William Taylor "Tay" Garnett (June 13, 1894 – October 3, 1977) was an American film director and writer.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Garnett attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as a naval aviator in World War I. He entered the film industry as a screenwriter in 1920, writing 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), Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941), The Cross of Lorraine (1943), and Bataan (1943). He is best known as the director of the 1946 thriller The Postman Always Rings Twice, starring John Garfield and Lana Turner. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949), starring Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming, was also well received. Garnett also worked in radio as a writer, director and narrator. He created the program 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.
Garnett directed one of Loretta Young's last theatrical films, Cause for Alarm!, in 1951. He travelled to the United Kingdom in the early 1950s for a few films. Upon his return to the United States, he worked mainly in television in popular series such as The Loretta Young Show, Wagon Train, Laramie, The Untouchables, Naked City, Rawhide, and Bonanza.
Garnett married three famous actresses. First was Patsy Ruth Miller in Los Angeles on 8 September 1929. She filed for divorce which was granted 18 September 1933 on grounds of desertion while she was in Vienna, Austria and Garnett in London, England. While in London, Garnett met South African authoress Helga Moray who he married on his yacht in November 1934. They had a second ceremony on 31 March 1935 in Yuma, Arizona to safeguard her American citizenship. Six months after their son was born, Moray filed for divorce on grounds of cruelty in 1942. Garnett then married Mari Aldon in London, England on 13 August 1953.
He died of leukemia in Sawtelle, California, at the age of 83. He is survived by his son with Helga Moray, William John Garnett and his daughter with Mari Aldon, Tiela Aldon Garnett.
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Garnett published the book Directing: Learn from the Masters and an autobiography, Light Your Torches and Pull Up Your Tights.