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Leif Garrett

Leif Per Nervik (born November 8, 1961) better known by his stage name of Leif Garrett is an American singer and actor. He became famous as a teen idol and received publicity as an adult for his drug abuse and legal troubles. Garrett was born in Hollywood, California to cameraman, stuntman, and actor Rik Nervik (née Rick Nervick) and Carolyn Stellar (née Carolyn Underwood). His younger sister is actress Dawn Lyn. The family is of Norwegian descent. He attended Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary in Burbank, CA. His mother had run-ins with Leif's first grade teacher over his hair length. Garrett began his acting career as a five-year-old. His notable roles as a child actor include his breakthrough as Jimmy Henderson in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, his role as the protagonist's son Mike Pusser in the Walking Tall series, and his recurring role as Zack Russell on the ABC-TV series Family.

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, with Runaround Sue reaching the highest at #13. In mid-1978, he signed with Scotti Brothers Records and recorded his second album Feel the Need. The album's first single, I Was Made For Dancin' , reached #10 on the US Hot 100 and #4 on the British Chart but subsequent singles failed to crack the top 20 in either country. Neverthless, 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 80s Garrett returned to acting, appearing 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. After a brief break from 1990 to 1995, Garrett returned to acting and singing, appearing in 1995's low-budget horror film Dominion, touring with The Melvins, and recording vocals for Smells Like Teen Spirit on their album The Crybaby. In 1998 he released The Leif Garrett Collection, a greatest hits collection, and in 1999 formed the band Godspeed with Christopher Wade Damerst and Michael Scott (The Distortions, Deadtime Stories). They recorded a 3 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 shows. In 2003, Garrett appeared as himself in the David Spade film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. He also sang and co-wrote 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.

In September 2006 Garrett appeard on the Celebrity edition of Fear Factor. Garrett made the finals and went on to win the grand prize of US$50,000.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2007.

Leif Garrett Facts

Birth NameLeif Per Garrett
OccupationActor, Musician
BirthdayNovember 8, 1961 (61)
BirthplaceHollywood, California, USA

Selected Filmography

The Outsiders
Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star
Walking Tall Trilogy Boxed Set
The Spirit of '76
Peter Lundy and the Medicine Hat Stallion
Macon County Line
Walking Tall
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