Sunday, July 20, 2014

James Garner Dies Age 86. Hollywood lost a great today.

In honor of James Garner...

Most of you know I do not have cable, or dish or direct TV. I'm not ashamed. I save 200 dollars a month! Such as it is, I do have Netflix. The only thing I miss on TV is the weather channel during tornado season, but I'm hearing that's not what it used to be either, judging from their non weather related, click generating posts on Facebook.

However, what I do watch, I watch without all of the invasive TV commercials that I feel are inappropriate for children. With regular TV.. (because I don't live completely under a rock and I do have a pair of rabbit ears that work amazingly well and I receive over 20 channels). But with regular TV, I'm not happy that I have to sit with my fingers on the remote "just in case" I see another ED commercial, or a steamy promo during the day for a TV show I wouldn't dare allow my child to watch, even if she was old enough.

So I watch Netflix, I also watch YouTube. And when needed, I watch the news on the ears. But mostly I watch Netflix. And one of my obsessions lately is The Rockford Files. I can watch it with my family and not have to worry as I truly enjoy James Garner.

If you know anything about James Garner, he has a very simple traditional core value of himself. And I don't believe I have even seen that falter on the screen.  I've not seen all of his work, but what I have, I was able to watch it even with my child.

With The Rockford Files, I like to look into the background of every scene. The old cars, the interior furnishings. A lot of it I recognize because, well, lets face it... I was around at that time (during my Shaun Cassidy and BJ and the Bear obsession) or it was still around once I arrived on the scene. Ask me about the colonial side table with the dress shade lamp attached to it that reminded me of a Lazy Susan! "HOLY TRAP BATMAN! NANA HAD THAT SAME LAMP!" I screamed out but my child only screamed at me for scaring her half to death. Needless to say, I've tried for an hour to find another to show you, but I finally gave up until I can hit my mother up for the old photo albums. (A high commodity in my family that I'm not allowed to lay a finger on! But you know...She does go on vacation...And I have a key! lol )

Back to Rockford.....Once while watching one of his famous car chase scenes, both my child and I screamed out "Taco Bell!". Then there was a frantic fumble for the remote to play it back because neither of us knew Taco Bell even existed way back in the 70's. And can you imagine?  Yes, I'm a Taco Bell Fan too. LOL
This is not the scene I saw, but hey!  Photo credit to

Any who..... Today I signed onto Yahoo and was saddened to see that James Garner has passed away.
Watching The Rockford Files will take on a different impression for me now. My Fellow Americans will continue be a favorite too. Hollywood lost a great today.

Want to see what he played in?
Want to read his bio?
Here's more from the LA Times:

So today in honor of James Garner here's some eye candy for one of the great actors of his time!

PS. I've never seen the Notebook.

Trivia c/o

Had both knees replaced.

Had quintuple heart bypass surgery.
James has English and German ancestry.
James is also said to have Cherokee roots. It is not clear if his Native American ancestry has been verified.
He has two brothers, Jack Garner & Charlie Bumgarner. Jack died in 2011 and Charlie died in 1985.
Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1990.
Early in his career, he appeared as one of the judges in "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" on Broadway. He said his part consisted mostly of listening to the other actors, and he said it was a great lesson. He feels listening is just as important as speaking as an actor.
Before he was an actor, he had 75 odd jobs including pumping gas to modeling men's clothing. 
Father of Gigi Garner, author of "The Cop Cookbook" and "Girl Talk".
He and his wife Lois Clarke were married at the Beverly Hills Court House just two weeks after they met at a political rally.
Has a stepdaughter, Kimberly, from his wife's first marriage.
Lost his mother when he was 5, and he & his two brothers were split up & sent off to live with relatives.


