He acted along side Hollywood giants like Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen, as well as Sandra Bullock, Ashley Judd, Rachel McAdams, and Ryan Gosling. But James Garner will always be Bret Maverick to me. To others he’ll be Jim Rockford.
James Garner died yesterday at the age of 86. His film career spanned well over 60 years, and included film classics like The Great Escape, Space Cowboys, and The Notebook.
Three years ago, he put it all down on paper in a book called ‘The Garner Files’. The first line of the book sets the tone for what follows when he says “Something funny happens as you get older. You don’t hold back so much.” And he dIdn’t, dishing out an honest account of his tough childhood and his own drug use.
In the book, he called his friend Steve McQueen, of the original 1968 The Thomas Crown Affair and co-star of The Great Escape an “insecure poseur and not much of an actor.” And Charles Bronson, with whom he also co-starred in the 1963 movie The Great Escape, “bitter and belligerent.”
The book is a quick easy read, full or stories written in the no holes barred style Garner was known for.
A very decent man who married his wife two weeks after they met, and stayed married for over 56 years.
And did you know he received two Purple Hearts during the Korean Was.
Prior to the book’s release in 2011, the AP received a review copy and described it this way:
“Full of funny stories and observations, “The Garner Files” offers the kind of clubhouse banter you might expect from a hardworking, successful guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously — and doesn’t want you to, either.”
“The Garner Files” is a classic tale of making it in Hollywood fueled, write reviewers, with Garner’s good lucks, fortune, charm, and sense of humor.
I’ll be re-reading the book this week, to hear one one more time the stories of a fellow Oklahoman I so admired.
And I’ll probably screen an episode or two of ‘Maverick’ and ‘The Rockford Files’.
You might want to catch one of these five James Garner films to remind yourself what a good actor he was – someone you could trust. A very decent man.
A rarity in Hollywood…….
Here, he talks about other actors…..
FIVE JAMES GARNER FILMS I RECOMMEND (IN ADDITION TO THE ORIGINAL ‘MAVERICK TV SERIES’ AND ‘THE ROCKFORD FILES’)
THE GREAT ESCAPE
BRET MAVERICK (TV SERIES)