Flicks in Five: James Garner

by Lynne Warfel, Minnesota Public Radio
August 12, 2014

St. Paul, Minn. — Today we pay tribute to a very special actor; he's somebody I knew back in Los Angeles in the 1970s and 1980s: James Garner, born in Norman, Okla., in 1928. He just passed away on July 19, 2014.

He's known as being just what he seemed to be; what you see is what you get with Jim Garner, and that's pretty much the way it was. He was an awful lot like Jim Rockford, except he made a little bit more than "$100 a day, plus expenses."

He's best known on TV as Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford, but he played in a lot of movies, including The Children's Hour with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, and he worked with Doris Day and Melina Mercouri, all the great film stars of the day.

Jim loved a whole lot of things; he loved football and he really loved driving fast cars. He was known as being part of that elite group that included his friends Paul Newman and Steve McQueen when it came to racing cars. In Rockford, he did his own driving stunts; where he first learned those skills — or at least honed them — was in Europe, when he was working on a John Frankenheimer movie. Not one of his favorites, but it did teach him to drive race cars very fast: Grand Prix.

Today's show includes music from Grand Prix, by Maurice Jarre.

Jim Garner was one of Hollywood's truly nice guys.

Here's a fan's tribute to James Garner and Maverick, using the program theme and production stills. Lynne Warfel appears at :50 and once again at 2:08.

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