Stories from a Podcast: Julie Garfield Remembers Her Father, John Garfield

 

John Garfield

Yesterday was the 102nd anniversary of the birth of one of my favorite actors, John Garfield, who I just don’t feel gets enough attention or recognition. At least I don’t hear his name mentioned as often as I do many other classic movie actors. I have been meaning to share more “stories from a podcast” ever since I posted one last year about James Garner, so I thought this would be a perfect time to do that since I know of one that involves John Garfield.

In an interview from a June 2014 episode of the Warner Archive Podcast, John’s daughter Julie shared some of her memories of her father with host George Feltenstein. When asked what it’s like when people find out who her father was, she expressed that she really wishes more people would remember her father, a sentiment I know many of his fans share.

John Garfield Joan Crawford Humoresque (1946)

In one story I found interesting, Julie talked about one of the things that made her father stand apart from his peers, that he looked his fellow actors and actresses directly in the eye when doing a scene. She mentioned that on the set of the movie Humoresque (1946) Joan Crawford initially felt uncomfortable with it, at one point complaining, “why does he keep looking at me in the eyes?”

She eventually got used to it, and thanks in part to Garfield’s unique method of acting, turned in one of the best performances of her career. Humoresque is probably my favorite of the John Garfield movies I have seen so far, and I would encourage you to watch it if you haven’t already. Now you have something to look for as you do. :-)

That was just one of many stories and memories she shared about her father’s life and career. Most importantly, she remembered him as a great dad and a great man who loved his country and remained faithful to his friends. You can hear the interview in its entirety on the Warner Archive Tumblr page or you can download the whole podcast and listen to that and additional episodes through iTunes, which I highly recommend.

I think John Garfield’s fans would agree with George when he said, “For a man who had such a heartbreakingly short life, he left a boundless, amazing film legacy.” I look forward to enjoying more of those films in the future, and I hope you will join me in becoming more familiar with his work.

Signature

If you are interested in learning more about John Garfield, the DVD and Blu-ray versions of his movie The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) contain the documentary “The John Garfield Story,” which was narrated by Julie Garfield and includes an introduction by film historian Richard Jewell. I’ve watched it myself and it’s definitely worth viewing if you are a fan of John Garfield.

The Lone Star State: Classic Movie Actors From Texas

As mentioned in my post from a few weeks ago about classic movie actors from Wisconsin, I decided to start a series highlighting the birth states of other well known classic movie stars, eventually covering the remaining 49 states over the course of this year. Not wanting to play favorites, I came up with a way to randomly assign a number order to the other states. So next up in the series . . . the Lone Star State, Texas.

Here are just a few stars from that state:

Joan Crawford

Born:  March 23, 1905 in San Antonio, TX

Died:  May 10, 1977 (aged 72)

Married five times including marriages to actors Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Franchot Tone

Known for the Movies: Grand Hotel, The Women, Mildred Pierce, Humoresque, Daisy Kenyon

 

 

Interesting Facts About Joan Crawford:

  • Her real name was Lucille Le Sueur. MGM did not feel that was a fitting name for a star so they held a contest in Photoplay magazine asking readers to vote on a new name for her, which is how she became known as Joan Crawford. In private however, she preferred to be called by her childhood nickname, Billie.
  • She married the Chairman of the Board of the Pepsi-Cola Co. in 1956 and continued on as an executive and spokesman for the company even after her husband died in 1959.
  • She was Fred Astaire’s first onscreen dance partner, appearing with him in the movie Dancing Lady (1933). Continue reading →