Cheeky, suave TV and movie star James Garner has died of natural causes at 86.
Always the charmer with conventional good looks and understated, if at times slightly tweaked, humor, Garner rose to fame in the 1950s on the TV Western Maverick. He starred in numerous Hollywood romantic comedies and became a 1970s television icon as an offbeat police detective in The Rockford Files.
The Oklahoma native was found at his home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles Saturday evening. Garner co-starred with Steve McQueen the 1963 movie The Great Escape and earned an Oscar nomination for Murphy's Romance (1985), co-starring Sally Field.
“I’m never that disappointed when something bad happens. Naturally, I don’t like it. But I don’t get seriously disappointed," he told Cowboys & Indiansmagazine in 2004. "I don’t expect that much. I’m sure some psychiatrist would jump all over that. But that’s their job. I have mine. And I do mine the best I can.” Garner also said that never cared that much about being liked; he just never wanted to be disliked.
Garner should rest in peace with the legacy that few actors, past and present, have been more likable.