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James Garner has passed away at age 86

Jul. 20, 2014by: Sean Wist

James Garner, acclaimed actor of both TV and film, passed away on Saturday from natural causes at age 86.

Born James Scott Bumgarner, he dropped out of high school at age 16 to join the United States Merchant Marines, eventually going on to receive 2 Purple Hearts during the Korean War. His first acting opportunity came in the form of a non-speaking role in the Broadway stage play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial in 1954. Working bit parts in television and film, Garner eventually landed the co-starring role in 1957 on the western series Maverick. While Warner Bros. originally planned to alternate between the characters of Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) and Bret Maverick (Garner), Garner's charisma and penchant for humor tilted the scales in his favor. James Garner said of the character Maverick, "I'm playing me. Bret Maverick is lazy. I'm lazy. And I like being lazy."

Throughout the 1960s, Garner brought his with and charm to a number of films that utilized his comedic timing and easygoing nature, such as THE THRILL OF IT ALL (1963), THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963), GRAND PRIX (1966), and SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF! (1969). Garner returned to the small screen in 1974 as the character Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files, for which he won an Emmy for. The actor returned to film in the 1980s with roles that stretched his abilities as an actor. The one most notable at that time was MURPHY'S ROMANCE (1985), for which he was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.

In the 1990s Garner returned for MAVERICK alongside Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster, which was loosely based on the TV show. Garner appeared in various films over the next few decades, including several TV films of The Rockford Files. Younger audiences may recognize him as the actor who gave THE NOTEBOOK some weight, and helped to deliver the raw, emotional climax of the film.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters. My heart goes out to his close friends and family. Rest in peace, James. You were one of the good ones.

Source: CNNImdb

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11:45AM on 07/21/2014

One of the greats. RIP.

Also, why not think about proofreading the article, before you post it, especially if it is meant to honor someone. Just a thought.
Also, why not think about proofreading the article, before you post it, especially if it is meant to honor someone. Just a thought.
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9:17AM on 07/21/2014
Truly heartbroken. Mr. Garner is an incredible presence in each film and TV show he appears in. I had a goal to watch every movie he ever made. I'm sadly only about 70% through that goal, but I've seen many great films that I never would have been exposed to without his involvement. The Americanization of Emily, Murphy's Romance, The Thrill of it All and Grand Prix are just a few examples. He wasn't pigeonholed to any one genre. My Fellow Americans and Maverick are laugh-out-loud funny
Truly heartbroken. Mr. Garner is an incredible presence in each film and TV show he appears in. I had a goal to watch every movie he ever made. I'm sadly only about 70% through that goal, but I've seen many great films that I never would have been exposed to without his involvement. The Americanization of Emily, Murphy's Romance, The Thrill of it All and Grand Prix are just a few examples. He wasn't pigeonholed to any one genre. My Fellow Americans and Maverick are laugh-out-loud funny comedies. The Great Escape is the granddaddy of all action/adventure epics. And The Notebook is the best of all tearjerkers - one that men and women can both get into. On television he was hilarious as the grandpa on 8 Simple Rules, succeeding with the impossible task of taking over for the great John Ritter. I happened to watch a few episodes last week and Mr. Garner and David Spade made an unlikely comedy team - but they were brilliant together. And what can be said about The Rockford Files? My personal favorite "drama" series of all time. I say "drama" in quotes, because even though it is an hour-long format with no laugh track, the show is a comedy at heart. James Garner as Jim Rockford is one of the best characters of any medium ever created. He is the hero who doesn't mind running from a fight and usually gets sucker punched once an episode. The car chases are awesome and Mr. Garner did all of his own driving for the show, adding so much authenticity to it. I suppose if there's one word to sum up James Garner, that would be it: authentic. He never struck a false note in his 50 plus year career. His passing leaves a hole the size of his homestate Oklahoma in the world of film and television. There will never be anyone else quite like him.
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6:30AM on 07/21/2014
RIP to one of the true greats. Greatly respect his contributions to his country and to film. Not necessarily a career highlight, but I love his performance in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, where his character (spoiler) turns out to be the bad guy and he plays that transformation most deliciously.
RIP to one of the true greats. Greatly respect his contributions to his country and to film. Not necessarily a career highlight, but I love his performance in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, where his character (spoiler) turns out to be the bad guy and he plays that transformation most deliciously.
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+2
12:19AM on 07/21/2014

