Allen Garfield

Allen Garfield

Highest Rated: 97% The Conversation (1974)

Lowest Rated: 16% Destiny Turns On the Radio (1995)

Birthday: Nov 22, 1939

Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, USA

Always dependable character actor Allen Garfield was already nearly 30 years old when he made his film debut with a memorable bit as a "smut peddler" in Brian De Palma's "Greetings" (1968). This comedy about draft dodging and other happenings in Greenwich Village was fairly typical of the kind youth-oriented films from the counterculture with which Garfield quickly became associated in the late 1960s and early 70s. No one's idea of a hippie, Garfield could typically be found during this period playing sleazy small businessmen, gabby hustlers and lumpen proletarians. Then in a satirical mode, young writer-director De Palma looked upon that unglamorous but richly expressive mug and saw a philosophical porno producer teaching the tricks of the trade to aspiring filmmaker Robert De Niro in "Hi, Mom!" (1969) and a brassy brassiere salesman in "Get to Know Your Rabbit" (1972). Michael Ritchie cast him as the extroverted producer who crafts slick political spots for Robert Redford's campaign in "The Candidate" (1972) while Francis Ford Coppola capitalized on Garfield's smarmy qualities for "The Conversation" (1974), wherein he played an alternately chummy and envious competitor of surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman). Garfield worked with Coppola again on "One From the Heart" (1982) and "The Cotton Club" (1984). He held his own amid the large colorful ensemble of Robert Altman's "Nashville" (1975), as the protective husband of fragile C&W star Ronee Blakely. Often effectively cast as showbiz execs--some crass, some sympathetic--Garfield personified the ambivalence that some filmmakers feel toward their industry. Reviewing his portrayal of MGM lion Louis B. Mayer in "Gable and Lombard" (1976), Variety wrote that Garfield was "one of the most subtle and versatile character actors in films today, giving his. . . interpretation an even-handed blend of autocracy and sincerely-felt paternalism." On the other end of the Hollywood food chain, he was convincing as the screenwriter resigned to being dominated by director Peter O'Toole in Richard Rush's "The Stunt Man" (1980) and a desperate indie film producer in Wim Wenders' "The State of Things" (1982). Garfield's sole outing in a feature starring role came playing a cheap detective in John G Avildsen's "Cry Uncle/Super Dick" (1970), an X-rated, soft-core comedy thriller. A native of Newark, NJ, Garfield had paid his dues as a working journalist long before stepping in the limelight. He started out as a copy boy for the Newark Star Ledger and worked his way up to sports reporter before taking up the reins of managing editor for the Linden Leader in Linden, NJ. Garfield even did a stint Down Under as a staff writer for Australia's Sunday Morning Herald. He also boxed in his youth, retiring as an undefeated Golden Gloves champ. At some point, Garfield segued to acting, studying drama at the Anthony Mannino Studio and the Actors Studio. At the latter, he learned from such masters as Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman and Elia Kazan. In turn, Garfield was the founding director of the Actors Shelter where he teaches acting and directing. He also remained active on the stage as an actor and director. Garfield's 1968 film debut preceded his bow on the Broadway stage ("Inquest," a 1970 drama about the Rosenbergs) and his inaugural TV guest shot (a 1971 appearance on crime series "Mod Squad"). The small screen has provided him with steady employment opportunities, playing cops and/or crooks in TV-movies and miniseries, starring in a busted sitcom pilot ("Sonny Boy" CBS, 1974, directed by Rob Reiner), numerous guest shots and several recurring or two-part roles including a detective on "Matlock" and psychiatrist Dr. Raymond Kadalski on "Chicago Hope." His only stint as a series regular was on the limited sitcom series "The Boys" (Showtime, 1989) as "Sir" Arnie, the cookie king. He was affecting as UN chief counsel Abe Feller who falls prey to the machinations of anti-Communist lawyer Roy Cohn (James Woods) in "Citizen Cohn" (HBO, 1992). Garfield's later feature credits included supporting roles in three critical and commercial flops of 1995: "Stuart Saves His Family," "Destiny Turns on the Radio" (as a music industry biggie) and "Diabolique" (as a wimpy teacher). His final screen Aole came in the 2002 drama "White Boy," but in a curious twist, an unreleased film in which he starred, "Chief Zabu" finally saw daylight in 2016, thirty years after it was filmed: a satirical film parodying the real estate career of Donald Trump, it had been resurrected during the 2016 presidential campaign. Allen Garfield died on April 7, 2020 in Woodland Hills, CA at the age of 80.

Highest rated movies

The Conversation
The Stunt Man
Until the End of the World
The Candidate
The Owl and the Pussycat
The Cotton Club
The Brink's Job




