THE US actor James Garner has passed away at the age of 86.
During his long career Mr. Garner had enjoyed success in both television and movies. He will be best remembered for his roles in two major TV shows — The Rockford Files (see below) and Maverick.
The role of gambler Bret Maverick in the TV western was to bring him star status. The show, which ran from 1957 and 1962, was a major hit and only came to an end after a fall-out between the star and the studio over money. He briefly reprised the role in the TV series Bret Maverick in the early 1980s (see below).
After leaving the series, Mr. Garner concentrated his efforts on movies which included Move Over, Darling (1963), in which he starred with Doris Day, and The Great Escape (1963). Another of his films from this period, Grand Prix (1966), led to him becoming involved in motor racing for a time.
He returned to the western theme in 1969 with the movie, Support Your Local Sheriff!, following it up with the less successful Support Your Local Gunfighter in 1971.
He had won a Golden Globe for the most promising newcomer in 1958, adding two more in later years for performances in the TV movies Decoration Day (1990) and Barbarians At The Gate (1993).
The Rockford Files television series was to prove to be another international hit for the actor. He played the likeable private investigator Jim Rockford (see below) from 1974 until 1980, and went on to star in a number of TV movie spin-offs. The role was to earn him an Emmy Award in 1977.
While he had starred in a number of successful movies over the years, he only had one best actor Oscar nomination — for the romantic comedy Murphy’s Romance (1985).
His last major work on television was in the series 8 Simple Rules (2003-2005). The Screen Actors’ Guild honoured him with a lifetime achievement award in 2005.
Mr. Garner had suffered a severe stroke in 2008. He passed away in his home in Los Angeles.
To hear the theme tune to The Rockford Files and see a photomontage from the series, click here.
To view an archive interview in which James Garner talks about The Rockford Files, click here.
To view a short excerpt from an episode of The Rockford Files, click here.
To see a short excerpt from an episode of The Rockford Files, click here.
To see a clip from Bret Maverick, click here.
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