Ask anyone of my generation or younger, and they’ll probably tell you that James Garner is “the guy from The Notebook.” My response to that is, “WHAT?!” Seriously though, today we lost another great: actor, James Garner passed away at the age of 86. To many, he wasn’t just that guy from The Notebook. He was Bret Maverick, and Jim Rockford. He was the unlikely movie star with two purple hearts from the Korean War. He appeared on Broadway, once, in a non-speaking role in The Caine Mutiny Court Martial where he learned and honed his craft. In the 50s and 60s, westerns were big on television, and James Garner turned the character of Bret Maverick into an icon. He found television success again in the 70s as another icon, Jim Rockford of The Rockford Files. Even with his numerous television successes, including an Emmy for The Rockford Files, he managed to find fame on the big screen too. He starred in The Great Escape, and received a Best Actor Oscar nomination in 1986 for Murphy’s Romance. In 1994, he starred in the film version of Maverick, with Mel Gibson stepping into the shoes of the famous gambler, and Garner as Marshall Zane Cooper. In his later years, he starred in The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and yes, The Notebook. He was a versatile actor who needs to be recognized for his impressive career. Rest in Peace James Garner, you were my mom’s favorite actor. You were more than the guy from The Notebook: You were a Maverick.
This is a clip from Garner’s famed series, Maverick, with Clint Eastwood looking for some trouble: