Hank Garrett

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Hank Garrett
Hank Garrett circa 1961 to 1963 for his role in Car 54, Where are You?.png
Garrett in Car 54, Where are You?, 1961
Born (1931-10-26) October 26, 1931 (age 91)
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • author
  • speaker
  • teacher
  • mixed martial artist
  • professional wrestler
Years active1958–2018
Agnes Deangelis
(m. 1963; div. 1979)

Linda Slessinger
(m. 1982; died 2008)

Deanna Marie Smith
(m. 2017)
Parent(s)Ida and Sam Greenberg

Hank Garrett (born Henry Greenberg Cohen Sandler Weinblatt, October 26, 1931) is an American actor, comedian, author, speaker, teacher, mixed martial artist and retired professional wrestler[1] best known for the television role of Officer Nicholson on Car 54, Where Are You?[2][3]

Early life and career[edit]

Garrett was born in Harlem, New York City, to Sam and Ida Greenberg, both Jewish Russian immigrants. His birth certificate lists his name as Henry Greenberg Cohen Sandler Weinblatt.[4] Garrett began powerlifting, bodybuilding and karate as a means of self-protection in a rough neighborhood, starting at age 13.

He was the 1958 winner of the Junior Olympic Powerlifting competition.[5] This led to an extended stint (1957-1966) in professional wrestling under the name of The Minnesota Farm Boy.[6] In one of his last matches he fought a young Jimmy Snuka, he mentioned this during his hall of fame speech with Jimmy Snuka in attendance.[citation needed] In June 2009 he was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.[6][7]

His mother was worried that he was on a path toward delinquency and had Willie Bryant and Sammy Davis Jr. talk to him, and they got him a job as a "band boy". He would set up the music stands for a band at shows, he was paid $50 for his first day of work. He later worked at the club owned by Larry Storch.[5]

After several years in pro wrestling, Garrett turned to comedy and performed a regular routine in the Borscht Belt, using anecdotes from his childhood years in Harlem.[8][failed verification]

Television career[edit]

As well as his regular role on Car 54, Where are You?,[9] Garrett has acted in a number of television productions[10][11] including episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard, Knots Landing, Max Headroom, Santa Barbara, Three's Company, Airwolf, Knight Rider, Columbo, Dragnet, Kojak, and Alien Nation. Garrett is also known for his voiceover work on Garfield and GI Joe.

Film career[edit]

Among Garrett's film credits are notable roles in Serpico, Three Days of the Condor,[12] Death Wish, and The Sentinel. Garrett tends to be cast as the "heavy" in many roles,[13]

He played a hitman dressed as a postman in Three Days of the Condor.[14] During the filming a tell was needed so that the Redford character would know that Garrett was not a real postman and Redford thought of the idea to have Garrett wear Redford's shoes in the scene, that would raise suspicion. During the filming of the fight scene, Garrett broke Redford's nose.[5] Garrett won the New York Film Critics’ Award for that role.[citation needed]

Garrett has co-starred with television and film notables including Peter Falk, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Al Pacino, Sophia Loren, James Coburn, Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway and James Earl Jones.

Personal life[edit]

Garrett has been married three times. His first wife was Agnes Deangelis (1963-1979), second Linda DeBlasio (1982-2008) and third Deanna Marie Smith (July 23, 2017).[15][16] Hank has two sons with whom he no longer has contact with. In 2014, Garrett is active in philanthropic causes, and is on the Screen Actors Guild board. He lives in the San Fernando valley and is working on production of a one-man show.[17][18][19]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Theater Reviews: Festen, Just Imagine, Never Land, Save Gertrude". Theater Critics. L.A. Weekly. October 14, 2009. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015.
  2. ^ "the star of "Car 54 Where are you?" TALKS TO RETROCRUSH". RetroCrush.
  3. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (June 24, 2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House Publishing Group. pp. 220–. ISBN 978-0-307-48320-1.
  4. ^ "Hank Garrett Welcomes YOU!". hankgarrett.net. Archived from the original on August 8, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c Gilbert Gotfried and Frank Santopadre (August 29, 2016). "Hank Garrett". Gilbert Gottfried's Amazing Colossal Podcast (Podcast). Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Oliver, Greg. "Savage, Orndroff, Graham top 2009 PWHF induction list". SLAM! Wrestling. Archived from the original on March 17, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  7. ^ Gates, Robert K. "Hank Garrett". Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum. Archived from the original on September 10, 2010. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  8. ^ Everitt, David (2001). King of the Half Hour: Nat Hiken and the Golden Age of TV Comedy. Syracuse University Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-8156-0676-5.
  10. ^ McNeil, Alex (1996). Total Television: The Comprehensive Guide to Programming from 1948 to the Present. Penguin Books. p. 642. ISBN 978-0-14-024916-3.
  11. ^ American Film. American Film Institute. 1979. p. 76.
  12. ^ "The Celebrity Collector". Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine.
  13. ^ Rubenstein, Leonard (1979). The great spy films. Citadel Press. ISBN 978-0-8065-0663-0.
  14. ^ Barnes & Noble Books (2004). TV Guide film & video companion. Barnes & Noble Books. p. 886. ISBN 978-0-7607-6104-5.
  15. ^ "Hank Garrett". IMDb.
  16. ^ "Hank Garrett". AOF 2017 Action on Film Festival Aug 17-26. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  17. ^ Jay Robert Nash, Stanley Ralph Ross Cinebooks, 1987
  18. ^ Cinefantastique, Volumes 6-7 Frederick S Clarke F. S. Clarke, 1977
  19. ^ New York Media, LLC (July 31, 1972). New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. pp. 51–. ISSN 0028-7369.

External links[edit]