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.