Garfield also met the vivacious young actress who would become his wife,
Roberta (known as Robbie) Seidman. The newlyweds took a flat in Greenwich
Village and over the next few years Garfield would gain bigger and bigger
parts on the stage, honing his craft.
Garfield's staunch devotion to the Theater Group received a serious blow
when the plum part of Joe Bonaparte in Clifford Odets' new play "Golden
Boy" - a part Odets wrote specifically with Garfield in mind - was
given to Luther Adler. Garfield felt that the Group had shunned its purported
policy of taking chances and nurturing new talent by choosing an established
name for the lead part. Disllusioned, Garfield decided to take a chance
on an offer that had come from Warner Bros Studio in Hollywood.
Fully expecting Garfield to stay only temporarily in California - his
heart and soul belonged to the New York stage - Robbie stayed behind while
her husband made the trip to the West Coast in a rickety old automobile.
The year was 1938. Garfield's arrival in Hollywood was without fanfare.
He took a room in a boarding house, got a tour of the Warner Studio and
met his new boss, Jack Warner - who promptly gave him a new first name