Blacklisted during the McCarthy "Red Scare" era in the early 1950s for his left-wing political beliefs, he adamantly refused to "name names" in testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in April 1951. He was found dead of a heart attack in the apartment of a former showgirl, Iris Whitney on May 21, 1952, the day after Clifford Odets, testifying before HUAC, reaffirmed that Garfield had never been a member of the Communist Party. His funeral in New York was mobbed by thousands of fans.
Buried at Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
Comforted Sidney Poitier on his first plane ride by telling him to put a handkerchief over his face and think about nothing.
Garfield's widow Roberta married labor lawyer Sidney Cohn in 1954. He died in 1991 and Roberta Garfield Cohn died of Alzheimer's Disease in January 2004.
His six-year-old daughter Katharine died of an allergic reaction in 1945. He never got over the loss.
In 1949, he was a guest on Ed Sullivan's "Toast Of The Town" and quipped that the large TV cameras of this new medium were frightening.
On May 26, 1949, he was a guest on NBC radio's "Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show".
Parents were Russian immigrants.
The role of Bill Sampson in All About Eve (1950) was originally intended for him, but Gary Merrill was cast instead.
The role of Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954) was originally written for Garfield, however he passed away before the film was made.
Was Nelson Algren's choice to play Frankie Machine in the film version of Algren's novel "The Man With the Golden Arm".
Was producer Irene Mayer Selznick's first choice to play Stanley Kowalski in the Broadway premiere of "A Streetcar Named Desire.".
When he turned down the chance to play the male lead on Broadway in "A Streetcar Named Desire," the part written originally by Tennessee Williams for an Italian-American was rewritten for a Polish-American to accommodate the blonde looks of the then unknown Marlon Brando. Brando's performance made him a star.
When his Warner Bros. contract expired in 1946, he did not re-sign with the studio, opting to start his own independent production company instead. He was one of the first Hollywood actors to do so.
Wife Roberta Seidman was his childhood sweetheart.
Won a state-wide debating contest sponsored by the New York Times as a boy.