No Score Yet 98% Chief Zabu Unknown (Character) - 2016
No Score Yet 17% White Boy Mr. Rosen (Character) - 2002
42% 60% The Majestic Leo Kubelsky (Character) $27.8M 2001
No Score Yet No Score Yet Get a Job Mr. Berger/Psychiatrist (Character) - 1998
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Elf Who Didn't Believe Twisp (Character) - 1997
No Score Yet 10% Obsession Simon Frischmuth (Character) - 1997
21% 34% Diabolique Leo Katzman (Character) $16.5M 1996
No Score Yet 72% Crime of the Century Lt. James Finn (Character) - 1996
16% 21% Destiny Turns On the Radio Vinnie Vidivici (Character) $1.1M 1995
60% 46% Wild Side Dan Rackman (Character) - 1995
No Score Yet 73% The Patriots Eagleman (Character) - 1994
No Score Yet 19% Cyborg 2 Martin Dunn (Character) - 1993
No Score Yet No Score Yet Family Prayers Cantor (Character) - 1993
No Score Yet 66% Citizen Cohn Abe Feller (Character) - 1992
No Score Yet No Score Yet Jack and His Friends Jack (Character) - 1992
88% 89% Until the End of the World Bernie, User Car Dealer (Character) $662.2K 1991
No Score Yet 31% Club Fed Harrison Farnsworth IV (Character) - 1990
27% 76% Let It Ride Greenberg (Character) $5.0M 1989
No Score Yet 20% Night Visitor Zachary Willard (Character) $108.4K 1989
47% 57% Beverly Hills Cop II Police Chief Harold Lutz (Character) $151.7M 1987
69% 69% Desert Bloom Mr. Mosol (Character) $92.8K 1986
57% 47% Irreconcilable Differences Phil Hanner (Character) - 1984
59% 45% Teachers Carl Rosenberg (Character) - 1984
77% 55% The Cotton Club Abbadabba Berman (Character) - 1984
20% 72% The Black Stallion Returns Kurr (Character) - 1983
No Score Yet 65% Get Crazy Max Wolfe (Character) - 1983
50% 61% One From the Heart Restaurant Owner (Character) - 1982
40% 83% The State of Things Gordon (Character) - 1982
No Score Yet No Score Yet Der Stand Der Dinge Gordon (Character) - 1982
No Score Yet No Score Yet Leave 'Em Laughing Dr. Abrahms (Character) - 1981
73% 53% Continental Divide Howard McDermott (Character) - 1981
No Score Yet 45% One-Trick Pony Cal van Damp (Character) - 1980
90% 74% The Stunt Man Sam (Character) - 1980
75% 56% The Brink's Job Vinnie Costa (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Skateboard Manny Bloom (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Fyre Preacher (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Ring of Passion Damon Runyon (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sketches of a Strangler Jack Garvey (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Countdown to the Big One Damon Runyon (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Nowhere to Run Herbie Stoltz (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Million Dollar Rip-Off Lieutenant Ralph Fogherty (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet 50% Gable and Lombard Louis B. Mayer (Character) - 1976
50% 54% Mother, Jugs & Speed Harry Fishbine (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Commitment Unknown (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Serpico: The Deadly Game The Professor (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Money to Burn Lieutenant Ralph Fogherty (Character) - 1976
No Score Yet No Score Yet Paco Padre (Character) - 1975
92% 84% Nashville Barnett (Character) - 1975
20% 57% Busting Carl Rizzo (Character) - 1974
97% 89% The Conversation William P. "Bernie" Moran (Character) $109.6K 1974
61% 74% The Front Page Kruger (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Virginia Hill Story Leo Ritchie (Character) - 1974
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Marcus-Nelson Murders Mario Portello (Character) - 1973
75% 55% Slither Vincent J. Palmer (Character) - 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet Top of the Heap Taxi Driver (Character) - 1972
88% 74% The Candidate Klein (Character) - 1972
No Score Yet No Score Yet Footsteps Brewster (Character) - 1972
29% 28% The Organization Benjy (Character) - 1971
No Score Yet 67% Cry Uncle Jake Masters (Character) - 1971
No Score Yet No Score Yet You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You'll Lose That Beat Herby Moss (Character) - 1971
No Score Yet No Score Yet Roommates Martin Axborough (Character) - 1971
73% 56% Hi, Mom Joe Banner (Character) - 1970
82% 64% The Owl and the Pussycat Dress Shop Proprietor (Character) - 1970
69% 76% Putney Swope Elias, Jr. (Character) - 1969


No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lot Unknown (Character) 1999 2001
75% 95% The West Wing Roger Becker (Guest Star) 2000
90% 100% Sports Night Unknown (Guest Star) 2000
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dharma & Greg Unknown (Guest Star) 1998
88% No Score Yet Michael Hayes Unknown (Guest Star) 1997
No Score Yet 0% Chicago Hope Unknown (Guest Star) 1995
No Score Yet 96% Law & Order Unknown (Guest Star) 1992
50% No Score Yet Palace Guard Sy Hertzog (Guest Star) 1991
No Score Yet No Score Yet Matlock Unknown (Guest Star) 1990
No Score Yet No Score Yet Sins - Del 1 Unknown (Character) 1986
No Score Yet 100% Taxi Mr. Ratledge (Guest Star) 1982
No Score Yet No Score Yet Trapper John, M.D. Unknown (Guest Star) 1980
No Score Yet 100% Gunsmoke Henry Decory (Guest Star) 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet Rhoda Unknown (Guest Star) 1975
No Score Yet No Score Yet Adam's Rib Unknown (Guest Star) 1973
No Score Yet 100% The Bob Newhart Show The Manager (Guest Star) 1973
No Score Yet No Score Yet McCloud Unknown (Guest Star) 1972
No Score Yet 100% Bonanza Unknown (Guest Star) 1971
No Score Yet No Score Yet Mod Squad Charles Weaver (Guest Star) 1971