James Garner (1928-2014)
James Garner’s passing was very sad to hear about. He was always a welcome presence in movies and TV series. An actor who could handle any genre, from comedy to action-adventure, from romance to western. I grew up watching his TV shows and films, and I suspect many of you did, too.
Garner was born in Oklahoma but moved to California in his teens. Unlike many actors, acting was not a lifelong dream for Garner. A friend talked him into taking a non-speaking role in the original production of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial on Broadway, where he could watch lead actor Henry Fonda night after night. Garner must have enjoyed the experience, because he decided to stay with his new profession.
Over the course of a nearly 60 year career, Garner was consistently popular with audiences and his co-stars, from Clint Eastwood to Doris Day to Sally Field. His TV western Maverick quickly established him as a small screen star. Movie stardom came with roles in The Great Escape and Grand Prix, as well as romantic comedies like Move Over, Darling and The Americanization of Emily (his favorite movie). The role of Jim Rockford, the laidback private investigator in The Rockford Files, won him an Emmy. His only Oscar nomination came in the 1985 rom-com Murphy’s Romance. He continued to win fans into 2000s with Space Cowboys and The Notebook.
Jim Garner was the kind of actor who made audience feel as if they were visiting with an old friend. It was always good to know that he was around.
The Garner Files autobiography (2011)
Maverick TV series (1957-1960)
Cash McCall (1959)
The Great Escape (1963)
The Thrill of It All! (1963)
Move Over, Darling (1963)
The Americanization of Emily (1964)
Grand Prix (1966)
Support Your Local Sheriff (1968)
Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971)
The Rockford Files TV series and movies (1974-1980)
Victor Victoria (1982)
Murphy’s Romance (1985)
My Name is Bill W. (1989)
Barbarians at the Gate (1993)
My Fellow Americans (1996)
Streets of Laredo (1999)
Space Cowboys (2000)
Atlantis: the Lost Empire (voice role – 2001)
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)
The Notebook (2004)