With all the talk about MAVERICK around here of late, it is particularly sad to note the passing of actor, and star of MAVERICK, James Garner, on July 19, 2014, at the age of 86.
Beyond MAVERICK, James Garner had a long and successful run starring in THE ROCKFORD FILES and, in between, headed the short-lived western series NICHOLS – and even returned to the character of “Bret Maverick” in a 1981-1982 series titled (what else?) BRET MAVERICK.
I’ve never seen that later MAVERICK series, but should try to catch it someday.
HERE is his vast list of credits from IMDB.
The New York Times might have said it best with:“Mr. Garner was a genuine star but as an actor something of a paradox: a lantern-jawed, brawny athlete whose physical appeal was both enhanced and undercut by a disarming wit.”
And, it was that “disarming wit” that made MAVERICK a standout from what was then a glut of TV westerns – and set the standard for “the other Mavericks that followed”, Jack Kelly as “Bart”, Roger Moore as “Beau”, and the all-too-quickly-fleeting Robert Colbert as “Brent”.
That extensive New York Times obit can be found HERE. It’s very much worth reading!
As I said in a previous comment thread:“[MAVERICK] was smack in the thick of the huge proliferation of TV westerns of the mid-to-late-fifties thru the early-to-mid-sixties. But, it did its thing with a healthy sense of humor. Not exactly going so far as to call it ‘camp’, but its tone was more often ‘fun’ over grim.”
And for that, and so many other things, we have James Garner to thank!