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Actor James Garner, Star of ‘The Rockford Files’ and ‘Maverick’ Dies at Age 86

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Sunday morning greeted me with very sad news, the passing of one of my favorite actors, James Garner. He was a beloved TV, movie and stage actor. He passed away of natural causes at the age of 86.

Garner, hailed from Oklahoma but spent most of his life in California. He was well known for TV roles such as ‘Maverick’ and ‘The Rockford Files’, both of which showcased his sense of humor. He was also part of a TV series that began in 2003, with the now deceased John Ritter, ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter’.

He started in a string of wonderful and diverse movies like ‘Murphy’s Romance’ with Sally Field, ‘The Thrill of it All’ and ‘Move Over Darling’ with Doris Day, ‘Maverick’ with Mel Gibson, ‘The Notebook’ with Gena Rowlands, ‘Sayonara’ with Marlon Brando, ‘Space Cowboys’ with Donald Sutherland, Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones and ‘Victor Victora’ with Julie Andrews. I could go on, because his resume of work was extensive but those were a few of his big roles.

He started is career in the theater with small roles, some not even speaking parts. In his 2011, memoir (which I quickly read after it was released) gave insight into how he lasted and ‘made it’ as an actor in Hollywood. Basically, he didn’t let anyone push him around, he stood his ground even if it resulted in throwing a few punches at those who deserved it. When he was signed to his first TV role, a regular on ‘Cheyenne’ he was making only $200 a week.

If you have the chance, read his memoir,The Garner Files, it is enlightening and entertaining. He was a great actor who will be sorely missed. Another great one is gone.

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