skip navigation
Allen Garfield

Allen Garfield

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

The Front Page DVD Comedy team Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon make the front page in this newspaper... more info $12.98was $12.98 Buy Now

Continental Divide DVD John Belushi plays against type as he teams up with Blair Brown for this... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Mother, Jugs & Speed DVD Bill Cosby's band of misfits try to maintain an independent ambulance service in... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Putney Swope DVD "Putney Swope" is a shockingly funny satire that takes aim at racism and social... more info $19.99was $19.99 Buy Now

Gable And Lombard DVD Two of the greatest actors ever to grace the silver screen have their glorious... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

The Black Stallion Returns... A boy's love for his horse allows them to triumph against great odds...and form... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Allen Goorwitz, Allen Goorwitz Died:
Born: November 22, 1939 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Newark, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor, acting coach, directing coach, screenwriter, director, copy boy, boxer, newspaper editor, journalist, reporter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Usually plump and always decidedly "ethnic", this dependable character player of stage, screen and TV was already nearly 30 years old when he made his film debut with a memorable bit as a "smut peddler" in Brian De Palma's "Greetings" (1968). This once daring comedy about draft dodging and other happenings in Greenwich Village was fairly typical of the kind youth-oriented films from the counterculture with which Garfield quickly became associated in the late 1960s and early 70s. No one's idea of a hippie, Garfield could typically be found during this period playing sleazy small businessmen, gabby hustlers and lumpen proletarians. Then in a satirical mode, young writer-director De Palma looked upon that unglamorous but richly expressive mug and saw a philosophical porno producer teaching the tricks of the trade to aspiring filmmaker Robert De Niro in "Hi, Mom!" and a brassy brassiere salesman in "Get to Know Your Rabbit" (1972). Michael Ritchie cast him as the extroverted Producer who crafts slick political spots for Robert Redford's campaign in "The Candidate" (1972) while Francis Ford Coppola capitalized on Garfield's smarmy qualities for "The Conversation" (1974), wherein he played an alternately...

Usually plump and always decidedly "ethnic", this dependable character player of stage, screen and TV was already nearly 30 years old when he made his film debut with a memorable bit as a "smut peddler" in Brian De Palma's "Greetings" (1968). This once daring comedy about draft dodging and other happenings in Greenwich Village was fairly typical of the kind youth-oriented films from the counterculture with which Garfield quickly became associated in the late 1960s and early 70s. No one's idea of a hippie, Garfield could typically be found during this period playing sleazy small businessmen, gabby hustlers and lumpen proletarians.

Then in a satirical mode, young writer-director De Palma looked upon that unglamorous but richly expressive mug and saw a philosophical porno producer teaching the tricks of the trade to aspiring filmmaker Robert De Niro in "Hi, Mom!" and a brassy brassiere salesman in "Get to Know Your Rabbit" (1972). Michael Ritchie cast him as the extroverted Producer who crafts slick political spots for Robert Redford's campaign in "The Candidate" (1972) while Francis Ford Coppola capitalized on Garfield's smarmy qualities for "The Conversation" (1974), wherein he played an alternately chummy and envious competitor of surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman). Garfield worked with Coppola again on "One From the Heart" (1982) and "The Cotton Club" (1984). He held his own amid the large colorful ensemble of Robert Altman's "Nashville" (1975), as the protective husband of fragile C&W star Ronee Blakely.

Often effectively cast as showbiz execs--some crass, some sympathetic, Garfield has personified the ambivalence that some filmmakers feel toward their industry. Reviewing his portrayal of MGM lion Louis B. Mayer in "Gable and Lombard" (1976), DAILY VARIETY wrote that Garfield was "one of the most subtle and versatile character actors in films today, giving his. . . interpretation an even-handed blend of autocracy and sincerely-felt paternalism." On the other end of the Hollywood food chain, he was convincing as the screenwriter resigned to being dominated by director Peter O'Toole in Richard Rush's "The Stunt Man" (1980) and a desperate indie film producer in Wim Wenders' "The State of Things" (1982). Garfield sole outing in a feature starring role came playing a cheap detective in John G Avildsen's "Cry Uncle/Super Dick" (1970), an X-rated, soft-core comedy thriller.

