Leif Garrett (born Leif Per Nervik November 8, 1961) is
an American singer and actor. 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 to Carolyn Steller, and started his
entertainment career at age five. He and his sister Dawn Lyn
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
Leif'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 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 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. His cover version of
"Runaround Sue" reached the highest at #13. 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. 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 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
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 he released a greatest-hits compilation, The Leif Garrett Collection, and in 1999 formed the band
Godspeed with Christopher Wade Damerst and Michael Scott (The Distortions, Deadtime Stories). They recorded a three-
song EP on Garrett's own label - Tongue and Groove Records - and debuted on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, but broke up
after only a few performances. In 2003 Garrett appeared as himself in the David Spade film Dickie Roberts: Former Child
Star. He also co-wrote and sang "Former Child Star" for the film's soundtrack and was one of the singers of "Child Stars
on Your Television", which played over the ending credits.
Garrett's stage work includes playing the title role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and, in late 2000,
appearing in the National Theatre of the Deaf's production of A Child's Christmas In Wales. He also appeared in summer
stock at The Barn Theatre's production of Old Timer in 2001.
In September 2006, Garrett appeared on the celebrity edition of Fear Factor. He won the grand prize of US $50,000.
On New Year's Eve 2006, Garrett first appeared in Las Vegas with retro act Original Idols LIVE!, hosted by Barry Williams.
The show also featured the Bay City Rollers, Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods and The Cowsills, with selected
appearances by Merrill Osmond, Tony DeFranco and Danny Bonaduce.
In August 2007, CMT cast Garrett in the short-lived Ty Murray’s Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge, among nine celebrities
appearing on the show. However, he quit after one show, citing soreness and lack of desire to continue.
In November 2007, Garrett released his new album, Three Sides of.... He voiced himself in the animated television series
Family Guy episode "The Thin White Line".
In 2008 the producers of TruTV's The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest... added Garrett to their cast, which
features comedic commentary from celebrities like Garrett who have had brushes with the law. Garrett frequently spoofs
his past troubles and public persona, and participates in a wide variety of sketches and skits drummed up for him by the
show's producers. Garrett often takes the majority of the show's good-natured abuse from the other celebrities for his past
drug use and perceived lack of career success, and is often accused of being the person in the videos. In a 2010 episode,
Garrett reenacted his most recent arrest with two actors portraying police officers.
Garrett toured South Korea in May 2010, with shows in Seoul and Busan. This marked the 30th anniversary when Garrett
performed in Korea in June 1980. Garrett was a cast member in the fourth season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,
which documented Garrett's struggle with addiction to heroin. The season premiered December 1, 2010. His mother,
Carolyn Steller, who was battling Level 4 lung cancer, appeared in Episode 7, which was filmed during Family Day, when
the recovering addicts were visited by their loved ones to discuss how their addiction affected their family relationship.
Beginning in 1979 Garrett dated English actress Nicolette Sheridan; the two split six years later. Two decades later
Garrett credited Sheridan for helping him at the start of his career, and said of her "She's a special person in my life."
In 1979, three days before his 18th birthday, Garrett crashed his car while drunk and under the influence of Quaaludes
and alcohol. The accident left his passenger and best friend Roland Winkler a paraplegic. Although Garrett publicly
promised to look after Winkler, the Winkler family filed a $25 million negligence lawsuit against him. Garrett insisted that
he did not have the money, and the suit was eventually settled out of court for $7.1 million, leaving the friends estranged
until Winkler was approached by VH1 to film a 1999 episode of the television series Behind The Music. The episode
featured Garrett's reunion with an apology to Winkler.
On February 1, 2010, Garrett was arrested again for possession of narcotics. After denying having any drugs in his
possession, he finally admitted to police that he had black tar heroin in his shoe. He posted $10,000 bail and was charged
with a felony count of heroin possession. On October 18, 2010, Leif Garrett pleaded no contest to heroin possession in
Los Angeles and entered a court-ordered rehab program. ~ by Wikpedia