James Garner: Cowboy, soldier, detective, astronaut, race car driver – LA Times

James Garner, who died Saturday at the age of 86, was tall, handsome and athletic, all qualities that made for longevity as a leading man.

Garner, a native Oklahoman, came to fame on television as the laid-back Bret Maverick in the 1950s western, went on to film stardom in the 1960s, then returned to television, most notably for an Emmy-winning run in the lighthearted detective series “The Rockford Files.”

Shifting easily between comedy and drama, imbued with a sardonic charm, Garner was part of a line of Hollywood leading men, extending back to Cary Grant and forward to George Clooney, who meld good looks, charisma and self-deprecating wit. He played almost all the standard movie and television roles — cowboy, soldier, detective, astronaut, race car driver — but put his distinctive brand on each.

via James Garner: Cowboy, soldier, detective, astronaut, race car driver – LA Times.

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