Allen Garfield

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Allen Garfield
Born Allen Goorwitz
(1939-11-22) November 22, 1939 (age 77)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Other names Allen Goorwitz
Years active 1968-2002

Allen Garfield, born and sometimes credited as Allen Goorwitz (born November 22, 1939), is an American film and television actor.

Life and career[edit]

Garfield was born in Newark, New Jersey, to a Jewish family, the son of Alice (née Lavroff) and Philip Goorwitz.[1][2] A graduate of Weequahic High School, he was a sports reporter and Golden Gloves boxer before becoming an actor. He studied acting at The Actors Studio in New York City, studying with both Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan, and worked in stage before film.[citation needed]

Garfield has appeared in over 100 films and television shows. He is known for playing nervous villains, corrupt businessmen and politicians. In addition he has appeared in two art films by German director Wim Wenders, Der Stand der Dinge and Bis ans Ende der Welt. Garfield has one sister, Lois. Quentin Tarantino once studied with Garfield when Tarantino was starting as a filmmaker.[3][4]

For a year after his father's death and in tribute to him, Allen used his family name, Goorwitz for his screen credits.[citation needed]

When Garfield suffered a stroke prior to filming his role in "The Ninth Gate" (1999), director Roman Polanski opted to utilize Garfield's paralyzed face for his character rather than conceal it or recast the role. Garfield suffered a massive stroke in 2004 and since then has been a long-term nursing care resident at The Motion Picture Home.



  1. ^ Allen Garfield Biography,; accessed July 9, 2017.
  2. ^ Allen Garfield Biography,; accessed July 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Peary, Gerald (1998). Quentin Tarantino. University Press of Mississippi. p. 12. ISBN 1578060516. Retrieved August 12, 2015. 
  4. ^ Holm, D.K. (2004). Quentin Tarantino: The Essential Pocket Guide. Summersdale Publishers. p. 28. ISBN 1848398662. Retrieved August 12, 2015. 

External links[edit]