James Garner, Star of MAVERICK, VICTOR VICTORIA Dies at Age 86
Actor James Garner, best known for his roles as 'Maverick' and Jim Rockford in the TV series, 'The Rockford Files' has passed away at the age of 86. The news was reported by The Los Angeles Times who cited Los Angeles Police as their source. It is believed that the actor died of natural causes at his Brentwood home Saturday evening
Garner's career spanned more than five decades and included such popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western-comedy series, Maverick, and Jim Rockford in the 1970s detective drama, The Rockford Files. His began his acting career in 1954 with a non-speaking role in the Broadway play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial.
The actor starred in more than fifty films including The Great Escape (1963), Paddy Chayefsky's The Americanization of Emily (1964), Grand Prix (1966), Blake Edwards' Victor Victoria (1982), Murphy's Romance (1985) for which he received an Academy Award nomination, and The Notebook (2004).
Starting with the 1974 season, Garner appeared as private investigator Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files. He appeared for six seasons, for which he received an Emmy Award for Best Actor in 1977. Garner returned to his earlier TV role in 1981 in the revival series Bret Maverick. During the 1980s, Garner played dramatic roles in a number of TV movies, including Heartsounds (with Mary Tyler Moore), Promise (with Piper Laurie) and My Name Is Bill W. In 1984, he played the lead in Joseph Wambaugh's The Glitter Dome for HBO Pictures.
In 1991, Garner starred in Man of the People, a television series about a con man chosen to fill an empty seat on a city council, with Kate Mulgrew and Corinne Bohrer. In 1993, Garner played the lead in another well-received TV-movie, Barbarians at the Gate, and went on to reprise his role as Jim Rockford in eight The Rockford Files made-for-TV movies beginning the following year.
He was nominated for his first Oscar award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the movie Murphy's Romance opposite Sally Field. In 1994, Garner played Marshal Zane Cooper in a movie version of Maverick, with Mel Gibson as Bret Maverick and Jodie Foster as a gambling lass with a fake southern accent. In 1995, he played lead character Woodrow Call, an ex-lawman, in the TV miniseries sequel toLonesome Dove entitled Streets of Laredo, based on Larry McMurtry's book.
In 1996, Garner and Jack Lemmon teamed up in My Fellow Americans, playing two former presidents who uncover scandalous activity by their successor Dan Aykroyd and are pursued by murderous NSA agents. In addition to a major recurring role during the last part of the run of TV series Chicago Hope, Garner also starred in a couple of short-lived series, the animated God, the Devil and Bob and First Monday, in which he played a Supreme Court justice.