Both onscreen and off, Crispin Glover earned notoriety as one of the most infamous oddballs in Hollywood, garnering vast critical acclaim for his bizarre character turns and intense performances. Crispin Hellion Glover was born September 20, 1964, in New York City. After his family's late-'60s relocation to Los Angeles, he began acting while still in elementary school, and by the age of 13 had already secured professional representation. After winning a lead role in an L.A. production of The Sound of Music starring Florence Henderson, Glover graduated high school and began working regularly in television, appearing in guest roles on series like Happy Days, Hill Street Blues, and Family Ties. In 1981, he made his feature debut in the teen sex romp Private Lessons, and in 1983 appeared in My Tutor as well as a pair of TV movies, High School U.S.A. and The Kid With the 200 I.Q.
Supporting roles in projects like 1984's Teachers, Racing With the Moon, and the American Film Institute-produced The Orkly Kid followed, but a highly idiosyncratic performance as Michael J. Fox's father in the 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future was Glover's ticket to stardom. In 1986, he delivered a brilliant performance in the disturbing teen drama River's Edge, but in the wake of its release he began to earn a notorious reputation for eccentric behavior: A July 1987 appearance on NBC's Late Night With David Letterman in which Glover -- clad in a ratty wig and platform shoes -- attempted to kick the program host in the head was the stuff of tabloid headlines, and the concurrent publication of Rat Catching, an antique Victorian children's book updated with gruesome cut-up text and new drawings distributed through his mother's Volcanic Eruptions press imprint, did little to dispel questions about his sanity.