My father John Garfield: a portrait by Julie Garfield

This wrenching portrait of actor John Garfield recently won a ‘red dot’ award at The Art Students League. The facial expression is imagined — as the artist Julie Garfield has only distant and vague memories of her father. He perished when she was just six years old. John Garfield, who was hounded by HUAC and a prime victim of the Hollywood Black List, died at 39.

Garfield was a sensational film and theatrical actor, tapping a huge range of capability. The camera loved his liquid eyes. He was a great screen lover; he had a frightening way with anger; and he evinced tenderness and compassion. He echoed the Warner Bros house-style of rat-a-tat-tat text delivery, but his facility had particular punch having been steeped in works of Clifford Odets at the Group Theater. We so enjoyed his masterly performance co-starring with Patricia Neal in The Breaking Point as part of the launch of a new biography of Michael Curtiz, the film’s director.

We also supported Julie Garfield’s public cry to the Trump administration to halt its reckless use of the expression, “witch hunt.”

photos courtesy julie garfield, facebook

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