Iconic actor James Garner, best known for playing Jim Rockford on the Rockford Files, died Saturday at the age of 86.

James Garner Dies

Garner reportedly died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles over the weekend.

“James Garner was the definition of the smooth, dashing leading man, but his talents were so much more than skin deep,” SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard said. “He was a hard worker who dedicated himself wholly to whatever he set out to accomplish, whether it was serving his country or performing for the camera.”

Garner got his first big break in 1957 when he was cast in the leading role for Maverick. Though the actor left early on in the program due to problems with producers, Maverick served to launch him into star status. Garner later returned to TV in 1974 to play Jim Rockford on the detective show The Rockford Files. After leaving the show in 1980, Garner reprised his leading role in a number of made-for-TV movies.

On the big screen, Garner appeared in William Wyler’s The Children’s Hour (1961), which he followed up with a turn in The Great Escape (1963). In 1964, Garner starred alongside Julie Andrews in The Americanization of Emily, which was nominated for two Academy Awards and has been dubbed one of the actor’s favorite projects of his career. He reteamed with Andrews in Victor Victoria in 1988 and earned an Oscar nomination for Murphy’s Romance in 1985.

Garner continued to act into the 2000s, making memorable appearances in Divince Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and The Notebook. His last major part was on TV series 8 Simple Rules.


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