Allen Garfield was a resident of the Motion Picture Television Fund Home, a nursing home for Hollywood industry insiders

By Alexia Fernandez
April 08, 2020 04:59 PM
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Credit: SCOTT HARMS/AP/Shutterstock

Beverly Hills Cop II actor Allen Garfield has died of coronavirus. He was 80.

The character actor’s sister, Lois Goorwitz, confirmed Garfield had died on Tuesday in Los Angeles, from complications of COVID-19, according to the Associated Press.

The news wire reported Garfield had been a resident of the Motion Picture Television Fund Home, a Hollywood retirement facility for those who worked in the industry. Several staffers and some residents have tested positive for the virus, according to the AP.

A spokesperson for the MPTF did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Garfield was once a boxer and sports writer before transitioning to acting when he began studying under legendary acting teacher Lee Strasberg at the Actor’s Studio.

Allen Garfield (far left) in Beverly Hills Cop II
| Credit: Paramount Pictures

He had roles in several successful films in the 1970s such as Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Conversation, as well as The Candidate with Robert Redford, Nashville, Billy Wilder‘s The Front Page and Woody Allen‘s Bananas.

In 1987, he played the police chief opposite Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop II. Garfield had previously suffered several strokes, the most recent of which occurred in 2004 and another in 1999 before filming Roman Polanski’s The Ninth Gate.

Bob Beitcher, president and CEO of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, told Deadline two residents of the MPTF had died. While he did not state their names, he did say one victim had been in his 80s and the other was in his mid-60s.

“We’re all saddened,” Beitcher told the outlet. “They were both fighters but they lost this last round. They were both in our long-term care unit for many years, and they’re grieved not only by their families but by their caregivers who knew them so well and took care of them all this time.”

Allen Garfield

He continued, “We think of them as members of our families. I’ve known them both for quite a while. But as I’ve said before, in a bad flu season we can lose several residents as well, so we are not unaccustomed to losing our residents.”

Beitcher confirmed to Deadline that six residents had tested positive for coronavirus and were in an isolation unit and that four staffers who had tested positive were self-isolating at home.

Despite these measures, he said the biggest challenges were a shortage of gowns, gloves and masks and finding qualified staffers as “some caregivers are calling in sick.”

“They’re frightened, and we’re struggling with a shortage of personal protection equipment,” Beitcher said. “Even major hospital chains are struggling to get deliveries.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.