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James Garner of ‘Maverick,’ ‘Rockford Files’ Dies at 86


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#1 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 02:23 AM

From Variety:
 
James Garner of ‘Maverick,’ ‘Rockford Files’ Dies at 86

Amiable actor James Garner, whose moderately successful film career was eclipsed by two extraordinarily popular television series, “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files,” has died, according to reports. He was 86.

Like many popular leading men of Hollywood’s heyday, Garner boasted all-American good looks and a winning personality that carried him through comedy and drama alike. He was one of the first of TV’s leading men to cross over into films in the ’60s with such popular movies as “The Thrill of It All” and “The Americanization of Emily.” But he had his greatest impact in television, first on “Maverick” in the ’50s and then in the ’70s on “The Rockford Files,” for which he won an Emmy in 1977. He later appeared in several quality telepics including “Promise,” “My Name Is Bill W.” and “Barbarians at the Gate,” as well as the occasional strong feature such as “Victor/Victoria” and “Murphy’s Romance,” for which he captured his sole Oscar nomination for lead actor.

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#2 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 04:35 AM

Always liked him......R.I.P. James.


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#3 OFFLINE   PCampbell

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 05:35 AM

Rockford was the best show in the 70s. I will miss him. RIP

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#4 OFFLINE   fluffybear

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 06:43 AM

Was one of my top 3 favorite actors of all time. 

 

Mr. Garner, Rest In Peace and thank you for sharing your talent with all of us. 


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#5 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:35 AM

The first record I ever bought was the theme song to Maverick.

 

"Who is the tall, dark stranger there?

 

Maverick is his name...



#6 OFFLINE   lugnutathome

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:49 AM

He always seemed to bring a lot of himself into the characters he played and was one of my favorites for that reason. Now I get that same feel from Nathan Fillion.

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#7 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 11:22 AM

I can remember watching "Maverick" with my father when the show premiered in 1957. He really enjoyed the show and so did I. And so James Garner became a favorite actor whether on TV in the "Rockford Files" or movies such as The Americanization of Emily and Murphy's Romance.

 

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#8 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 12:18 PM

Was one of my top 3 favorite actors of all time. 

 

Mr. Garner, Rest In Peace and thank you for sharing your talent with all of us. 

My sentiments as well. 


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#9 OFFLINE   mobilelawyer

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 04:31 PM

I have a vague memory of Maverick, as I was only 3 when the series premiered. But, boy, do I remember the Rockford Files! It is my favorite television series of all time, and James Garner was the perfect actor to play Jim Rockford. I always thought Jim was playing Jim. Surely the character and show were written for him. The scripts were well-written and featured many up and coming actors as guest stars. I never saw a disappointing television or movie performance by James Garner. We shall certainly miss him.


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#10 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 07:34 PM

It used to rankle Garner that critics kept saying he wasn't really acting because he kept playing himself, but lots of actors have nice careers either doing just that or seeming to.  It is better to be typecast than not cast. 



#11 ONLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 07:55 PM

I'm old enough to remember Maverick. It was in the same time slot as Cheyenne and Sugarfoot.


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#12 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 02:13 AM

I'm old enough to remember Maverick. It was in the same time slot as Cheyenne and Sugarfoot.

Funny thing about TV in the 1950s and 1960s.  We made our viewing decisions with what economists might call "perfect knowledge"   We knew what was on the other two channels that we weren't watching.  I am certain that most years, I could accurately fill out the entire Prime Time grid for all three networks.



#13 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 03:07 AM

Funny thing about TV in the 1950s and 1960s.  We made our viewing decisions with what economists might call "perfect knowledge"   We knew what was on the other two channels that we weren't watching.  I am certain that most years, I could accurately fill out the entire Prime Time grid for all three networks.


And we had to decide ... if one watched Maverick one couldn't watch a Cheyenne on their DVR later. (Not to mention that one had to schedule their lives around the shows that they wanted to watch. Drop everything! Maverick is on!) Fortunately reruns were invented.
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#14 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 05:13 AM

My favorite line from "Murphy's Romance" is "I won't come for dinner if I can't stay for breakfast".

