BODY AND SOUL: The Story of John Garfield by Larry Swindell

BODY AND SOUL: The Story of John Garfield

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The alienated son of a Lower East Side clothes presser, Jacob Julius (Julie) Garfinkle led a deprived, delinquent street-gang tough childhood. After finally finding himself in an experimental school where he took up acting, Garfield continued on in the profession in various repertories and dramatic workshops. A struggling comrade of Clifford Odets, the actor scored in several Group Theatre productions though he later became bitter when he wasn't cast as Golden Boy. Once in Hollywood for his film debut in Four Daughters Garfield was sucked into an ""orgiastic whirlpool"" and into top billing in a series of social dramas (They Made Me a Criminal, Dust Be My Destiny, The Castle on the Hudson). As a performer who ""conveyed an inner turbulence"" -- whether he was ""the forerunner of Brando, Clift, and Newman"" is debatable -- Garfield was critically acclaimed in The Postman Always Rings Twice, Body and Soul, and Gentleman's Agreement. Stardom in the '40's was followed by HUAC hassles (his testimony is recorded here) in the early '50's -- they cooled not only his screen popularity but also his marriage. An actor often publicized for his trysts with starlets, Garfield was found dead (of a heart condition) at the age of 39 in another woman's apartment. Julie may be a current cult figure; still he's less than box office in book form. Comprehensive treatment of a natural born loser -- the body is there.

Pub Date: April 18th, 1975
Publisher: Morrow