Gloria's first feature film was in the 1978 film California Suite, it was not until later she became to be best known among horror film fans for her role as the head nurse, Mrs. Alves, in the 1981 classic horror film Halloween II.
Her other films she starred in include the 1982 hit film 48 Hrs., where she played a prostitute that Reggie Hammond tried to score with. In 1983, Gloria starred in the two comedy films Going Berserk, and the classic comedy film D.C. Cab as the D.C. Cab dispatcher, Miss Floyd. A year later, she appeared in the 1984 cult film This Is Spinal Tap.
She appeared in the 1988 comedy film Vice Versa, her most recent film was in the 2006 film Gettin' Some Jail Time.
Gloria has made many guest appearances on some television shows, she appeared on some shows like ER, The Nanny, Gimme a Break!, The Incredible Hulk, and The Love Boat.
Gloria is also into theatre, she is an accomplished acting teacher. She studied acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse with Milton Katselas. She studied there for five years. Gloria is currently the Executive Director of The Gloria Gifford Conservatory.
Gloria taught at the American Film Institute for six years in the Masters' Program. She taught Directors, Writers and Producers and among her successful AFI students: Patty Jenkins "Monster", Brian Dannelly "Saved", "Weeds". In 2007, Gloria opened the prestigious Actors Academy Milano in Milan, Italy where she taught Italian actors and actresses and International Models - male and female in intensive acting programs. The Academy's president is Edoardo Costa, her former student at the BHP and now starring with Bruce Willis in "Live Free...Die Hard". She is the Founder of the Rebel Planet Short Film Festival of Hollywood, rebelplanet.com, which just had the its very successful second year festival in North Hollywood, California in April 2007.
Gloria is the mother of actor Adam G..