 

R.I.P.


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#15 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 06:04 AM

And we had to decide ... if one watched Maverick one couldn't watch a Cheyenne on their DVR later. (Not to mention that one had to schedule their lives around the shows that they wanted to watch. Drop everything! Maverick is on!) Fortunately reruns were invented.

 

From the mid 1950s to the early 1960s, TV seasons typically consisted of 39 episodes, so the first "summer rerun" usually came on a week or so after the school yer had ended, and since only 13 episodes were needed to fill the gap, then most of the episodes were never seen again until the series went into "syndication", which wasn't until the original series had stopped being produced.

 

Garner had a short-lived series called "Nichols".  I never saw it but he often claimed in interviews that it had quality and might have become a hit, except that when it was being reviewed for renewal by some executives, the wife of one of them who was seeing it for the first time, said "That isn't Maverick" and so the renewal wasn't picked up.



#16 ONLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 21 July 2014 - 10:50 PM

Funny thing about TV in the 1950s and 1960s.  We made our viewing decisions with what economists might call "perfect knowledge"   We knew what was on the other two channels that we weren't watching.  I am certain that most years, I could accurately fill out the entire Prime Time grid for all three networks.

 

You miss understood. Those three shows were all on the same channel at he same time period. They just rotated. One week Cheyenne, and the next week Sugarfoot, and then Maverick. Later Maverick got sub-divided as they added brothers. Think they got up four.

The producer did the same with 77 Sunset Strip, but I forgotten what other shows it shared the slot with.


Edited by Drucifer, 21 July 2014 - 10:51 PM.

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#17 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 09:30 AM

Maverick wasn't part of that rotation.  It always had its own slot. 

 

I knew that Cheyenne had rotated with Sugar Foot and Bronco, but was not aware that before that, it had rotated with short lived Conflict, Kings Row, and Casablanca.

 

I'm pretty sure that one year Warner Brothers alternated two of its chessey detective shows, but I'm not sure which.

 

In the late 1960s and into the early 1970s, using a "wheel" programming format of similarly themed shows became popular as it took a lot of pressure off the production of episodes.  The Bold Ones alternated lawyers, doctors, a senator and a cop; the Mystery Movie had Columbo, McCloud, McMillian (and Wife) and finally Hec Ramsey; and The Name of the Game, which tied its three shows loosely, rotated Gene Barry, Robert Stack and Tony Franciosa.

 

A second Mystery Movie wheel was developed for Wednesday night and included Banicek, which lasted two seasons, but the other half dozen shows they tried only lasted one season each, except for Quincy, which was part of the Mystery Movie for its last year but then continued as a weekly series for many seasons thereafter.


Edited by AntAltMike, 22 July 2014 - 05:52 PM.


#18 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 09:57 AM

Here is an off-the wall TV nostalgia miindblower that is off topic but I do what I can to make sure lots of old TV watchers learn of it.  Make Room for Daddy actually ran for eleven seasons but was a flop for its first four, before Danny changed wives (no this wasn't a Darren and Darren substitution) and the show then took off in the ratings.  Most of us have never seen the first four seasons because they weren't packaged for syndication.  His original wife was played by screen actress Jean Hagen.  She quit after three year, so they wrote that she had died, and then Danny was a widower for one year, and at the end of that fourth year, they brought Marjorie Lord in as a governess to care for Rusty, and she and Danny got engaged in that season's last episode.

 

I've read that in the fifth year, there were episodes in which they adopted each other's kids, but after that, the writers just started writing it as if none of that had ever happened and that they were a traditional nuclear family from the get-go.


Edited by AntAltMike, 22 July 2014 - 10:04 AM.


#19 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:17 AM

Good to keep in mind that those old tv show story lines are not real

and probably will never, ever be brought to a satisfying conclusion.


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#20 OFFLINE   AntAltMike

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Posted 22 July 2014 - 11:32 AM

I'm still fuzzy on how Warren Beatty's mother became Chatsworth Osborne's mother on Dobie Gillis.






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