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RIP James Garner

Posted on the 21 July 2014 by Sirmac2 @macthemovieguy

One of my favorite actors, James Garner, has passed away at the age of 86. Known as a TV actor for his role in The Rockford Files, as well as Maverick, and 8 Simple Rules, Garner has a long career in Hollywood, and a legacy he will forever be remembered for.

Garner grabbed me as an actor in 2004′s The Notebook, where he played a man taking care of his wife, who suffers from Alzheimers. In one painful scene, he watches his wife return to him, only to be even more devastated when her memory is ripped away from her again. It’s a masterclass on little moments, and he steals the entire movie in one scene.

I first remember James Garner from watching the Maverick movie as a kid. This was pre-Mel Gibson’s breakdown, and it’s a really enjoyable movie if you like that crazy comedic Mel Gibson that worked so well in the Lethal Weapon series. I had no idea that Garner had starred in his own Maverick series, but my mom was able to clue me in. It probably my first “passing of the torch” moment I saw in film, and they probably meant for Gibson to make more Maverick movies, but… money talks.

Garner has also had roles classic films like The Great Escape, Support Your Local Sheriff and its sequel, and Victor Victoria. He had the opportunity to play Wyatt Earp in Hour Of The Gun, as well as classic character Philip Marlowe in Marlowe.

It was his role in 1985′s Murphy’s Romance that earned him his only Oscar nomination, but he was nominated for 12 Golden Globe awards and won three of them, including the Promising Newcomer award in 1958. Garner was nominated for 14 Emmy awards, winning two, one of them for his classic role in The Rockford Files.

He was also respected in his own community, where he was nominated for five Screen Actors Guild awards… one of them for his performance in The Notebook. The Oscars may have written him off, or written the film off, but that performance will always stay with me, and it’s great that his peers were able to recognize his brilliance in those moments.

He was charming. He was smart. He made it all look so easy.


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