A native of Newark, NJ, Garfield had paid his dues as a working journalist long before stepping in the limelight. He started out as a copy boy for the NEWARK STAR LEDGER and worked his way up to sports reporter before taking up the reins of managing editor for the LINDEN LEADER in Linden, NJ. Garfield even did a stint Down Under as a staff writer for Australia's SUNDAY MORNING HERALD. He also boxed in his youth, retiring as an undefeated Golden Gloves champ. At some point, Garfield segued to acting, studying drama at the Anthony Mannino Studio and the Actors Studio. At the latter, he learned from such masters as Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman and Elia Kazan. In turn, Garfield was the founding director of the Actors Shelter where he teaches acting and directing. He has also remained active on the stage as an actor and director.

Garfield's 1968 film debut preceded his bow on the Broadway stage ("Inquest", a 1970 drama about the Rosenbergs) and his inaugural TV guest shot (a 1971 appearance on "Mod Squad"). The small screen has provided him with steady employment opportunities, playing cops and/or crooks in TV-movies and miniseries, starring in a busted sitcom pilot ("Sonny Boy" CBS, 1974, directed by Rob Reiner), numerous guest shots and several recurring or two-part roles including a detective on "Matlock" and psychiatrist Dr. Raymond Kadalski on "Chicago Hope". His only stint as a series regular was on the limited sitcom series "The Boys" (Showtime, 1989) as "Sir" Arnie, the cookie king. He was affecting as UN chief counsel Abe Feller who falls prey to the machinations of anti-Communist lawyer Roy Cohn (James Woods) in "Citizen Cohn" (HBO, 1992).

Garfield's recent feature credits include supporting roles in three critical and commercial flops of 1995: "Stuart Saves His Family", "Destiny Turns on the Radio" (as a music industry biggie) and "Diabolique" (as a wimpy teacher). He has also received a Filmmakers Grant from the American Film Institute to direct his original screenplay for "Allegiance", a political thriller in which he will also act.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Majestic, The (2001) Leo Kubelsky
2.
 Ninth Gate, The (2000) Witkin
3.
 Berlin Niagara (2000)
5.
 Get a Job (1998)
6.
 Obsession (1997) Simon Frischmuth
7.
 Diabolique (1996) Leo Kaztman
8.
 Crime of the Century (1996) Lieutenant James Finn
9.
 Wild Side (1996) Dan Rackman
10.
 Stuart Saves His Family (1995) Maitre D'
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Became a copy boy for the NEWARK STAR LEDGER
:
Competed as an undefeated Golden Gloves boxer
:
Became a sports reporter for the NEWARK STAR LEDGER
:
Served as managing editor of the LINDEN LEADER in Linden, New Jersey
:
Worked as a staff writer for Australia's SUNDAY MORNING HERALD
1968:
Film acting debut, played Smut Peddler in Brian De Palma's "Greetings", a draft evasion comedy; first collaboration with the writer-director
1970:
Broadway acting debut, "Inquest", a play by Donald Freed about the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
1970:
First feature starring role, "Cry Uncle/Super Dick", an X-rated comedy feature
1970:
Played Joe Banner, a philosophical porno producer who guides aspiring dirty filmmaker Robert De Niro, in De Palma's "Hi, Mom!", a sequel (of sorts) to "Greetings"
1971:
TV acting debut, a guest shot on "Mod Squad"
1972:
TV-movie acting debut, "Footsteps", a CBS crime drama
1974:
Played major supporting role in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation" as a rival of Gene Hackman's surveillance expert; first collaboration with producer-writer-director Coppola
1974:
Starred as 35-year-old mama's boy Sonny Waller on "Sonny Boy", a busted CBS sitcom pilot
1975:
Played the protective husband of a fragile C&W recording star (Ronee Blakely) in Robert Altman's "Nashville"
1986:
TV miniseries debut, "Sins", a CBS drama set in the fashion industry
1989:
Made TV series debut as a regular on "The Boys", a limited Showtime sitcom series, as "Sir" Arnie, the baker and founder of Arnie's Cookies
1992:
Portrayed UN chief counsel Abe Feller, a political victim of the red-baiting Roy Cohn (James Woods), in the well-received HBO biopic "Citizen Cohn"
:
Played the recurring role of psychiatrist Dr. Ray Kadalski on the CBS medical drama "Chicago Hope"
:
Staged the NYC and Los Angeles productions of his own play "Four in the Family: Five If You Include the Dog"
:
Received a Filmmakers Grant from the American Film Institute for his original dramatic screenplay "Allegiance", a political thriller; planned to direct and act in the project
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Upsala College: East Orange , New Jersey -
Actors Studio: New York , New York -
Anthony Mannino Studio: New York , New York - 1965

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute