Actor James Garner passes away at 86

Actor James Garner passes away at 86

[Ed. – Memo to the Pearly Gates: Maverick didn’t come here to lose.  RIP]

Amiable film and television actor James Garner, who starred in popular television series, “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files,” died Saturday at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. 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. Garner won two Emmys and racked up a total of 15 nominations. 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. …

Born James Bumgarner in Norman, Okla., he left high school to become a merchant seaman before moving to Los Angeles, enrolling at Hollywood High and then returning to Norman, where he joined the Oklahoma State National Guard.

He briefly went to work in his father’s carpeting business in Los Angeles until being called for duty in the Korean War. He served more than a year in the Korean peninsula and was awarded the Purple Heart before his discharge in 1952. He studied business administration at the U. of Oklahoma but left after a semester, ready to move towards acting. …

He won the Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement Award in 2005.

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