Allen Garfield

Actor, Acting coach, Directing coach
Usually plump and always decidedly "ethnic," this dependable character player of stage, screen and TV was already nearly 30 years old when he made his film debut with a memorable bit as a "smut peddler" in Brian De ... Read more »
Born: 11/22/1939 in Newark, New Jersey, USA


Actor (86)

The Lot 1999 - 2001 (TV Show)


The Majestic 2001 (Movie)

Leo Kubelsky (Actor)

Sports Night 2000 (Tv Show)


The Ninth Gate 2000 (Movie)

Witkin (Actor)

The West Wing 2000 (Tv Show)


Men Named Milo, Women Named Greta 1999 (Movie)


Chicago Hope 1988 - 1989, 1992 - 1995, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)


Dharma & Greg 1988 - 1989, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)


Jack's Place 1988 - 1989, 1992 - 1995, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)


Michael Hayes 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)


Thunder Alley 1988 - 1989, 1994 - 1995, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)


Get a Job 1997 (Movie)


Obsession 1997 (Movie)

Simon Frischmuth (Actor)

Diabolique 1996 (Movie)

Leo Kaztman (Actor)

Wild Side 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)


Destiny Turns on the Radio 1995 (Movie)

Vinnie Verdici (Actor)

Stuart Saves His Family 1995 (Movie)

Maitre d' (Actor)

Patriots 1994 (Movie)

Eagleman (Actor)

Family Prayers 1993 (Movie)

Cantor (Actor)

Jack and His Friends 1993 (Movie)

Jack (Actor)

Cyborg II: Glass Shadows 1992 (Movie)

Martin Dunn (Actor)

Law & Order 1992 (Tv Show)


Miracle Beach 1992 (Movie)


Until the End of the World 1991 (Movie)

Bernie (Actor)

Club Fed 1990 (Movie)

Harrison Farnsworth IV (Actor)

Dick Tracy 1990 (Movie)

Reporter (Actor)

Let It Ride 1989 (Movie)

Bernie Greenberg (Actor)

Night Visitor 1989 (Movie)

Zachary Willard (Actor)

The Boys 1988 - 1989 (Tv Show)


Chief Zabu 1988 (Movie)

Ben Sydney (Actor)

Beverly Hills Cop II 1987 (Movie)

Harold Lutz (Actor)

Growing Pains: Number One 1987 (Movie)

The Principal (Actor)

Desert Bloom 1986 (Movie)

Mr Mosol (Actor)

Sins 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)


Never Again 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)


Irreconcilable Differences 1984 (Movie)

Phil Hanner (Actor)

Teachers 1984 (Movie)

Rosenberg (Actor)

The Cotton Club 1984 (Movie)

Abbadabba Berman (Actor)

Get Crazy 1983 (Movie)

Max Wolfe (Actor)

Taxi 1978 - 1983 (TV Show)


The Black Stallion Returns 1983 (Movie)

Kurr (Actor)

Deadhead Miles 1982 (Movie)

Juicy Brucey (Actor)

Continental Divide 1981 (Movie)

Howard McDermotte (Actor)

Der Stand der Dinge 1981 (Movie)

Gordon (Actor)

One From the Heart 1981 (Movie)

Restaurant Owner (Actor)

One-Trick Pony 1979 (Movie)

Cal Van Damp (Actor)

The Stunt Man 1979 (Movie)

Sam (Actor)

Nowhere to Run 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)


The Brink's Job 1978 (Movie)

Vinnie Costa (Actor)

Skateboard 1977 (Movie)

Manny Bloom (Actor)

Gable and Lombard 1976 (Movie)

Louis B Mayer (Actor)

Mother Jugs and Speed 1976 (Movie)

Harry Fishbine (Actor)

The Commitment 1976 (Movie)


Nashville 1975 (Movie)

Barnett (Actor)

Busting 1974 (Movie)

Rizzo (Actor)

Paco 1974 (Movie)


Sonny Boy 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)


The Front Page 1974 (Movie)

Kruger (Actor)

Slither 1973 (Movie)

Vincent J. Palmer (Actor)

The Conversation 1973 (Movie)

Bernie Moran (Actor)

