Monday, July 21, 2014


James Garner died of natural causes at his California home Saturday, July 19, at the age of 86. It almost does not seem possible, as I am sure that somewhere right now an episode of “The Rockford Files” is playing.

We all loved James Garner's TV characters, who with no visible heroic traits could somehow beat the bad guys in the end.

Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford were basically the same character in different footwear, the antithesis of almost every traditional protagonist on television.

Maverick was a gambler who aspired to become nothing higher than a hustler, happy to finesse a few bucks and leave town untroubled by any gunfire he heard behind him on his way out. He didn't use a gun much. He started with his wits and when necessary moved on to his fists.

Low-budget private investigator Jim Rockford lived in a mobile home and liked to eat Mexican food. He hung out with a bizarre posse whose help often got him beaten up. He constantly was taking cases so low-end you wondered how they ever got on television, yet the show developed characters like a good drama and put them in situations that sometimes seemed closer to a good sitcom.

Garner’s charisma served him well on the big screen, starring in more than 50 films and earning an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor in the 1985 romantic drama “Murphy’s Romance.”

He acted well into his 70’s only slowing down after suffering a stroke. He is survived by his wife of 55 years and two children.


  1. A one of a kind persona, of which we have lost too many similar. They couldn't wait till I dropped dead...

  2. I am so embarrassed to say this, but the only movie I seem to have seen of his is Maverick. But what a career!

    1. His televisio may have been a little before your time...but I'd highly recommend "Murphy's Romance" if you're ever in need of a rental suggestion...

  3. I've liked him in everything I've ever seen. And YIKES, a Hollywood personality married to the same person for 55 years. A rare gem indeed.

  4. I agree with farawayeyes. I liked him in every TV show and movie I've ever seen him in, too. And he was never involved in any scandals or other nonsense that I can recall, either, unlike some of today's actors and actresses. Indeed, may he RIP. He was one of a kind. (I hope one of the TV channels runs a marathon of some of his movies soon.)