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RIP James Garner


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My all time favorite TV actor.

 

Had not one but two iconic characters: Maverick and Jim Rockford

 

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If ever an actor was born to play a role, it was Garner and Rockford.

 

He lived a long, full life. RIP.

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Terribly sad news. James Garner was so handsome, talented and an honest man in his performances and life.. He fought for causes that he believed in no matter what the cost.I had the pleasure of reading his autobiography, he endured abuse as a child and rose from nothing to become a successful actor. He was married 56 years to the same woman, loved by his 2 children, so many friends and fellow actors.By all accounts he was a sweetheart. He will be terribly missed by his fans and by so many who worked with him and had the honor to be his friend.

 

RIP James Garner.

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James Garner was one of the most natural of actors. His every nuance on screen, whether in film or on television, seemed so real. Rarely have I seen another actor who could approach him in charisma, charm or that remarkably droll sense of humour that he could bring to a scene. Garner always made it seem so easy, the ultimate compliment, I feel, that can be given to an actor. (He said that Spencer Tracy and Henry Fonda were both role models).

 

His two most iconic roles, both in television, Maverick and, particularly, The Rockford Files, allowed him full scope as a performer. But I feel that Garner was almost uniquely talented in his ability to so convincingly portray the fraidy cat hero we know will finally come through in the end.

 

Garner's long film career should not be overlooked either. He will be remembered for his participation as part of the ensemble cast in The Great Escape, as well as the effectiveness of that charm and sense of humour in the satiric Support Your Local Sheriff. Later he scored well in the magnificent Victor Victoria, as well as on television years later in Barbarians at the Gate, among other roles.

 

But my favourite Jim Garner film role was also the actor's, that of the "coward" seeking to escape military service in the screen adaption of The Americanization of Emily. Garner's brilliant delivery of Paddy Chayefsky's intricate, clever dialogue is a pure joy for me. It's a performance that I feel has never received its proper due.

 

One more thing. I LOVE those Polaroid camera commercials that he did with Mariette Hartley that appeared on television in the late '70s and early '80s. There were about 300 of them, and it was always a joy to watch the chemistry that existed between these two, along with the affection and gentle put downs in those 30 second bits. They were The Bickersons. There's little wonder that Hartley later wore a T-Shirt in public that said, "I am NOT Mrs. James Garner" because much of the public was convinced that they must be a real life husband and wife.

 

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Thanks so much, James Garner, for providing us with so much pleasure throughout the years.

 

I feel like I've lost a friend.

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Tomjh,  I just learned of Garner's death from your tribute (perhaps one of the kinder ways to learn of such a loss) and shed a few tears over some happy memories of watching him  in The Rockford Files.  One film you didn't mention -- Murphy's Romance with Sally Field, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.  It was a move I identified because I had a crush on him from a young age, and the age difference between the two characters appealed to me.  He was a class act  

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Can't say more than what has been said.  He was a great actor because he did it so very well.  Have The Rockford Files on DVD and watch an episode at least every couple of weeks.  All of his movies are enjoyable because he was a great actor.

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This is a sad day in our house, too.  In recent years my wife has become a real James Garner fan.  I think it started with watching The Rockford Files on Netflix.  Now we have most of his movies and TV series on DVD and a couple of his biographies.  The news on the radio this morning stunned us, although my wife was aware of his failing health.  It's like losing a friend.

 

Rest in peace James Garner.

bOb39

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One of the most likeable and natural actors ever ....although I disagreed with everything politically that he stood for..I would have loved to smoke a joint and have a beer with him.

 

Thanks goodness the hilarious banter between Angel Martin and Jimbo will live on forever.

 

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If you could bump one of the scheduled Summer Under the Stars subjects for a Garner tribute, who would it be? And which dozen or so of Garner's movies would you program for a 24-hour slot? Don't forget that he sat down for a "Private Screenings" interview with Robert Osborne a few years ago.

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Sad, but not unexpected news.  I never really thought much of James Garner as an actor when I was growing up.  In fact, I never saw a full episode of the Rockford Files, since it aired on Friday nights, and I was in high school and college at the time.  I do remember seeing him in 'The Thrill of it All' when it was shown at my local theater when I was a kid.  However, I came to appreciate him more thanks to TCM and Encore Westerns.  He may not have been considered a top-notch movie star, but I think it was because he made acting look so easy, thereby causing people to overlook his talent.  I'm sure TCM will provide a retrospective of his flicks, and it would be a fitting tribute to him.  Some of my favorite Garner films are "Victor Victoria', '36 Hours', 'Mr. Buddwing', 'Support Your Local Sheriff', 'The Great Escape' and 'Grand Prix'.

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If you could bump one of the scheduled Summer Under the Stars subjects for a Garner tribute, who would it be? And which dozen or so of Garner's movies would you program for a 24-hour slot? Don't forget that he sat down for a "Private Screenings" interview with Robert Osborne a few years ago.

Just about all of them.  Most of the SUTS movies being shown have been shown many, many times already and many recently.

