Allen Garfield (sometimes Goorwitz), 80, actor (The Stunt Man; Nashville) - COVID-19
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That Derek
2020-04-08 02:39:04 UTC


Allen Garfield, Actor in 'The Conversation,' 'The Stunt Man' and 'Nashville,' Dies at 80

6:15 PM PDT 4/7/2020
by Mike Barnes

He also played the police chief in 'Beverly Hills Cop II' and mogul Louis B. Mayer in 'Gable and Lombard.'

Allen Garfield, the New Jersey character actor who specialized in playing nervous types while appearing in such films as The Conversation, The Candidate, The Stunt Man and Nashville, has died. He was 80.

His sister, Lois Goorwitz, confirmed his death in a brief conversation with The Hollywood Reporter.

Earlier, actress Ronee Blakley posted the news of Garfield's death on Facebook, saying that he had died Tuesday and that the cause was COVID-19. Garfield and Blakley played husband and wife in Robert Altman's Nashville (1975).

Garfield suffered a stroke as he was set to appear in Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate (1999), then suffered another one in 2004 that led him to reside at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills. A spokeswoman for the MPTF facility did not know if Garfield was there at the time of his death.

Born Allen Goorwitz on Nov. 22, 1939, in Newark, he went by his real name in several films, including The Brink's Job (1978) and One From the Heart (1981), midway through his career.

Garfield boxed as an amateur, worked as a sportswriter and studied with Lee Strasberg and Elia Kazan at the Actors Studio in New York. He appeared often onstage before making his film debut in Orgy Girls '69, followed by other big-screen appearances in 1971 in Woody Allen's Bananas and The Organization, starring Sidney Poitier.

Often playing jumpy types, he worked for Francis Ford Coppola in The Conversation (1974) and The Cotton Club (1984) and for Wim Wenders in A State of Things (1982) and Until the End of the World (1991).

He also portrayed Louis B. Mayer in Gable and Lombard (1976) and police chief Harold Lutz in Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), and his résumé also included roles in Teachers (1984), Desert Bloom (1986), Dick Tracy (1990), Destiny Turns on the Radio (1995) and The Majestic (2001).

"The reason I did [the 1988 movie] Chief Zabu is that Allen Garfield is from the Actors Studio, I'm from the Actors Studio, and we worked together there on stuff," actress Marianna Hill said in a 2016 interview with Shaun Chang for the Hill Place blog. "Allen Garfield happens to be a great actor. He's a really underrated actor. Allen was the hardest-working actor, but nobody realizes that about him because he seems to be a natural.
2020-12-26 22:10:08 UTC
Oddly, I checked just now in The Illustrated Who's Who of the Cinema (1983) and he's listed under Allen Gurevich! (That name is not in the IMDb, I think.)

The entry says that he played "...sweaty, slobbish, disreputable types, occasionally with traces of fundamental decency showing under the layers of fatty tissue, but usually with few, if any redeeming features...certainly one of the most talented and distinctive character actors to emerge in the modern American cinema."

It also mentioned he was in "The Owl and the Pussycat" and "Slither."

2020-12-26 22:12:34 UTC
Plus Brian de Palma's "Greetings" (as a porn merchant), and "Putney Swope."