Get to Know Your Rabbit 1972 (Movie)

Vic (Actor)

The Candidate 1972 (Movie)

Klein (Actor)

Bananas 1971 (Movie)

Man on Cross (Actor)

Believe in Me 1971 (Movie)

Stutter (Actor)

Taking Off 1971 (Movie)


Top Of The Heap 1971 (Movie)

Taxi Driver (Actor)

Hi, Mom! 1970 (Movie)

Joe Banner (Actor)

Roommates 1970 (Movie)

Martin Axborough (Actor)

The Organization 1970 (Movie)

Benjy (Actor)

The Owl and the Pussycat 1970 (Movie)

Dress Shop Proprietor (Actor)

Cry Uncle 1969 (Movie)

Detective Master (Actor)

Putney Swope 1969 (Movie)

Elias Jr (Actor)

Greetings 1968 (Movie)

Smut Peddler (Actor)

Absence of the Good (TV Show)


Citizen Cohn (TV Show)


Crime of the Century (TV Show)


Footsteps (TV Show)


Killer in the Mirror (TV Show)


Leave 'Em Laughing (TV Show)


Ring of Passion (TV Show)


Serpico: The Deadly Game (TV Show)


The Marcus-Nelson Murders (TV Show)


The Million Dollar Rip-Off (TV Show)


The Virginia Hill Story (TV Show)


You Ruined My Life (TV Show)

Music (1)

Der Stand der Dinge 1981 (Movie)



Usually plump and always decidedly "ethnic," this dependable character player of stage, screen and TV 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 once daring 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.


Alice Goorwitz


Philip Goorwitz



Upsala College

East Orange, New Jersey

Actors Studio

New York, New York
studied under Lee Strasberg, Harold Clurman and Elia Kazan; lifetime member

Anthony Mannino Studio

New York, New York 1965



Portrayed UN chief counsel Abe Feller, a political victim of the red-baiting Roy Cohn (James Woods), in the well-received HBO biopic "Citizen Cohn"


Made TV series debut as a regular on "The Boys", a limited Showtime sitcom series, as "Sir" Arnie, the baker and founder of Arnie's Cookies


TV miniseries debut, "Sins", a CBS drama set in the fashion industry


Played the protective husband of a fragile C&W recording star (Ronee Blakely) in Robert Altman's "Nashville"


Played major supporting role in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation" as a rival of Gene Hackman's surveillance expert; first collaboration with producer-writer-director Coppola


Starred as 35-year-old mama's boy Sonny Waller on "Sonny Boy", a busted CBS sitcom pilot


TV-movie acting debut, "Footsteps", a CBS crime drama


TV acting debut, a guest shot on "Mod Squad"


Broadway acting debut, "Inquest", a play by Donald Freed about the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg


Played Joe Banner, a philosophical porno producer who guides aspiring dirty filmmaker Robert De Niro, in De Palma's "Hi, Mom!", a sequel (of sorts) to "Greetings"


First feature starring role, "Cry Uncle/Super Dick", an X-rated comedy feature


Film acting debut, played Smut Peddler in Brian De Palma's "Greetings", a draft evasion comedy; first collaboration with the writer-director

Played the recurring role of psychiatrist Dr. Ray Kadalski on the CBS medical drama "Chicago Hope"

Became a sports reporter for the NEWARK STAR LEDGER

Served as managing editor of the LINDEN LEADER in Linden, New Jersey

Staged the NYC and Los Angeles productions of his own play "Four in the Family: Five If You Include the Dog"

Competed as an undefeated Golden Gloves boxer

Received a Filmmakers Grant from the American Film Institute for his original dramatic screenplay "Allegiance", a political thriller; planned to direct and act in the project

Worked as a staff writer for Australia's SUNDAY MORNING HERALD

Became a copy boy for the NEWARK STAR LEDGER

Bonus Trivia


Garfield is the founding director of the Actors Shelter where he teaches acting and directing.


Garfield began his movie career taking credit under the pseudonym Allen Garfield, but in the mid-70s he swtiched to his birth name, Allen Goorwitz, for several years (roughly 77-82); he turned again to Garfield circa 1983, and is best known under that name.