James Garner, Handsome, Lifelong Democrat Actor, Dies at 86

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    Jul 20, 2014 3:04 PM GMT

    NYT: James Garner, the wry and handsome leading man who slid seamlessly between television and the movies but was best known as the amiable gambler Bret Maverick in the 1950s western “Maverick” and the cranky sleuth Jim Rockford in the 1970s series “The Rockford Files,” was found dead in his California home on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed on Sunday. He was 86.

    Mr. Garner, who smoked for most of his life, even after open-heart surgery in 1988, had suffered a stroke in 2008.

  • roadbikeRob

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    Jul 20, 2014 3:21 PM GMT
    I remember him from the Rockford Files in the 1970s. He not only smoked cigarettes heavily. He also smoked the shit out of the rear tires on his souped up Camaro on that show. Hey 86 years is a pretty full life still it is sad to see these good actors disappear.
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    Jul 20, 2014 10:00 PM GMT
    I loved him in Victor/Victoria. I have a DVD with commentary by Julie Andrews and her late husband/director Black Edwards, talking about Garner's performance. They greatly admired him, said he had one of the most expressive faces in Hollywood. Edwards said Garner didn't need dialogue, he could speak pages with his face alone.

    I first saw a movie starring him in 1965 at Radio City Music Hall, called 36 Hours. Not a great flick, but he was very good in it. And of course I remember him in the 1950s TV Western Maverick, a standout among the seemingly dozens of Westerns we had back then. He was a master of light comedy, who could also do serious drama.