WEIRDLAND: Happy Anniversary, John Garfield!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Happy Anniversary, John Garfield!

Happy Anniversary, John Garfield!

According to Rosemary DeCamp, John Garfield joined pal Gene Kelly in an all-night drinking binge that ended in the destruction of a San Diego hotel room. “He (Garfield) really tied one on because he was bitter about not being a real veteran,” she recalled. “If he and Gene Kelly were in a hotel together, they tore it up.”

It may be odd to picture Garfield and Kelly as friends, but the two got along well. They played poker together -with Kelly usually winning- and worked out practical jokes to perpetrate on the public, including one where Kelly would pretend to be a purse-snatcher and Julie (John Garfield) would pursue him through crowded streets. Kelly thought the world of Garfield: “He was a lovely guy and a fine actor,” he said.

Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse in "It's Always Fair Weather" (1955)

To see just how much Kelly revered Garfield, take a look at the 1955 MGM musical "It’s Always Fair Weather".

Kelly’s performance as a small-time hustler is clearly modeled upon John Garfield. -"He Ran All the Way: The Life of John Garfield" by Robert Nott.

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