Learned a lot from the late John Ritter, when watching Three's Company (1977). After Ritter's death, Garner appeared with the cast of 8 Simple Rules (2002) talking about the popular comedian on Larry King Live (1985), on the future of "8 Simple Rules.".
Is involved with many humanitarian causes.
Is a volunteer of Save the Children.
His hobbies include: golfing, spending time with his family, auto racing, politics and watching sports.
Inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1986.
Was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer in 1979.
He was very disappointed about his show, The Rockford Files (1974), being cancelled due to his illness. He accepted his doctor's advice and learned that season 6 was his last.
Had helped organize Martin Luther King's famous "March on Washington" civil rights demonstration, four years before going to Vietnam. (1963).
Was the first actor to co-star with Julie Andrews in three movies: The Americanization of Emily (1964), Victor Victoria (1982), and One Special Night (1999).
Is a Korean War veteran and began his career as a contract player in 1956 for Warner Bros.
He was attending Hollywood High in Los Angeles when his gym teacher recommended him for a job modeling Jantzen bathing suits. He got the job making $25 an hour.
He starred in 3 popular TV series: Maverick (1957) for 3 seasons, The Rockford Files (1974) for 6 seasons, and 8 Simple Rules (2002), for 2 seasons.
Has played two different characters named Jim who served in the Korean War: Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files (1974) and Jim Egan in 8 Simple Rules (2002).
Of all his films, The Americanization of Emily (1964) is his favorite.
Enjoyed great celebrity with his Polaroid commercial series with Mariette Hartley, which started in 1977. He and Mariette were so convincing as husband and wife that Mariette had a T-shirt made that proclaimed, "I am not James Garner's wife!" More than 300 commercials were produced.
A big Oakland Raiders football fan. Could be seen on sidelines with the team during games.
Quit smoking following his quintuple heart bypass on 22 April 1988.
Inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1978.
Although Garner is a lifelong liberal Democrat, his oldest friend is a conservative Republican.
He was a student of Bruce Lee's in his "jeet kune do" style of martial art, after starring with Lee in the film, Marlowe (1969).
In a 1973 interview, John Wayne named Garner as the best American actor.
Driver of pace cars at the 59th Indianapolis 500 (May 25, 1975), the 61st Indianapolis 500 (May 29, 1977), and at the 69th Indianapolis 500 (May 26, 1985).
His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6925 Hollywood Blvd.
He was a good friend of the late Paul Newman. Garner has appeared together with both Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward in several movies.
Was a very good friend of the late Bill Bixby.
Underwent surgery after suffering a severe stroke in May 2008 and is recovering well.
Once owned a four hundred acre vineyard in Santa Ynez California called "White Rhino" vineyard and bottled his own Chardonnay called "Chateau Jimbeaux".
In 1995, he received an honorary doctorate from The University of Oklahoma, in his home town of Norman, OK. This was one month after bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. He was quoted as saying during his commencement ceremony speech, "If there's anything positive to come from this event, it is seeing the character, the toughness & the dignity of the Oklahoma people as they suffer the grief and carry on with their lives. It makes every Oklahoman, where ever we are, to be PROUD to be an Oklahoman.".
James Garner adopted his wife's 9 year-old-daughter, Kimberly, after they were married. About a year later, James Garner's only biological daughter, Gigi Garner, was born in Santa Monica, California.
Narrates the intro videos for the University of Oklahoma football team as they enter the stadium.
Has a street named after him in his hometown of Norman. "James Garner Ave".
Best known by the public for his starring role as the title character in The Rockford Files (1974).
On April 21, 2006, a bronze statue of Garner as his character Bret Maverick, standing at 10 feet tall, was unveiled in Garner's hometown of Norman, Oklahoma. He was present for the unveiling ceremony.
He played Wyatt Earp in both Hour of the Gun (1967) and Sunset (1988).
He has played the same character (Bret Maverick) in four different series: Sugarfoot (1957), Maverick (1957), Young Maverick (1979) and Bret Maverick (1981).
When speaking at the Summer Olympics in Norman, OK, he took the opportunity to remind the Oklahoma officials, who invited him to speak, of the circumstances of his original departure. "It's nice to be invited back as a VIP after being run out of town on a rail." This was a reference to him being "asked" to leave for his "extracurricular activities".
Was a private man.


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