Monday, July 21, 2014


James Garner died of natural causes at his California home Saturday, July 19, at the age of 86. It almost does not seem possible, as I am sure that somewhere right now an episode of “The Rockford Files” is playing.

We all loved James Garner's TV characters, who with no visible heroic traits could somehow beat the bad guys in the end.

Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford were basically the same character in different footwear, the antithesis of almost every traditional protagonist on television.

Maverick was a gambler who aspired to become nothing higher than a hustler, happy to finesse a few bucks and leave town untroubled by any gunfire he heard behind him on his way out. He didn't use a gun much. He started with his wits and when necessary moved on to his fists.

Low-budget private investigator Jim Rockford lived in a mobile home and liked to eat Mexican food. He hung out with a bizarre posse whose help often got him beaten up. He constantly was taking cases so low-end you wondered how they ever got on television, yet the show developed characters like a good drama and put them in situations that sometimes seemed closer to a good sitcom.

Garner’s charisma served him well on the big screen, starring in more than 50 films and earning an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor in the 1985 romantic drama “Murphy’s Romance.”

He acted well into his 70’s only slowing down after suffering a stroke. He is survived by his wife of 55 years and two children.


  1. Whenever I think of James Garner, I think of the show Maverick. My dad loved that show and he much preferred it when Garner was in it (rather than the brother). I think he loved The Rockford Files, too, but not like Maverick.

    Did you watch that video you posted? It was some dude who changed the intro and inserted himself into the beginning.

    You might like this one better since it actually features James Garner. Though it steps beyond the intro and into scenes from the show...

    1. Funny-your link is the clip I thought I posted (I remember the comment about it being a tribute, and found that odd since it was posted more than a year ago).

      Must have clicked the wrong item in the preview window.

      Probably a generational thing-I kind of grew up on Rockford, and remember the Maverick movie more than the series...