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Thought I'd take a moment to spotlight a James Garner project that some do not know about, or maybe haven't seen.  Before Rockford, he did a western series called Nichols that also featured the actor who played Angel on Rockford Files.  The entire series is on sale at the Warner Archives. It's very well made and much of the behind-the-scenes talent included people Jim had worked with on his other television programs.

 

http://shop.warnerarchive.com/product/code/1000426304.do?ref=GGLHMOD&gclid=CNnejOyT1L8CFS0LMgodCjAALA

 

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If you could bump one of the scheduled Summer Under the Stars subjects for a Garner tribute, who would it be? And which dozen or so of Garner's movies would you program for a 24-hour slot? Don't forget that he sat down for a "Private Screenings" interview with Robert Osborne a few years ago.

I doubt TCM will alter its SUTS schedule, because of all the advance advertising that has been put into place. But I do see them having a 24 hour memorial tribute before July 31st. So the issue becomes-- which day later this month will get changed?

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Tomjh,  I just learned of Garner's death from your tribute (perhaps one of the kinder ways to learn of such a loss) and shed a few tears over some happy memories of watching him  in The Rockford Files.  One film you didn't mention -- Murphy's Romance with Sally Field, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.  It was a move I identified because I had a crush on him from a young age, and the age difference between the two characters appealed to me.  He was a class act  

 

MURPHY'S ROMANCE was one of my mother's favorite movies. She had a VHS copy and watched it many times.

 

James Garner was one of those actors who made acting look easy so he was often not as appreciated as actors with more "showy" peformances.   

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One of the most likeable and natural actors ever ....although I disagreed with everything politically that he stood for..I would have loved to smoke a joint and have a beer with him.

 

 

I'm not sure exactly what that means---he supported civil rights and protection of the environment. 

 

He alo stood up for his own rights when he felt he was being cheated by "Hollywood," even suing a major studio for his share of the profits of THE ROCKFORD FILES TV series. 

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He also stood up for his own rights when he felt he was being cheated by "Hollywood," even suing a major studio for his share of the profits of THE ROCKFORD FILES TV series. 

 

Which reminds me of the Hollywood producer known for borrowing popular movie material and doing versions of it for television. Garner once punched out the guy for supposedly lifting ideas and music from "The Rockford Files."

 

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My best memories of James Garner is from "The Rockford Files" during the 1970's.  Loved how the main title was done, something a little different each time.  One of the best was from a guy on the answering machine...If you think I'm going to pay to have your car redone you're nuts. You can take your expense bill and shove it!

 

He will be missed.  RIP

 

A little fun trivia... In the old "Stingray" TV series, the puppet, Captain Troy Tempest was modeled after James Garner.  Unknown how he felt about it.  LOL!

 

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I'm not sure exactly what that means---he supported civil rights and protection of the environment. 

 

He alo stood up for his own rights when he felt he was being cheated by "Hollywood," even suing a major studio for his share of the profits of THE ROCKFORD FILES TV series. 

Garner also successfully sued Warner Brothers when he was suspended without pay during a writer's strike, and was let out of his MAVERICK contract. He never held a grudge against Warner Brothers afterwards, but he did against Universal. Even after agreeing to reprise his Rockford character in a series of TV movies beginning in 1996, he refused to film any of them at the studio.

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May he rest in peace. Loved his performance in "Sayonara," "The Children's Hour," and "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." He was endearing in "The Notebook." Another legend gone. 

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Thought I'd take a moment to spotlight a James Garner project that some do not know about, or maybe haven't seen.  Before Rockford, he did a western series called Nichols that also featured the actor who played Angel on Rockford Files.  The entire series is on sale at the Warner Archives. It's very well made and much of the behind-the-scenes talent included people Jim had worked with on his other television programs.

 

'Nichols' was another of those "too smart for the masses" tv series that always got short shrift in the ratings back in those days. It introduced a lovely Margot Kidder to the world - what a doll at that stage of life.

 

The last thing I think I saw James Garner in was the mini series 'Streets of Laredo', playing Woodrow Call - a character from Larry McMurtry's magnificent novel 'Lonesome Dove', of which 'Streets of Laredo' is the sequel. Garner was superb in the role.

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A very good actor with the Rockford Files being a staple of my early life. Also, a huge reason I drove a Firebird way before Smokey and the Bandit made them the rage (prefer mine without flaming chicken tho). Great car... But a simple fender bender (college student t-boned me) made the insurance company total it because it would cost them more to get parts than the car's blue book value (old, but immaculate condition). Sad ending....

 

Back to the subject... I thought Garner was extremely brave to do The Children's Hour'. He had a very easy screen presence and was almost like a middle-class Cary Grant. He will be missed.

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I'm not sure exactly what that means---he supported civil rights and protection of the environment. 

 

He alo stood up for his own rights when he felt he was being cheated by "Hollywood," even suing a major studio for his share of the profits of THE ROCKFORD FILES TV series. 

Means he was a self professed bleeding heart liberal.  I am not.  Tore into Reagan as being an idiot and Heston too in his bio.

 

Still, I liked him immensely.

 

One real fine fellow.

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