JOHN GARFIELD

Known for playing brooding, rebellious, working-class types, Brooklyn-born John Garfield (1913-52) was born Jacob Julius Garfinkle. After the death of his mother when he was seven, he was sent to a school for problem children in the Bronx and there, he discovered boxing and acting. He contracted an illness early in life which severely damaged his heart, limiting his ability to engage in strenuous athletic activities. He won a scholarship to an acting school hosted by Maria Ouspenskaya (the old Gypsy woman in THE WOLF MAN) and made his Broadway debut in 1932. That same year Garfield joined the Group Theatre, a pioneering company of players trained in a unified style and dedicated to presenting contemporary plays. Other members included Elia Kazan, Stella and Luther Adler, Will Geer, Howard Da Silva, Franchot Tone, John Randolph, Clifford Odets, Paul Strand, Kurt Weill and Lee J. Cobb. Garfield appeared in several productions including “Awake and Sing!” and “Waiting for Lefty.” In 1938 Garfield signed a seven-year contract with Warner's. His debut film FOUR DAUGHTERS was well received and Garfield was nominated for an Academy Award. Over the next few years he made several films including DAUGHTERS COURAGEOUS (1939), DUST BE MY DESTINY (1939), FOUR WIVES (1939), JUAREZ (1939) and THEY MADE ME A CRIMINAL (1939). At the start of World War II, Garfield tried to enlist but failed his medical due to a childhood illness that had damaged his heart. But he did his part by co-founding (with Bette Davis) the Hollywood Canteen. During that period his films included THE SEA WOLF (1941), TORTILLA FLAT (1942), AIR FORCE (1943), DESTINATION TOKYO (1943), THE FALLEN SPARROW (1943), BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (1944), PRIDE OF THE MARINES (1945) and the noir classic THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946). In 1946, when his contract with Warner Bros. expired, he started his own independent production company. Long involved in liberal politics, Garfield was caught up in the McCarthy Communist scare of the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, and supported the Committee for the First Amendment. When called to testify before the House on Un-American Activities Committee or HUAC, Garfield refused to name names. However, his forced testimony before the committee severely damaged his reputation – and his health –and he was blacklisted. With film work scarce, Garfield returned to Broadway. But his heart problems, allegedly aggravated by the stress of his blacklisting, led to his early death at 39 soon thereafter.

4 comments:

pogodog7 said...

This guy was a stinking Commie. He should have been shipped to his beloved Russia.

addie said...

He was not a communist, HUAC did not find that, they wanted him to name other people.


Also, in America, a person can be a communist, a republican, a hippie, it is up to them.
If you don't like it maybe you should move to Iran, people there seem to have few choices about their lives.


You can download the Constitution for free from many sites on the web, by the way.
It's a fabulous read, give it a look-see.


addie

Anonymous said...

Tell him, Addie!!

Anonymous said...

I like John Garfield and he is on my screen now in the movie Humoresque.
I don't think he was a commie, in those days with the senator McCarthy paranoid investigations accusing many actors of being commies. They even accused James Carney of being one until he made Yankie Doodle Dandy for whitch he won an Academy Award .
Then he was a good American again.
Americans in general were dumb then and believed anything their government told them.