Glover was born in Kingston, New York, the son of Cade (née Mullins) and John Soursby Glover Sr., a television salesman, and was raised in Salisbury, Maryland. Glover attended Wicomico High School and acted at Towson University. Glover began his career at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. Aside from his thearical endevours, Glover is also actively involved with the Alzheimer's Association. His inspiration for joining this cause was his own father's experience with Alzheimer's Disease.
One of his early film performances was a small but pivotal role as a U.S. diplomat in White Nights. Other notable roles include Alan Raimy in 52 Pick-Up, Bryce Cummings in Scrooged, Daniel Clamp in Gremlins 2: The New Batch, a mobster in Payback, an advertising spokesman in Robocop 2, Derek Mills in Night of the Running Man, the Riddler in Batman: The Animated Series, Doctor Jason Woodrue in Batman & Robin, Verad in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Invasive Procedures", the Devil in the series Brimstone, and a recurring role in The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd as Cousin Jerry, from Bal'mer, a relative whom no-one actually seemed to know.
John Glover is an American actor, perhaps best known for a range of villainous roles in films and television, including Lionel Luthor on the Superman-inspired television series Smallville. He is openly gay and has been in a relationship with sculptor Adam Kurtzman since 1993. Glover is perhaps best known for the role as Lionel Luthor on Smallville from 2001 to 2008 where he appeared as a guest actor in the show's first season and then appeared as a full cast member from seasons two to seven.
He appeared in one episode of Miami Vice. He also appeared in two episodes of Murder, She Wrote with the first one being "One White Rose for Death" in which he played East German Franz Mueller who wished to defect to the United States but whose sister was a celebrated concert violinist and they both got caught up in a case of murder at the British Embassy and the other one being "When Thieves Fall Out" where he played Andrew Durbin, a man wrongly accused of stealing bonds.
He appeared in the TV movie An Early Frost in 1985, the first TV film to confront the issue of AIDS, and received an Emmy nomination for his performance as a gay AIDS patient. In 1986, he appeared in the TV film Apology with Lesley Ann Warren. He appeared in a role of Max Brodsky, an inmate in concentration camps and later a fighter for Israel's independence, in Ian Sharp's 1989 TV miniseries Twist of Fate (also known as Pursuit). He also received a 1994 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his appearance in Frasier.
Glover is perhaps best known for the role as Lionel Luthor on Smallville from 2001 to 2008 where he first appeared as a guest actor in the show's first season and then appeared as a full cast member from seasons two to seven. He later returned in 2010 and 2011 for the tenth and final season as a parallel universe version of the character.
He also had a small appearance in the Woody Allen film Annie Hall as seen in a flashback to a scene from the title character's past where he utters the line: "Touch my heart. With your foot", a recurring role in Law & Order: Criminal Intent where he played Declan Gage (an old friend and mentor to Detective Robert Goren), on ABC's Brothers & Sisters in 2009 as Henry (the boyfriend of Saul Holden), in Heroes as Samson Gray (the father of Sylar).
In addition, he had made notable appearances on stage, winning a Tony Award for Featured Actor in a Play for his dual roles in the Broadway play Love! Valour! Compassion!, which he reprised in the film version. He also appeared as "man in the chair/narrator" in The Drowsy Chaperone on Broadway during summer 2007. He played the role of "Lucky" in a new Broadway production of Samuel Becket's Waiting For Godot, for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play.
He played Telemachus in Yuri Rasovsky's Peabody Award-winning radio dramatization of The Odyssey of Homer and has played in several radio plays of the LA Theatre Works. In addition Glover is receiving increasing recognition for narrating audiobooks. In 2011, he performed the audiobook version of Ghost Story, the thirteenth novel in Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files series. In October/November 2011, he performed in David Bar Katz's drama The Atmosphere of Memory at the Bank Street Theatre in NYC, co-starring with Ellen Burstyn in a LAByrinth production. He most recently played the role of "Uncle Ben" in the 2012 Broadway production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, directed by Mike Nichols. He is seen rehearsing the role of John Kreese in behind-the-scenes pre-production footage from The Karate Kid, indicating he may have been considered for that role.
Glover has done various voiceovers for several projects related to Tron: Legacy: villainous character Abraxas in Tron: Evolution, and Dyson in Tron: Uprising.
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