James Garner, lovable moments
James Garner was such a good actor. You felt like you knew him, and wanted to have a beer and a shish kebab with him. He was so laid back and charmingly funny, anything and everything he did from movies to TV commercials, was worth watching.
James Garner died on July 19, 2014, but he’ll always be remembered.
Some of my favorite James Garner screen moments:
Maverick, Bret Maverick, the TV western anti-hero who succeeded by artfully conning bad guys rather than using his gun.
Continuing the western theme, James Garner was the violence-avoiding sheriff in the hilarious film, Support Your Local Sheriff, which featured Joan Hackett, left, and the wonderful Jack Elam, right. Jack Elam was another great actor where everything he was in was worth watching.
James Garner and Julie Andrews were a great screen couple. He was a sly miscreant, she was down to Earth and serious. We loved watching him make her smile.
James and Julie in The Americanization of Emily:
James and Julie in Victoria Victoria:
James Garner looked like he was having the time of his life in The Rockford Files, a funny detective show where everything always seemed to go wrong for him, until it went right. One thing I admired was the father-son relationship between Jim Rockford and his dad Rocky, played by Noah Beery, Jr., right. It was normal and supportive, something rarely depicted on the small or big screen these days. Looking at this shot with Angel (Stuart Margolin), center makes me laugh. Angel was the worst, most trouble-making friend to have — ever.
Another cool thing about The Rockford Files, it introduced Tom Selleck as flawless detective Lance White, for whom hunches always worked out. There was fantastic comic chemistry between the two. I think this was Tom Selleck’s best role.
James Garner even made TV commercials memorable. His rapport and flirtatious chemistry with Mariette Hartley on a long serious of Polaroid ads was so good, a lot of people actually thought the couple was married.
Where’s the beef? Is it what’s for dinner? Well, it was, and then it wasn’t. In 1986, James Garner was sailing along as the spokesman for The Beef Council in the TV ad campaign “Beef — Real Food for Real People.” And then… he underwent quadruple bypass surgery, for clogged blood vessels in his heart. That, as they say, was that for the beef industry. And James was out. Too bad, we loved him anyway. Enjoy that ribeye up in the sky, James!