Sunday, July 20, 2014

James Garner 1928-2014

James Garner, known for his leading roles on the TV shows Maverick and The Rockford Files, and for making a series of Polaroid Camera commercials with Mariette Hartley (this one, for example), has died in his home in Los Angeles of natural causes.   He had been in poor health for some time.

James Scott Bumgarner was born on April 7, 1928 in Norman Oklahoma.  His mother died when he was young, after which his father remarried.  He and his brothers Charles and Jack did not get along with their stepmother, who according to Garner, would beat them "with anything she could get hold of."  Garner dropped out of high school, briefly joined the Merchant Marine, moved to Los Angeles where his father lived, went back to school, worked in Texas and Oklahoma oil fields, and was drafted into the Army during the Korean War, during which he was wounded twice.  After his discharge, he attended the University of Oklahoma, returned to California, worked for his father as a carpet layer, and got into acting.  His survivors include his wife, his daughter and a stepdaughter.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, ABC News, People and KTLA.

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