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Sunday, July 20, 2014

R.I.P. James Garner

There were some people, when I was a kid, who I never had to be told who they were, I just always knew. Doris Day, Carol Burnett, Julie Andrews, Lucille Ball. James Garner was one of those people.  Until a local TV station started rerunning Maverick when I was in high school I didn't even realize what a dish he was.  Not really my type ever, but I know a handsome man when I see one.  The thing that set him apart, I think, is that he always had a sense of humor.  He wasn't a comedian, he wasn't ironic, but he was always in on the joke. He never looked like he was trying too hard, but that was a complete illusion. The list of injuries he received while filming The Rockford Files would turn your blood cold.

He started out as a teenage swimsuit model, served in the Army in the Korean war, where he was injured twice, went on the stage in 1954, made his first movie in 1956,  and became a television star in 1957.  He was devoted to liberal causes and participated in the historic 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luthor King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech.  He met his bride-to-be at an Adlai Stevenson rally in 1956 and married her two weeks later.  The were still married fifty-eight years later. He continued acting as long as his health allowed.  He will be missed.

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