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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 119895
Posted: 07 April 2020 at 4:15am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

James Garner 1928-2014
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Tim O Neill
Byrne Robotics Security


Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 10227
Posted: 07 April 2020 at 9:12pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply


I loved him in THE ROCKFORD FILES, and later caught some of his great films
including SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF and his wonderful turn in THE
GREAT ESCAPE.


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Greg McPhee
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Joined: 25 August 2004
Location: United Kingdom
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Posted: 08 April 2020 at 7:56am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

THE ROCKFORD FILES is the gold standard for TV private eyes.

MAVERICK and SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF are two great subversions of the Western genre.

He was also in a quirky, yet enjoyable 1972 mystery film that I enjoy THEY ONLY KILL THEIR MASTERS.
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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 08 April 2020 at 8:19am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Garner was a very AMERICAN actor. Like Spencer Tracy or John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart before him, he created a character and took it with him from role to role. And it worked amazingly well.
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Bryan Eacret
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Joined: 08 February 2007
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Posted: 08 April 2020 at 8:59am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

My mom had a huge crush on him during THE ROCKFORD FILES. She'd watch the show with stars in her eyes. I was a little disturbed by it. I don't think it bothered my dad. 

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John Byrne

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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 08 April 2020 at 9:38am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Well, at least your mom never had to deal with the shock and trauma my own mother went thru with Rock Hudson!!
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Brennan Voboril
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Joined: 15 January 2011
Posts: 1487
Posted: 08 April 2020 at 9:54am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Ha ha, I still remember the shock that American women went through when Hudson came out.  
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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 8660
Posted: 08 April 2020 at 10:39am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

To this day I miss his unique voice and manner. He was his own man from early on and he aged gracefully; at every age women loved him as men respected / identified with him. While he had plenty of decent roles in the movies early then scattered later, I'm kind of surprised he wasn't bigger there as he had all the requisite looks and skills required. I guess he ultimately so crushed it out of the park in television with MAVERICK and ROCKFORD FILES (my favorite) and all those TV movies (the afforementioned westerns, THEY ONLY KILL THEIR MASTERS and for me, the powerful HEARTSOUNDS) that that's just where most of the chips fell.
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Doug Centers
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Joined: 17 February 2014
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Posted: 08 April 2020 at 1:23pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I always described him as my favorite Uncle.

One of those guys you just couldn't help to root for!
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Greg McPhee
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Joined: 25 August 2004
Location: United Kingdom
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Posted: 09 April 2020 at 5:31am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

There was an interview with Stephen J. Cannell who co-created THE ROCKFORD FILES, and he talks about how much of a pleasure it was to work with Garner for 6 years. Never an argument, a disagreement or an ego on the show.

Cannell told a story that at a Christmas party for the show he and Garner were discussing an episode that Cannell wrote, and thought was weak. He said Garner went (with his charm and humour):

"Not one of your better efforts, Stephen.", and wagged his finger at him.

Cannell asked him why he didn't say anything during filming / production.

Garner replied "You guys have to come up with 22 scripts a year, and I know we may have one or two weak ones. That's when my job is to step up with the acting to make it better for the audience. It's also not my job to criticise your job."


Edited by Greg McPhee on 09 April 2020 at 1:46pm
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Rick Senger
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Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
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Posted: 09 April 2020 at 10:16am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Garner not only did most of his own stunts (which caused most of his physical problems and surely contributed to the show's untimely early demise despite continued good ratings) but also was a highly accomplished driver. He did many of Rockford's signature and quite technical car gags including the famous "bootlegger's turn" which appeared in many shows. link
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Mark Haslett
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Joined: 19 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 4752
Posted: 09 April 2020 at 2:45pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I have been a life-long fan of this man and one aspect of James Garner's
career that, I think, accounts for his particular orbit among the stars was his
fierce independence. He never particularly wanted to be a star and used his
acting career to support a life-style of family, fun, and hard work.

Artistically, he prized a kind of authenticity that relentlessly poked holes in
overly-used cliche. This was more than a sense of humor with him. It was
philosophical too and trickled down through a sense of what he thought it
meant to give value to his audience.

This became a flavor that was particular to him. Like many American Uber-
stars, James Garner couldn't be grouped with a type-- became his own
"type". He was the best James Garner there ever was.
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