James Garner, 1928-2014

entertainment and popular culture

As my old pappy used to say, a man does what he has to do — if he can’t get out of it.” — Maverick (series)

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8 Comments

  1. Bonnie  •  Jul 20, 2014 @6:06 pm

    I loved James Garner. He gave us all many years of good acting. May he rest in peace.

  2. Swami  •  Jul 20, 2014 @6:33 pm

    I liked him too. I loved watching Maverick as a kid. He was so cool. I also loved him in Murphy’s Romance with Sally Fields.. I’m a sucker for a love story.

    And two Purple Hearts!…Rest in peace, James.

  3. goatherd  •  Jul 20, 2014 @6:40 pm

    I was going to say the same thing, or nearly, and I will, I loved his work, and I loved him. As Bret Maverick he was probably the first TV character to really connect with me, unless Maynard G. Krebs came first. I am kind of foggy on that.

    He seemed like a natural actor. I think of what another natural actor, Robert Mitchum said, “Teaching someone to act, is like trying to teach someone to be tall.”

    I also really loved his work with Noah Reery Jr. because I remembered him as Joey, the clown, in “Circus Boy,” you know, with that guy from “The Monkees.”

    Well, the race is to the swift. RIP.

  4. erinyes  •  Jul 20, 2014 @7:54 pm

    I can’t say anything more, you guys covered it.

  5. Doug  •  Jul 20, 2014 @10:53 pm

    ‘Rockford Files’ was good entertainment – as the hero, Garner suffered from all kinds of bad luck and human imperfections. He was delightfully easy to identify with. A lesser-known film perhaps is a classic of comedy – ‘Support Your Local Sheriff”. The man lives on through his work, which beats the hell out of a marble marker as the only proof of your existence.

  6. JDM  •  Jul 20, 2014 @11:14 pm

    He gave, in The Americanization if Emily, one of movies’ great speeches:

    “Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison: War isn’t hell at all. It’s man at his best; the highest morality he’s capable of. It’s not war that’s insane, you see. It’s the morality of it. It’s not greed or ambition that makes war: it’s goodness. Wars are always fought for the best of reasons: for liberation or manifest destiny. Always against tyranny and always in the interest of humanity. So far this war, we’ve managed to butcher some ten million humans in the interest of humanity. Next war it seems we’ll have to destroy all of man in order to preserve his damn dignity. It’s not war that’s unnatural to us, it’s virtue. As long as valor remains a virtue, we shall have soldiers. So, I preach cowardice. Through cowardice, we shall all be saved.”

    And

    “Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison: I don’t trust people who make bitter reflections about war, Mrs. Barham. It’s always the general with the bloodiest records who are the first to shout what a hell it is. It’s always the war widows who lead the Memorial Day parades.
    Emily Barham: That was unkind, Charlie, and very rude.
    Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison: We shall never end wars, Mrs. Barham, by blaming it on the ministers and generals, or warmongering imperialists, or all the other banal bogeys. It’s the rest of us who build statues to those generals and name boulevards after those ministers. The rest of us who make heroes of our dead and shrines of our battlefields. We wear our widow’s weeds like nuns, Mrs. Barham, and perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifices.”

  7. c u n d gulag  •  Jul 21, 2014 @7:56 am

    I loved him and his work.
    He was a Democrat and a liberal.
    He was at MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

    I don’t think he ever made a bad movie. My personal favorite, is “Grand Prix,” because besides him, I love those open-wheeled Formula One cars from the mid-60’s.

    RIP.

  8. Ovens  •  Jul 22, 2014 @3:24 pm

    I will miss “Ole Jimmy” and Rockford files is one of my favorite old shows. He was one of the oldies but goodies. I’m sad to hear he died. Another ‘end-of-an-era’. Rest In Peace! James.