A legend. A talent. A true man in every sense of the word

Truly an incredible loss not just to his family but to everyone in the film industry and and especially us film geeks. What can you say about a man who drops out of high school just to join the marines, he was undeniably a true man's man. He gave us memorable characters on both the big and small screen and cemented his career as a great one long ago. We thank you, Mr. Garner. I thank you for both your service and the remaining memories that will live on forever. R.I.P.
Truly an incredible loss not just to his family but to everyone in the film industry and and especially us film geeks. What can you say about a man who drops out of high school just to join the marines, he was undeniably a true man's man. He gave us memorable characters on both the big and small screen and cemented his career as a great one long ago. We thank you, Mr. Garner. I thank you for both your service and the remaining memories that will live on forever. R.I.P.
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11:58PM on 07/20/2014

Didn't really see him at his peak

But I did enjoy him in the movie he did with Jack Lemmon when he was a former president. RIP
But I did enjoy him in the movie he did with Jack Lemmon when he was a former president. RIP
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10:44PM on 07/20/2014
always did enjoy james garner he made acting look easy
always did enjoy james garner he made acting look easy
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10:16PM on 07/20/2014
When a great actor, who has given us so many roles to enjoy, and lived to be a ripe old man, passes away, I can't feel too bad. James Garner always felt like that uncle I'd see at family reunions who always seemed so friendly and genuine. He brought that kind of presence to his movies. At a time when so many leading men were tough and cool, he was kind and easy-going. He's the reason The Rockford Files still hold up as good TV entertainment. No matter how ridiculous the situation, his wry
When a great actor, who has given us so many roles to enjoy, and lived to be a ripe old man, passes away, I can't feel too bad. James Garner always felt like that uncle I'd see at family reunions who always seemed so friendly and genuine. He brought that kind of presence to his movies. At a time when so many leading men were tough and cool, he was kind and easy-going. He's the reason The Rockford Files still hold up as good TV entertainment. No matter how ridiculous the situation, his wry delivery told you he was right there with you.

Rest in Peace Mr. Garner, and thanks for all the memories.
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9:21PM on 07/20/2014
I agree, do I pick green to show I loved the guy. Or red to show he will be missed?
I agree, do I pick green to show I loved the guy. Or red to show he will be missed?
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8:18PM on 07/20/2014
Farewell to a real MAN'S actor. Loved the guy.
Farewell to a real MAN'S actor. Loved the guy.
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8:17PM on 07/20/2014
Such an amazing actor! Always seemed like an old school gentleman. Loved him in The Great Escape and Support Your Local Sheriff. RIP.
Such an amazing actor! Always seemed like an old school gentleman. Loved him in The Great Escape and Support Your Local Sheriff. RIP.
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+2
8:14PM on 07/20/2014

Very sad....

He's literally been great in virtually everything he's ever done. He will be missed.

On a side note, couldn't JoBlo come up with a better rating system for these kinds of stories? I literally don't have any idea what I'm supposed to click to show respect to Mr Garner and his family.....
He's literally been great in virtually everything he's ever done. He will be missed.

On a side note, couldn't JoBlo come up with a better rating system for these kinds of stories? I literally don't have any idea what I'm supposed to click to show respect to Mr Garner and his family.....
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8:05PM on 07/20/2014
One of my favorites movies as a kid was Tank, gonna miss that guy.
One of my favorites movies as a kid was Tank, gonna miss that guy.
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6:09PM on 07/21/2014
I love TANK....very cool to see someone else remember that flick!
I love TANK....very cool to see someone else remember that flick!
+1
7:51PM on 07/20/2014
Thoughts and prayers to his friends and family. He lived a long prosperous life, great career, much to be proud of, he certainly left his mark on the world! May he Rest In Peace.
Thoughts and prayers to his friends and family. He lived a long prosperous life, great career, much to be proud of, he certainly left his mark on the world! May he Rest In Peace.
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7:33PM on 07/20/2014
RIP Mr. Garner. You're one of my favorite actors. Godspeed, Scrounger.
RIP Mr. Garner. You're one of my favorite actors. Godspeed, Scrounger.
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