Glover was born in Hampstead, the son of Honor (née Wyatt), a close friend of the novelist Barbara Pym, and C. Gordon Glover, a BBC radio producer. His half brother is the musician Robert Wyatt. He attended Bristol Grammar School in Bristol, England, where he was in the same class as actors Timothy West and "Darth Vader" actor David Prowse, and also Alleyn's School in Dulwich.
Glover trained at the National Youth Theatre and performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In the early 1950s he appeared in several shows at Unity Theatre, London During the 1960s and 1970s, Glover frequently appeared in British television shows, including The Avengers, Doctor Who, (The Crusade with William Hartnell and City of Death with Tom Baker)The Saint and Blake's 7.
Julian Glover also appeared in 1967's Quatermass and the Pit, a Hammer Studios adaptation of Nigel Kneale's 1950s BBC television original, in which he portrayed Quatermass' nemesis, Colonel Breen, a military man, initially skeptical of the ancient origin of an archaeologically excavated extraterrestrial spacecraft who is later ironically in thrall to the murderous energy released from the craft. In 1979, he appeared as the villain, Scaroth, in the Doctor Who episode, "City of Death," one of the most acclaimed and popular episodes of the series.
Glover also appeared opposite Roger Moore in the episode of The Saint titled "Invitation to Danger."
He made some of his most notable appearances during the 1980s as the Imperial General Maximilian Veers in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), the ruthless Aris Kristatos in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only (1981), and the deceptive American Nazi Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). During the 1980s he played the leading role in the BBC television drama series, By the Sword Divided.
He also appeared in the 2002 film version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as the voice of the giant spider Aragog.
He is currently playing the role of Mr. Brownlow in the West End revival of the musical Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
He is an Associate Member of Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Tom Jones (1963) - Lt. Northerton
Girl with Green Eyes (1964) - Malachi Sullivan
Time Lost and Time Remembered (1965) - Dr. Matthew Langdon
The Alphabet Murders (1965) - Don Fortune
Doctor Who - The Crusade (1965) - Richard the Lionheart
Blood Fiend (1966) - Charles Marquis
Quatermass and the Pit (1967) - Col. Breen
The Magus (1968) - Anton
Alfred the Great (1969) - Shrdlu
The Adding Machine (1969) - Shrdlu
The Last Grenade (1970) - Andy Royal
Wuthering Heights (1970) - Hindley Earnshaw
The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (1970) - Col. Moffat
Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) - Gapon
Antony and Cleopatra (1972) - Proculeius
Luther (1973) - The Knight
Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973) - Fegelein
Dead Cert (1974) - Lodge
Terror on the Britannic (1974) - Commander Marder
The Internecine Project (1974) - Arnold Pryce-Jones
Space 1999 - Alpha Child (1975) - Jarak
Gulliver's Travels (1977) - (voice)
The Brute (1977) - Teddy
Doctor Who - City of Death (1979) - Scaroth/Count Scarlioni
Invasion (1980) - Alexander Dubcek
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - General Veers
For Your Eyes Only (1981) - Aristotle Kristatos
Ivanhoe (1982) - King Richard
Dombey and Son - Mr. Dombey
Heat and Dust (1983) - Crawford, the District Collector
Hearts of Fire (1987) - Alfred
The Fourth Protocol (1987) - Brian Harcourt-Smith
Cry Freedom (1987) - Don Card
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - Walter Donovan
Tusks (1990) - Ian Taylor
Treasure Island (1990) - Dr. Livesey
Letters, Riddles and Writs - Joseph Haydn
King Ralph (1991) - King Gustav
Power and Lovers (1994) - Matthew
The House of Angelo (1997) - Sir Robert Willoughby
Vatel (2000) - Prince de Condé
The Book of Eve (2002) - Burt Smallwood
Two Men Went to War (2002) - Col. Hatchard
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) - Aragog (voice)
Troy (2004) - Triopas
Strings (2004) - Kahro (English version voice)
Scoop (2006) – Lord Lyman
Mirrors (2008) - Robert Esseker
The Young Victoria (2009) - Duke of Wellington