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In Memoriam to James Garner

Updated on December 28, 2017
LiliMarlene profile image

As a German-English screenwriter, filmmaker/director, photographer and illustrator I simply love everything creative and fanciful.

James Garner


This News Made Me Cry

Well, how can I start this article without crying again? It came in the news ticker that ran under the reports and pictures from Israel and Gaza. When I read the short line that the Hollywood actor James Garner just died at the age of 86 I suddenly had tears in my eyes what usually does not happen that easily.

You probably heard it already, but I am still touched. James Garner, who´s real name is James Scott Bumgarner was born in the same year with my father who is already gone as well. Hence, it should not have been that surprising that he died at the proud age of 86 and after he already had a stroke in 2008 - what I did not know yet. He was so active even in his high age. I remember him in the TV show 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter where he played the grandfather. This show ran until 2005 so he was already 81. As if that was not enough, he also still appeared in films like The Notebook (2004) and The Ultimate Gift (2006). After his stroke he still worked with his voice (if these movies were not filmed earlier and just released after his stroke) in Battle for Terra (2007) and Superman Shazam – The Return Of Black Adam (2010). Actually he avoided the public after his stroke, but as a real actor and creative person you can't stop working. It is now said he died on another one.

James Garner as Maverick

Most people remember him as the character Maverick.
Most people remember him as the character Maverick.

Why I Remember Him So Well

The moment I fell in love with him was in my teen years when I watched a movie with Mr. Garner on TV. It happened in this film with Doris Day. James Garner plays a doctor, Doris is his wife of course. It is called The Thrill of it All. The two have two adorable cute children and a nice house until his wife gets the opportunity to earn some money as a model for a soap commercial and becomes really successful. This creates a total mess and I decided I need a man like him as my husband.

Actually, I knew Mr. Garner of course much earlier as my parents loved to watch him as Detective Rockford in The Rockford Files. I loved in this series that he there as was living an unorthodox and adventurous life - from my point of view as a young girl.

There is another film with Doris Day. The two play a married couple, but she gets lost and is missed. So one day he decides to declare her as dead and he marries another woman. However, with Doris Day nothing is normal. She is still very alive and comes back home all in a sudden. Now he is in trouble, because how can he explain this to his new wife? You know that film, I guess: Move Over, Darling!

A movie I still love to watch again when it is shown on TV is Support Your Local Sheriff. It simply always makes me laugh again.

I also remember him as Maverick, playing the father of Mel Gibson´s character. But the more he impressed me in One Special Night and The Notebook. You can also see how great he was as an actor by the way how he played together with Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland and Tommy Lee Jones in Space Cowboys.

My Farewell to You, James Garner

It is always hard to say good-bye forever. Nevertheless, how wonderful that we can watch his films again and keep the memory to him alive. Not all people are that lucky to leave something to this world for eternity. Well, even writing these words is difficult to me and brings me to tears again as I recently lost my boyfriend and know how his wife Lois Garner must feel now. Plus, some years ago my parents died and James Garner reminds me to them. He was another part of my childhood which is gone forever now. I hope you did not suffer in your last days and moments and that someone was around to hold your hand, James. I surely will never forget you. Thank you very much for the touching moments and the laughter that you brought into my life by your work.

RIP James Garner!

To Gigi Garner: Thank you so much for your nice 'likes' and 'retweets'. Love and big hugs!


© 2014 Elisabeth Meier


Submit a Comment
  • Robert Sacchi profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    3 years ago

    There were also the Polaroid commercials with Mariette Hartley. The way they spoke to each other in the commercial many people thought they were married. I remember reading an article where Mariette Hartley said at one point James Garner insisted they pay her more money.

  • LiliMarlene profile imageAUTHOR

    Elisabeth Meier 

    3 years ago

    Oh yea, Robert, Support Your Local Sheriff was really funny with all these strange accidents that happened to the woman, I think her name was Prudence. Haven't heard of the other one.

    True is that Gigi Garner, his daughter, retweeted my Tweets with the link to this article. She's really nice.

  • Robert Sacchi profile image

    Robert Sacchi 

    3 years ago

    Yes, James Garner was great in his many movies and the 2 famed TV series, Maverick & The Rockford Files. There was also a sequel to Support Your Local Sherif, Support Your Local Gunfighter. He played a very good anti-hero.

  • LiliMarlene profile imageAUTHOR

    Elisabeth Meier 

    3 years ago

    That is cool. So, somehow your family is connected to James Garner for all times. =)) Thank you very much for our comment, Will!

  • WillStarr profile image


    3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    Murphy's Romance was filmed in Florence Arizona, home of my wife's relatives. Several of them can be seen in crowd scenes, and my neighbor in Tucson supplied the old flat-bed truck where Garner and Fields sat in one scene.

    Great movie and good Hub!

  • LiliMarlene profile imageAUTHOR

    Elisabeth Meier 

    4 years ago

    What is your favorite movie with James Garner? Leave a comment and feel free to discuss. Thank you!


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