Hollywood, California, USA
Claim to Fame
Contemporary Pop/Rock, Teen Idols
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Profile Bio Text
Leif Garrett (born Leif Per Nervik; November 8, 1961) is an American singer, actor and television personality. He became famous in the late 1970s as a teen idol, but received much publicity in later life for his drug abuse and legal troubles.
Garrett was born in Hollywood, California to Carolyn Stellar and Rik Nervik, and started his entertainment career at age five. Garrett's father was absent for most of his life, but Garrett has since reconciled with him, stating "He feels so badly about missing the years when you know you’re so proud to have son, like from age 12 to manhood, when you help influence and guide your son’s life. Well, he missed out on all that stuff. He is regretting missing that and he now treats me like that."
Garrett and his sister, Dawn Lyn of My Three Sons, worked a variety of small acting jobs. They co-starred in the horror movie Devil Times Five as juvenile mental patients who almost innocently go on a murder spree at an isolated ski resort. Dawn and Leif also guest-starred in an episode of Gunsmoke as well as Wonder Woman.
In the first few years of his career Garrett performed under the name of "Leif Per"; however, casting agents found the name difficult to pronounce (Per is pronounced the same as "pair" or "pear"). In 1971, Garrett received a check in the mail incorrectly addressed to a "Leif Garrett". After Garrett and his mother undertook research on the name, they found that the name "Garrett" held connotations of strength, so the name stuck.
Garrett’s more notable performances include the breakthrough role of Jimmy Henderson in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969); the protagonist’s son Mike Pusser from the Walking Tall movies (1973, 1975, 1977) and the recurring role of Zack Russell on the ABC TV series Family. Leif also played the role of Leonard Unger, the son of Felix Unger (Tony Randall), on the ABC series The Odd Couple, a part that previously was played by Willie Aames.
In the fall of 1975, Garrett, at fourteen, appeared in the role of Endy Karras in a 12-week CBS drama series Three for the Road, with Alex Rocco as his father, Peter Karras, and Vincent Van Patten as his older brother, John Karras. The story line is that of a father and two sons, grief-stricken over the death of their wife and mother sell their house, buy a recreational vehicle, and roam throughout the United States. Garrett’s appearance in the program triggered a response from teenage girls, and led to his first appearances in teenage magazines, such as Tiger Beat. Garrett also played alongside Lee Van Cleef in two Spaghetti Westerns shot in Israel God's Gun and Kid Vengeance.
In autumn of 1976, Garrett signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records and recorded his first album, Leif Garrett. The album was released in 1977, and his first four singles charted modestly on the US Hot 100. All of these hits were covers of late 1950s and early 1960s hits such as "Runaround Sue." In mid-1978 he signed with Scotti Brothers Records and recorded his second album, Feel the Need. Its first single, "I Was Made For Dancin'", reached #10 on the US Hot 100 and #4 on the British chart in early-1979. It became his greatest hit in both the US and the UK. However, subsequent singles failed to crack the Top 20 in either country. Nevertheless, Garrett continued to record, releasing the albums Same Goes For You (1979), Can't Explain (1980) and My Movie of You (1981) in quick succession. In 1986 Garrett joined the Church of Scientology and provided lead vocals to the song "The Way to Happiness", as well as backing vocals to the title track of the L. Ron Hubbard album The Road to Freedom. However, Garrett left the church in 1992 after becoming a qualified Scientologist.
Return to acting
In the 1980s Garrett returned to acting, appearing in a small role as Bob Sheldon in the 1983 Francis Ford Coppola film The Outsiders. In 1985 he starred in Shaker Run as a mechanic and in Thunder Alley as the lead singer of a pop band that is torn apart by drugs. Other notable Leif Garrett movies from the decade include Delta Fever and the horror film Cheerleader Camp.
1990–2005: Return to singing and acting and new career with theatre
After a break from 1990 to 1995, Garrett returned to acting and singing, appearing in the 1995 low-budget horror film Dominion, touring with The Melvins and recording vocals for their cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on The Crybaby (2000). In 1998 a greatest hits compilation, The Leif Garrett Collection, was released. Garrett, however, has stated: "My former record label was bought out. The label was started by me ... meaning my music started it, funded it. And then it was bought out by some company that released the Greatest Hits Collection. Not only have I not seen any royalties from that, but they w
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Leif Per Nervik
Has Detailed Data (Music)
Leif Garrett (born Leif Per Nervik; November 8, 1961) is an American singer, actor and television personality. He became famous in the late 1970s as a child pop star and teen idol, but received much publicity later in his adult life for his drug abuse and legal troubles.
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Music Profile Complete
Dawn Lyn Nervik
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
Music Genre (Text)
Pop rock, disco, power pop (earlier), Alternative rock, hard rock (later)
20th Century, Atlantic, Scotti Brothers, Tongue and Groove, Cleopatra, Golden Lane
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