'Chill' Blasts Back Into Theaters

It was 15 years ago that The Big Chill was first released. Now, it's being re-issued in movie theaters, and some of its stars came out for the Hollywood premiere Monday night.

The movie helped launch the movie careers of such stars as Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, and Meg Tilly. Although he did not appear in the final version, Kevin Costner worked on the movie, playing the role of the friend whose suicide brings together a group of old college cronies.

Meanwhile, The Big Chill soundtrack, also released 15 years ago, is on the verge of becoming the fourth-best-selling album in the history of Motown Records. The Recording Industry Association of America says the album hit the 6 million mark in sales during the month of October.

Here's a roundup of the cast:

  • Glenn Close, 51, was nominated for a Best Supporting actress Oscar for her role in The Big Chill, which was her second movie. (Her 1982 screen debut was as Robin Williams' mother in The World According to Garp, for which she was also nominated for the supporting-role Oscar.) Her other movies include Fatal Attraction (1987) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988), both of which brought her Oscar nominations in the Best Actress category, and The Natural (1984), for which she won another supporting Oscar nomination.
  • For Kevin Kline, 51, The Big Chill was his third movie. Before he began his movie career, Kline had made his mark in New York theater, winning Tonys for his performances in On the Twentieth Century (1978) and The Pirates of Penzance (1980). More recently, he starred in two off-Broadway productions of Hamlet. He won an Oscar for his supporting role as the hapless Otto in A Fish Called Wanda (1988). His more recent films, both released in 1997, include In & Out and The Ice Storm.
  • Chill was the fifth movie for William Hurt, 48, who had made a splash with his screen debut in Altered States (1980). He won the Academy Award for his portrayal of a homosexual prisoner in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), and was later nominated for his work in Children of a Lesser God (1986) and Broadcast News (1987).
    Jeff Goldblum (KCBS)
  • Jeff Goldblum, 46, was the veteran movie actor among the cast when The Big Chill was in production. It was his 14th film. His other screen credits include The Fly (1986), Jurassic Park (1993), and Independence Day (1996).
  • JoBeth Williams, 45, made her movie debut in 1979; Chill was her sixth feature. Before moving to films, she worke in theater on the East Coast and acted in TV daytime dramas. More recently, she has mainly appeared in TV movies.
  • Mary Kay Place, 51, made her eighth movie with The Big Chill. Although movie fans know her as a competent supporting player, Place, before she turned to acting, wrote scripts for such TV series as The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Maude. She won an Emmy Award for her acting in the comedy series Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, and, in the movies, played one of Goldie Hawn's Army pals in Private Benjamin (1980).
  • Tom Berenger, 48, has his professional roots in New York theater and in TV daytime dramas. The Big Chill was the seventh movie he made, playing an actor on a hit TV series. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in Platoon (1986).

  • Meg Tilly, 38, made her fourth movie with The Big Chill. As fans of the movie remember, Tilly had the chance to show off her physical flexibility with yoga exercises during the credits. But they might not know that she came by that talent as a teen-ager, when she performed with a local dance company. She was nominated for an Oscar for her supporting role in 1985's Agnes of God. (Her sister, Jennifer Tilly, was also nominated in the same category nine years later for her work in Bullets Over Broadway.)