It was 60 years ago today---May 21, 1952---that the incredibly talented John Garfield had a fatal heart attack and departed this world. Mr. Garfield's final couple of years were very sad---and quite tragic---as he found himself caught up in the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings of the early 1950s. Shortly after the completion of He Ran All the Way (a wonderful film, which I've reviewed HERE), Mr. Garfield was blacklisted in Hollywood due to his refusal to provide names to the committee. The stress of the blacklist, coupled with the bad heart he'd had all his life, caused him to succumb to a heart attack at the young age of 39. He was a very great talent...gone far too soon!!
Mr. Garfield's final resting place is in the Westchester Hills Cemetery in Westchester County, New York. HERE is the link to his Find A Grave website page, where you can see a photo of his headstone and read a short bio about him. He was a completely sensational actor---the first of the method actors---and I appreciate him more with every viewing of one of his films. He is easily one of my six favorite actors of all time and, as such, has "beloved" status.
Hard as it may be to believe, a boxed set of Mr. Garfield's films has never been released. A fellow Garfield appreciator/fan recently informed me of a petition drive dedicated to changing that. Since this amazing actor deserves to be known to and appreciated by a large audience, and since a boxed set of his films would definitely help in that regard, the petition is encouraging Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting to produce such a set. If you agree that a boxed set of Garfield films is long overdue and that the petition is a worthwhile endeavor, I encourage you to visit the petition website (HERE).
The goal is 2,500 signatures, and they are currently at 91 (I was signature #56 about a month ago); obviously, that means there is still a very long way to go. Given that this year marks the 60th anniversary of Mr. Garfield's tragic, untimely death and next year marks his 100th birthday, I think NOW is the time for the release of a boxed set of his films.
So, John "Julie" Garfield, on the 60th anniversary of your death, I am remembering you and what an incredible talent you were and how you were taken from us far too soon. In the words of George Eliot, "Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them." We have definitely not forgotten you, Mr. Garfield...nor will we ever.