Actor James Garner dies at 86

MAVERICK: Garner, seen here at the 11th annual Screen Actors Guild awards in 2005, was best known for his roles as Bret Maverick and James Rockford.


    Jul 21, 2014

    Actor James Garner dies at 86


    JAMES Garner, the star of hit TV shows Maverick and The Rockford Files, has died at the age of 86, celebrity website TMZ reported yesterday.

    No cause of death was given.

    Garner made his name on television as the wry, laid-back professional gambler and gun slinger Bret Maverick in the 1957-1960 cowboy series, which included guest appearances by Hollywood stars such as Clint Eastwood and Roger Moore.

    Garner starred as James Rockford, a witty and resourceful private detective in the 1974-1980 series The Rockford Files. In 1977, he won an Emmy for his work in the series.

    Garner also appeared on the big screen, in movies like The Great Escape (1963) with Steve McQueen; The Americanization Of Emily (1964) and Victor Victoria (1982), both with Julie Andrews; and the romantic comedy Murphy's Romance (1985), for which he was nominated for an Oscar. He also co-starred in the 1994 movie version of Maverick with Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster.

    More recently Garner appeared in Eastwood's Space Cowboys in 2000 and The Notebook in 2004, and had a recurring role in the ABC comedy 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Daughter, which ran from 2003 to 2005.

    Born James Scott Bumgarner, he dropped out of school and joined the merchant marine at the end of World War II. He later joined the army and served during the Korean War, where he was wounded twice.

    He became an actor on the encouragement of a high school friend and worked his way up from TV commercials.

    People magazine described Garner as "one of Hollywood's most likable leading men on the big screen and on TV" for 50 years.