Actor James Garner, who foraged a career in Hollywood that spanned multiple decades and included lauded work in film and television (particularly television), has died at the age of 86 of natural causes, reports the New York Daily News.
Possibly best remembered for two roles, in the 1950’s Western Maverick and the 1970’s show The Rockford Files — both of which showcasing Garner’s penchant for an easy going, low-key, yet charmingly cocky and witty demeanor, replete with one lines delivered as relaxed as swinging on a hammock in sun drenched Malibu — Garner shaped a style on both programs that not only would be utilized throughout his career, but that resulted in an endearment to millions of fans. There was a trust about seeing James Garner at work, a kind of folksy sort of Americana that struck a positive chord with the country in particular, and it allowed Garner to act in a multitude of situations, including memorable commercials he did with actress Mariette Hartley for Polaroid Cameras, an ad campaign which started around the mid 1970s, and again utilized the Garner formula, and helped to create a chemistry with Hartley that was so strong, many people assumed the couple was married.
Garner’s work stretched to the silver screen as well, appearing in films as diverse as Murphy’s Romance (in which he, no pun intended, “garnered” an Academy Award nomination) and the thrilling The Great Escape with Steve McQueen, to lighthearted comedy fare with Doris Day (The Thrill of it All) and films like Skin Game, the gumshoe tale of Marlowe (with Rita Moreno and Carroll O’Connor) and the contemporary romantic comedy/tearjerker The Notebook.
Another shining lightbulb from Hollywood’s stable dims and burns out with the passing of James Garner. But his memory will remain just that, a shining hot light bulb which will never be snuffed, certainly not by the passage of time. The memory and craft of James Garner burned too strong, to ever allow that to happen.
RIP James Garner
April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014
[Source: New York Daily News]