Garnett, Tay: Director of The Postman Always Rings Twice (Garfield), Seven Sinners (John Wayne

Born on June 13, 1894 in Los Angeles, Tay Garnett (ne William Taylor Garnett) attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and served as naval aviator in World War I

He entered films as a screenwriter in 1920, with credits including The Quack Doctor (1920). He wrote the feature Broken Chains (1922) for Sam Goldwyn and The Hottentot (1920) for Thomas Ince.

He was a gag writer for Mack Sennett and Hal Roach, then joined Pathé and began to direct films in 1928.

Among his films are One Way Passage (1932), China Seas (1935), Eternally Yours (1939), Seven Sinners (1940), starring Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne, Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941), The Cross of Lorraine (1943), and Bataan (1943), featuring Robert Taylor in one of his best dramatic roles.

He is best known as the director of the 1946 thriller The Postman Always Rings Twice, with John Garfield and Lana Turner in top form, one of the best film noir ever made.


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Garnet’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1949), with Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming, was also well received.

Garnett also worked in radio as a writer, director and narrator. He created a show titled “Three Sheets to the Wind” (1942), which starred John Wayne as Dan O’Brien, an American private eye posing as a drunk on a luxury liner sailing from England in 1939.

After directing one of Loretta Young’s last theatrical films, Cause for Alarm!(1951), Garnett went to the U.K and made a few films.

Upon his return to the U.S., he worked mainly in TV, in popular series such as The Loretta Young Show, Wagon Train, Laramie, The Untouchables, Naked City, Rawhide, and Bonanza.

Garnett died from leukemia on Oct 3, 1977, at the age of 83.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.