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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Remembering James Garner 1928 - 2014

Actor James Garner, who died Saturday at age 86, will always be remembered as private eye Jim Rockford in the 1974-80 NBC series, The Rockford Files, and in eight TV movies in the 1990s. He also played professional gambler Bret Maverick during the first three seasons of the ABC series, Maverick (1957-60), as well as in the 1978 TV movie, The New Maverick, and in the 1981-82 NBC sequel series, Bret Maverick.

Garner starred in many films, including The Children's Hour (1961), The Great Escape (1963), The Thrill of It All (1963), Move Over, Darling (1963), The Americanization of Emily (1964), Grand Prix (1966), How Sweet It Is! (1968), Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), Marlowe (1969), Support Your Local Gunfighter! (1971), The Castaway Cowboy (1974), Health (1980), The Fan (1981), Victor Victoria (1982), Tank (1984), Murphy's Romance (1985), Maverick (1994), My Fellow Americans (1996), Space Cowboys (2000) and The Notebook (2004).

The actor is survived by his wife of 57 years, Lois Clarke, and two daughters.

The above series of photos were taken by Leo Fuchs in 1962, and below I've selected some videos to celebrate Mr. Garner's life and career.

A 1959 episode of Maverick with guest star Clint Eastwood.

The Children's Hour (1961) with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine.

Two 1963 comedies, The Thrill of It All and Move Over, Darling, with Doris Day.

The Americanization of Emily (1964) with Julie Andrews.

How Sweet It Is! (1968) with Debbie Reynolds.

Marlowe (1969) with Carroll O'Connor, Rita Moreno and Bruce Lee.

He won a 1977 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for The Rockford Files - and below is a 1975 episode with guest star Linda Evans.

A 1979 Polaroid camera commercial with Mariette Hartley.

Victor Victoria (1982) with Julie Andrews and Lesley Ann Warren.

He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance in Murphy's Romance (1985) with Sally Field.

He received his first Golden Globe in 1958 for Most Promising Newcomer, and 33 years later in 1991 he won his second Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV for Decoration Day.


joel65913 said...

Nice tribute. He could be gruff but always had that warm approachability that probably stood in the way of big screen stardom, although he had his successes, and perfect for TV.

I enjoyed his work in TV and films but I must admit that for the longest time when I saw him the first thing I thought of was those Polaroid commercials he did with Mariette Hartley. They had such an easy camaraderie with each other they seemed like a long time couple. In his bio he said that actually caused some difficulties in both their marriages since the public when they were out were often rude or dismissive of their respective spouses. In a way it's like the plot of The Thrill of It All come to life.

Marc Harshbarger said...

Thanks for your comment, Joel! I, of course, had to include one of his wonderful Polaroid commercials with Mariette - they were great together.

dmappin said...

Sad. James Garner was as beautiful as he was a caring human being.... and a hell of a lot of fun to watch on TV and on the silver screen!

Hollywood won't see many more like him!

Marc Harshbarger said...

I agree with you, Doug. Thanks for your comment.

Christoph said...

Loved him. Am I incorrect in thinking that he also stepped into the show Ten Rules for Dating My Daughter after the untimely demise of John Ritter, or is my memory failing?

Marc Harshbarger said...

Christoph, you are correct that he joined the cast of 8 Simple Rules as Katey Sagal's father.