Tinseltown Talks
The Best of Times|February 2021
Hank Garrett: ‘Car 54’ and Beyond
Nick Thomas

Raised in a rough Harlem neigh-borhood in the 40s and 50s, childhood proved challenging for Hank Garrett.

“We lived in the slums and I'd walk into the kitchen in the mornings to find the floor covered with roaches,” said Garrett from his home in California. “And I still remember waking up one day with a weight on my chest – it was a rat.”

As outlined in his 2020 autobiography, “From Harlem Hoodlum to Hollywood Heavyweight,” other hardships dogged young Hank throughout his troubled teen years.

“I saw fights, stabbings, and shootings – it was a daily situation,” recalled Garrett. But he endured, including a later near-fatal car accident, eventually turning his life around to focus on physical fitness and becoming a professional wrestler before turning to acting.

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