Henry Jaglom trained with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York, where he acted, wrote and directed off-Broadway theater and cabaret before settling in Hollywood in the late 1960s. Under contract to Columbia Pictures, Jaglom guest-starred in such TV shows as "Gidget" and "The Flying Nun," and acted in a number of films which included Richard Rush's Psych-Out (1968), Boris Sagal's The 1000 Plane Raid (1969), Jack Nicholson's Drive, He Said (1971), Dennis Hopper's The Last Movie (1971), Maurice Dugowson's Lily, aime-moi (1975) and Orson Welles' never-completed The Other Side of the Wind.
Jaglom began his filmmaking career working with Nicholson on the editing of Hopper's Easy Rider, and made his writing/directing debut in 1971 with A Safe Place, starring Tuesday Weld, Nicholson and Welles. His next film, Tracks (1976), starred Hopper and was one of the earliest movies to explore the psychological cost on America of the Vietnam War. His third film, the first to be a commercial success, was Sitting Ducks (1980), a comic romp that co-starred Zack Norman with Jaglom's brother Michael Emil. Film critic David Thomson said of Jaglom's Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983) that it "is an actors' film in that it grows out of their personalities-it is as loose and unexpected as life, but is shaped and witty as a great short story. In truth, a new kind of film..." It starred Karen Black.
Jaglom co-starred in four of his most personal films - Always, But Not Forever (1985), Someone to Love (1987) starring Orson Welles in his farewell film performance, New Year's Day (1989), which introduced David Duchovny, and Venice/Venice (1992) opposite French star Nelly Alard.
In 1990, Jaglom directed Eating (1990) about a group of women with eating disorders and how they cope with it and one another. Babyfever (1995) was about the issue of women with ticking biological clocks. Last Summer on the Hamptons (1996) was a Chekhovian look at the life of a theatrical family and starred Viveca Lindfors in her last screen role. Deja Vu (1998) was about the yearning of people trying to find their perfect soul mate and was the only film in which Vanessa Redgrave and her mother, Rachel Kempson, appeared together. Festival in Cannes (2002) explored the lives and relationships of those involved in the world of filmmaking and was shot entirely at the Cannes International Film Festival. Going Shopping (2005) explored that subject as the third part of Jaglom's "Women's Trilogy," the others being Eating and Babyfever.
Hollywood Dreams (2007) dealt with a young woman's obsession with fame in the film industry and introduced Tanna Frederick, who then starred in Jaglom's Irene in Time (2009), a look at the complex relationships between fathers and daughters and how it haunts some women for the rest of their lives. Frederick's third film with Jaglom, Queen of the Lot, opens in theaters across the United States in November 2010.
As a playwright, Jaglom has written four plays that have been successfully performed on Los Angeles stages: The Waiting Room (1974), A Safe Place (2003), Always-But Not Forever (2007) and Just 45 Minutes From Broadway (2009/2010).
Jaglom is also the subject of the Henry Alex Rubin's and Jeremy Workman's 1997 documentary Who is Henry Jaglom?.