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Longtime TV and movie favorite James Garner dies at 86

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/20/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Likable Garner redefined what a male lead could be in his many roles

Longtime TV and movie star James Garner has passed away at the age of 86. Tributes from around the world are coming in for the actor, who, in the manner of Jimmy Stewart, retooled what a male lead could do. His costar Julie Andrews, who worked with Garner in the 1982 film "Victor and Victoria," said that Garner, "effortlessly combined strength and humility, humor and capability, frankness and empathy to create an ideal Alpha-male, of the sort that hadn't existed before, at least not in drama. He constructed a new kind of hero, one who would much rather be playing cards or going fishing."

Actor James Garner brought a fallibility and likability to the many roles he played in movies and on TV.

Actor James Garner brought a fallibility and likability to the many roles he played in movies and on TV.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
7/20/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Celebrity

Keywords: James Garner, actor, TV. movies, Maverick, The Rockford Files


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Perhaps best known for his TV roles on the series "Maverick" and then again in "The Rockford Files" Garner approached his roles that was heretofore unheard of at the time.

"Unlike virtually any other TV hero before them, Bret Maverick and James Rockford . eschewed guns and violence, preferring to talk their way into and out of trouble. In another actor's hands, both would have been supporting roles, the weaselly if likable friend of the more macho lead. But Garner, with his great hair, handsome face and "relax, fellas" demeanor, managed to make even an aversion to physicality manly," Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times wrote.

Let's light a candle for all the people we have known who have passed --

A native of Oklahoma, Garner came to fame on television as the laid-back Bret Maverick in the 1950s

A native of Oklahoma, Garner came to fame on television as the laid-back Bret Maverick in the 1950s western. After a long stretch in movies, Garner returned to the small screen for an Emmy-winning run in the lighthearted detective series "The Rockford Files."


In a career that spanned six decades, Garner played every sort of man: the scrounger in "The Great Escape," the oblivious American gangster in "Victor, Victoria," the quiet but passionate neighbor in "Murphy's Romance," the devoted husband in "The Notebook." He appeared with Tommy Lee Jones and Clint Eastwood in "Space Cowboys," stepped in as Grandpa Egan on "8 Simple Rules" after the death of series star John Ritter in 2003.

A native of Oklahoma, Garner came to fame on television as the laid-back Bret Maverick in the 1950s western. After a long stretch in movies, Garner returned to the small screen for an Emmy-winning run in the lighthearted detective series "The Rockford Files."

Perhaps best known for his TV roles on the series "Maverick" and then again in "The Rockford Files"

Perhaps best known for his TV roles on the series "Maverick" and then again in "The Rockford Files" Garner approached his roles that was heretofore unheard of at the time.


After appearing in supporting roles in such features as "The Girl He Left Behind," "Toward the Unknown" and the acclaimed "Sayonara" with Marlon Brando, Garner gained his first professional success as the charming professional gambler in this ABC western comedy beginning in 1957.

Sharing the lead with Jack Kelly, who played Bret Maverick's brother Bart, Garner's deft performance opened the way to movie stardom, and he left the show in 1960. But he returned to the character twice, first in the short-lived 1981 TV series "Bret Maverick," and then in the 1994 movie costarring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster.

Julie Andrews, Garner

Julie Andrews, Garner's costar in "Victor Victoria," shared very fond memories of his work in the film.


"More than anything, he was a star who didn't appear to need every ounce of oxygen in the vicinity to shine. And as with Halley's Comet and other rare celestial objects, it will be a few years before we see anything like him again," McNamara adds.

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