Close was interested in acting from an early age and had some stage experience in school, but did not decide to pursue an acting career until after college. His first role was in a theater production Rat Songs in L. A. , after which he was offered parts in the crime drama American Me (1992) and the TV movie Safe House directed by Elena Mannus. He had a brief stint in daytime television when he played Sawyer Walker on the NBC daytime soap opera Santa Barbara from 1992 to 1993. He received a Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Male Newcomer for his role as Sawyer Walker on Santa Barbara. Close later starred on short-lived primetime shows such as McKenna (1994–1995), Dark Skies (1996–1997), The Magnificent Seven (1998–1999), Now and Again (1999–2000), and the Steven Spielberg miniseries production, Taken (2002).