James Garner was similar to Dean Martin, in that they did great performances for their directors, made it seem easy. Both actors looked as though they were having fun most of the time while filming. I recall people on the Dean Martin Show saying he never even rehearsed with the rest of the cast. Both men were quick study’s and quite versatile in acting range. Neither seemed to take himself that seriously. Of course, the nonchalance and appearance of being indifferent could also have been an act, the way a trapeze artist must be a true expert before he can dance on the tightropes.
They were Bruce Campbell before Bruce was Bruce.
He usually played the nice guy, but he could do some serious drama. In The Streets of Laredo, he plays Capt Woodrow Call,
the role made by famous by Tommy Lee Jones. Garner’s Woodrow Call is a no-nonsense, certified badass. Check out the movie if you’ve not already seen it.