Skip to comments.Heads Up! James Garner Tribute on TCM Tonight 7/28/14
Posted on 07/28/2014 5:13:31 PM PDT by kristinn
8:00 PM comedy Thrill Of It All, The (1963)
10:00 PM war Americanization of Emily, The (1964)
12:00 AM drama Children's Hour, The (1961)
2:00 AM musical Victor Victoria (1982
4:30 AM suspense Marlowe (1969)
James Garner (1928-2014)
An enormously likable and well-respected star since the early 1950s, James Garner was an Oscar®-nominated American actor with a knack for playing lovable rogues in scores of films and television series. Though his rugged good looks made him a capable leading man in features like "The Great Escape" (1963), "The Americanization of Emily" (1964), and "Grand Prix" (1969), Garner found his greatest fame on the small screen; most notably in two popular series: the tongue-in-cheek Western, "Maverick" (ABC, 1957-1962) and the detective drama "The Rockford Files" (NBC, 1974-1980). Both programs made excellent use of Garner's folksy, underplayed delivery, earning him an Emmy (for "Rockford") and scores of nominations. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he remained exceptionally active in movies and television, as well as scores of commercials, well into his eighth decade.
Born James Scott Bumgarner in Norman, OK on April 7, 1928, Garner was one of three sons born to Weldon Bumgarner, a carpet layer, and his wife Mildred, who died when Garner was three. The boys - who included brothers Charlie, who died in 1965, and Jack, who followed Garner into acting in the mid-1960s - were sent to live with relatives until 1934, when their father remarried. The stepmother was apparently cut from typical fairytale cloth; in interviews, Garner recalled receiving consistent beatings from the woman, which ended only when he physically attacked her and she split from his father.
Garner's father relocated to Los Angeles following the divorce, while his sons remained in Oklahoma. Displeased with the options afforded him there, the 16-year-old lied about his age while signing up for the United States Merchant Marines in 1944. A year later, he joined his father in Los Angeles and attempted to earn his diploma at Hollywood High School. Despite being a popular student and a skilled athlete in football and basketball, he dropped out in 1946 and returned to Norman, where he gave high school one final try before dropping out in 1948. Garner later joined the Army and served in Korea, where he earned two Purple Hearts for injuries sustained in the conflict. Those injuries would later dash his hopes of a college career after his return to the United States; he eventually moved back to Los Angeles and worked in a score of odd jobs, including a model for Jantzen's swim trunks.
I recorded the first dozen Maverick shows and have been watching them the last couple of days. They are of extraordinary high quality considering they were filmed in 1957.
I used to like him until he came out as an America-hater.
I recall hearing a story from him or reading it somewhere, during his tour in the Korean war his unit was over run. He had a South Korean soldier (KATUSA) put on a North Korean uniform and marched him at gunpoint away to safety. I may have heard the story on Johnny Carson, but I can’t find any reference to it.
I guess it is possible to like someone and hate their politics. Of course I didn’t know him personally but I did like his characters.
His liberalism did come through just a little bit or it might have been the writers etc. Anyway “Rockford Files” was a good show although I doubt very seriously that Rockford kept any files on his cases.
My favorite James Garner movie was Grand Prix.
Great flicks: “The Thrill of It All” with Doris Day, “The Americanization of Emily” with Julie Andrews, “The Children’s Hour,” with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, based on the Lillian Hellman play.
Where is ‘Support Your Local Sheriff’? Not to mention ‘The Great Escape’.
A good career!
Oh, shoot! Just read this! Changing to TCM.
They actually wrote good stories. They had an episode where Bret Maverick was helping a cowboy named Waco Williams. If you remember the Rockford Files episodes with Lance White you will like this. Waco does about everything wrong and still comes up on top while at the end James Garner admits he may have been the one who was doing everything wrong.
Waco stirs up trouble. Shoots dead the son of a rancher who tried to kill him and wounds the father and with Mavericks help kills 2 more. He winds up getting the ranchers daughter as his wife because the father thinks Waco is man enough for her.
Wiki: “The Saga of Waco Williams” is a critical favorite which paired Preston with James Garner, as Bret Maverick, and drew more viewers than any other Maverick episode and remains one of Preston’s career milestones. Tom Selleck’s recurring comical character of Lance White in NBC’s later The Rockford Files, starring James Garner, is loosely based by writer/producer Stephen J. Cannell upon Waco Williams
Wayde Preston play Waco.
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