Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Tribute: James Garner

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite actors has left us. James Garner, handsome, wry, effortlessly masculine, all-purpose leading man for decades on television and in movies, has died at age 84. He had consummate skill in comedy, drama, and romance, and even in selling cameras in television commercials. He will be sorely missed.

YouTube Preview Image

james garnerBorn James Baumgarner in 1926, he was from Norman, Oklahoma. He named his production company Cherokee Productions in honor of his grandfather. He had a difficult childhood and was left on his own at age 14. He had a number of jobs and went into the military, where he received two Purple Hearts.

Advertisement

Early in his career, he had a non-speaking part as a juror in “The Caine Mutiny” on Broadway. He said it was superb training to be on stage for the entire show, watching the lead actors up close each night. His early film roles included parts in the classic “The Great Escape” with Steve McQueen and “Sayonara” with Marlon Brando.

He was superb at light comedy, often showing an off-beat cynicism that was a refreshing change from the earnestness of the 1950’s and early 60’s. When television was filled with laconic Western heroes, his “Maverick” was true to the name as a easy-natured gambler.

YouTube Preview Image

He played similar roles in the delightful Support Your Local Sheriff and Support Your Local Gunfighter. He co-starred with Doris Day in two of her most sparkling comedies, The Thrill of it All! and and Move Over Darling.  And he was the laconic private detective Jim Rockford in ‘The Rockford Files.”

Advertisement

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

Two of his best films co-starred Julie Andrews. He was a cynical American soldier in The Americanization of Emily and an amiable gangster in love with a cross-cross-dressing performer in Victor/Victoria. He was nominated for an Oscar for the bittersweet romance Murphy’s Romance, with Sally Field.

Advertisement

YouTube Preview Image

He made superb television movies, including Barbarians at the Gate and My Name Is Bill W.

Advertisement

He continued to create unforgettable performances into his 70’s, with films like The Notebook. No actor half his age could have played a sweeter love scene.

YouTube Preview Image

We bid a sad farewell to this most graceful and appealing of actors. May his memory be a blessing.

  • Till

    James Garner’s maternal grandfather wasn’t Cherokee. It’s more fiction. His grandfathers/great-grandparents/etc. were all listed as white on censuses.
    http://ethnicelebs.com/james-garner

    • Nell Minow

      That’s not always dispositive, Till, but I appreciate the information.

Previous Posts

For the 4th of July: Singing Founding Fathers in "1776"
Happy Independence Day!  Every year, I recommend the rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence. "1776" makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already ...

posted 8:00:01am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Sesame Street's Maria Says Goodbye
Sonia Manzano has announced that she is leaving Sesame Street after 44 years.  She was 22 years old when she auditioned for the brand new series that would revolutionize children's programming. She became Maria, one of the first Latina ...

posted 1:20:21pm Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Happy 99th Birthday, Olivia de Havilland!
Two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 years old today. She was one of the biggest stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, appearing memorably opposite Errol Flynn eight times, most memorably in "The Adventures of Robin ...

posted 10:20:13am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Contest: Win a DVD of "Hope Bridge"
"Hope Bridge" is a new DVD from Pure Flix about the devastating impact of suicide. Christi and David Eaton produced the movie after having experienced suicide twice in their family. They knew the best way to reach out to others was through a ...

posted 8:00:59am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: No Ordinary Hero -- The SuperDeafy Movie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6Yo3kRFW9g Coming next month on DVD, "No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie" is the story of a deaf actor (John Maucere) who plays a deaf superhero in a campy television series. But he wants to be a real ...

posted 8:00:41am Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.