James Garner: 5 Memorable Roles (Video)

James Garner
James Garner
 Associated Press

Hollywood is mourning the death of actor James Garner.

Garner, best known for his starring roles on the TV series The Rockford Files and Maverick, died at his Brentwood home on Saturday night at age 86. In his more than half a century in show business, he also starred in films opposite Doris DayJulie Andrews and Sally Field.

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Stars from Debra Messing to Blake Shelton to Rob Lowe hit Twitter on Sunday to remember the actor. Read what they had to say here.

Below, read about (and watch) five of Garner's most memorable performances.

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The Rockford Files
The amiable actor was best known for playing the Los Angeles private eye in Rockford, which ran from 1974 to 1980, before knee and back injuries — many sustained because he did his own stunts — forced him to quit. "I couldn't take that many beatings anymore," he once said. "Every hiatus, I had a knee operation for five straight years, and sometimes for both knees." Garner was nominated for the Emmy for best actor in a drama series for five consecutive years, winning in 1977. Rockford, produced by Roy Huggins and writer Stephen J. Cannell, racked up three best drama nominations from 1978 to 1980 and took the trophy in 1978. Watch the opening credits and a clip below.

 

Maverick (TV series)
Garner also toplined the ABC Western-comedy hybrid Maverick (1957 to 1962), also produced by Huggins, in which he starred as a dapper cardsharp who would rather slip out the back door than face down a gunman. "Bravery gets you nothing but hurt," he once said. Both TV series showcased Garner's sense of humor and expertise in playing the reluctant hero. Watch the opening credits below.

 

Heartsounds
Garner earned a Golden Globe nomination for his compelling performance as a terminally ill physician opposite Mary Tyler Moore in the 1984 telefilm. Watch a preview of the movie below.

 

Maverick (film)
Garner also had a role in the 1994 movie, starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster. Watch the trailer below.

 

The Notebook
In 2004, Garner played the older version of Ryan Gosling's character in the Nicholas Sparks-adapted film opposite Gena Rowlands. Watch a clip below.

Kimberly Nordyke contributed to this report.

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