James Garner RIP

I am very sorry to learn of the death of James Garner. One of my favourite actors.

He played Brett Maverick…one of the young actors in the Warner Brothers TV Westerns. Maverick (Garner and Jack Kelly), Cheyenne (Clint Walker), Bronco (Ty Hardin) and Tenderfoot (Will Hutchins) …great TV.

I recently watched a two hour long interview with James Garner. Interestingly he said that Warner Brothers TV simply re-made many of the theatre B westerns they had made years before. They even used the same stock footage. Even more interestingly, James Garner teamed up with the Maverick creators to make “The Rockford Files” which was often original “Maverick” scripts re-written for a 1970s Private Detective.

In the early 1960s, the humour and character of Brett Maverick was lost on me but from the re-runs or Jim Rockford or movies like “Support Your Local Sheriff/Gunfighter” there is central figure who has a cirious mixture of Integrity. And Physical Cowardice. Actually that sounds very like…me.

But somehow those two great TV series were bookends to a stellar career in the 1960s. “The Americanisation of Emily”, “The Great Escape”, “Grand Prix”….and more serious stuff “The Childrens Hour” (circa 1962 when Audrey and Hepburn and Shirley McLaine play two spinster teachers …victims of a whispering campaign) and “72 Hours” (where Garner plays an American agent captured by Nazis and almost duped into betraying the D Day plans).

In short a great actor who brought humanity into every role.

A difficult childhood, he never forgot his roots. A Democrat…a nice guy.

Rest in Peace James Garner.

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4 Responses to James Garner RIP

  1. Only heard the news of his passing in the last hour. Genuinely sad. Loved the re-runs of the Rockford Files as a kid. Not to mention Support Your Local Sheriff. He was also great in the Last Debate, a TV movie about a presidential debate that gets real. In fact I don’t remember him ever giving a bad performance. A proper actor in the old school manner.

    • If you recall a movie with Jack Lemmon. Cant remember the name, but they both played ex American Presidents. In one of those movies, his character was written as a Republican but he requested that he play a Democrat.
      He was a lifelong Democrat.

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