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Sunday, July 20, 2014

R.I.P. James Garner

There were some people, when I was a kid, who I never had to be told who they were, I just always knew. Doris Day, Carol Burnett, Julie Andrews, Lucille Ball. James Garner was one of those people.  Until a local TV station started rerunning Maverick when I was in high school I didn't even realize what a dish he was.  Not really my type ever, but I know a handsome man when I see one.  The thing that set him apart, I think, is that he always had a sense of humor.  He wasn't a comedian, he wasn't ironic, but he was always in on the joke. He never looked like he was trying too hard, but that was a complete illusion. The list of injuries he received while filming The Rockford Files would turn your blood cold.

He started out as a teenage swimsuit model, served in the Army in the Korean war, where he was injured twice, went on the stage in 1954, made his first movie in 1956,  and became a television star in 1957.  He was devoted to liberal causes and participated in the historic 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luthor King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech.  He met his bride-to-be at an Adlai Stevenson rally in 1956 and married her two weeks later.  The were still married fifty-eight years later. He continued acting as long as his health allowed.  He will be missed.


1 comment:

bufs said...

I couldn't have put it better (or even half as well if I'm being honest).

In addition to being handsome, witty and charming, James Garner was of that rare breed (especially for Hollywood) whose public persona reflected his priavte. What you saw is what you got, and it was very good stuff indeed.

As his 'Rockford Files' sidekick, Angel, might have said ...

"RIP, Jimmy."

Amen.