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August 23, 2021

Vintage Portrait Photos of John Garfield in the 1930s and ’40s

Born 1913 as Jacob Julius Garfinkle, American actor John Garfield grew up in poverty in New York City. He played brooding, rebellious, working-class characters.

In the early 1930s, Garfield became a member of the Group Theater. In 1937, he moved to Hollywood, eventually becoming one of Warner Bros.’ stars. He received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Four Daughters (1938) and Body and Soul (1947).

Called to testify before the U.S. Congressional House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), Garfield denied communist affiliation and refused to “name names”, effectively ending his film career. Some have alleged that the stress of this persecution led to his premature death at 39 from a heart attack.

Garfield is acknowledged as a predecessor of such Method actors as Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and James Dean. These vintage photos captured portrait of a handsome John Garfield in the 1930s and 1940s.


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