Nov. 8th, 1961
Hollywood, California, USA
Leif Garrett's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2005 - Popstar
1989 - The Banker
1988 - Cheerleader Camp
1983 - The Outsiders
1978 - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
1974 - Macon County Line
1973 - Walking Tall
Guest TV Roles
Born on November 8, 1961 in Hollywood, California, Leif grew up in a world of showbiz and got his first taste of acting in the blockbuster film, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) playing the son of Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon, though he was uncredited. Then he was a frequent guest in TV shows such as "Nanny and the Professor" (1970), "Family Affair" (1966), "Cannon" (1971), "Gunsmoke" (1955) and "The Odd Couple" (1970) as well as receiving brief exposure in Walking Tall (1973) and Peopletoys (1974), both films also starring his sister, Dawn Lyn (I). He then played Endy Karras in the TV series "Three for the Road" (1975), also starring Alex Rocco and Vincent Van Patten, and by then he started getting exposure on teen magazines and fan mail, despite the show's short run. He still pursued his acting career by starring in some westerns like Diamante Lobo (1976), Kid Vengeance (1977) and Peter Lundy and the Medicine Hat Stallion (1977) (TV).
However, by then he wanted to be a singer and Michael Lloyd (I), who was producing records for Shaun Cassidy at the time, signed him up as well. He released two oldie cover singles "Surfin USA" and "Runaround Sue" as well as his self titled debut album, but wasn't really happy with this style of music. He recorded another album called "Feel the Need" which had a top 10 disco flavoured hit his producer wrote called, "I Was Made for Dancin'". He released 3 more albums and walked away from music.
He continued in films and was well remembered for his small supporting role in the Blockbuster film The Outsiders (1983), which starred Matt Dillon (I), Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe (I), Emilio Estevez and Tom Cruise, but his films after that were not very successful. However, he did return to music by playing in a band called "Godspeed", as this time he's playing his own music.
- In the mid-1990s, fellow singer-actress 'Bridgette Wilson' (qv) remade Garrett's hit-single "I Was Made For Dancing" for her album "Gimme a Kiss"; subsequently, both the song and the record became huge hits in Japan.
- According to Lynda Carter in a DVD commentary, who worked with Leif Garrett in an episode of "Wonder Woman," the correct pronunciation of Leif's first name sounds like "life" and not "leaf." She goes on to state that most people (media included) mispronounce Leif's first name.
- Mother was an actress using the name 'Carolyn Stellar' (qv).
- Sister is actress 'Dawn Lyn (I)' (qv)
- Ranked #13 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 25 Greatest Teen Idols" (23 January 2005 issue).
- Has starred in numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals; this includes playing the title role in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".
- In an interview for the 2008 A&E "Biography" show about him, he said he did not originally aspire to a singing career. He had never been a singer and considered himself an actor, but when he achieved teen idol status, his handlers saw a chance to make big money and told him that he was now a singer. He was told what to sing without regard for his musical preferences, so he wasn't happy with his music career. Dragged around the world on concert tours at 15 by his managers without his family and spending most of his time in hotel rooms, he felt isolated and extremely lonely. To relieve his loneliness, he began tagging along to the clubs at night with his managers, and thus began his descent into alcohol and drug abuse. His return to music later in life reflected his real musical preferences and truly fueled his creative passions.
- Was sued by former friend for an 1979 accident in which Leif was driving and car left the road and plunged 80 ft. down a hillside. Friend was paralyzed, judgment of $7.1 million. (The two were reunited 20 years later, as part of a TV program about Garrett's life and career, and Garrett learned that his friend, whom he hadn't seen since that day, had long forgiven him - and that Garrett's actions following the accident had actually saved his life.)