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Glenn Close Talks About Growing Up in a Cult

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Glenn Close (Photo: Jeffrey Mayer,

Before Glenn Close was an award-winning actress, she was a member of a cult. The star, who was nominated today for a Best Actress Oscar for her cross-dressing role in "Albert Nobbs," a film that she also co-wrote and produced, had an unconventional childhood, to say the least.

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The Connecticut native's family decided to join the conservative organization Moral Re-Armament when she was just 7. She stayed for 15 years, finally touring with the musical arm of the group, Up With People, until she left at age 22 to go to college.

The "Damages" star told New York Magazine, "It was a cult where everyone was told to think alike, and that's devastating." But, the actress said, being in a cult helped her as a performer.

The 64-year-old admitted, "It also gives you a huge sense of looking from the outside in, and I think that in many ways that has been very good as an actor, because you are somebody who is asked to go into a character.... I always felt that I was held together with Scotch tape and paper clips and, as an actor, that's good."

[ Related: The full list of Oscar nominees ]

Close isn't the only actress to have experienced life as a cult member. Rose McGowan admitted last year that she spent her first nine years in Italy living with the Children of God sect. The 38-year-old told People magazine that her family eventually fled.

The "Charmed" star said of that experience, "There are people who will read this story and think I had a strange existence," adding "I think they've had a strange existence!"

Watch Glenn Close in the trailer for "Albert Nobbs":

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