Veteran Hollywood actor James Garner died Saturday, July 19th, at his home in Los Angeles, California. He was 86 years old.
Garner starred in over 50 movies as well as in many television series and commercials. Director Robert Altman is quoted as saying “I have long thought that Jim Garner was one of the best actors around. He is often overlooked because he makes it look so easy, and that is not easy to do.”
Julie Andrews, who starred with Garner in The Americanization of Emily and Victor Victoria, called him “a man’s man, a ladies’ man, a good ol’ boy in the best sense of the word, a curmudgeon (he’ll be the first to tell you)…and a sweetheart. I don’t know a lady who isn’t a little bit in love with him.”
Garner did some memorable animation voice over work in the latter part of his career as well. He provided the voice of bad guy Commander Rourke in Disney Animation’s 2001 feature film Atlantis: The Lost Empire. He was the voice of Doron on 2007’s CG-animated release Battle for Terra (distributed by Lionsgate in the U.S.). He also was the voice of Shazam in two DC Showcase shorts titles released in 2010.
I recently watched on TCM the 1963 film The Thrill of It All, a light and breezy romantic comedy with Garner starring opposite Doris Day. I was impressed again by how cool James Garner appeared to be and how effortless he made acting look. That’s not easy to do, as Robert Altman aptly said. Thanks for the your great work, James, and rest in peace.