Most people may have identified him as the “older Ryan Gosling” and the main narrator of the highly popular movie “The Notebook”, but James Garner is a prominent figure in American show business industry, appearing in almost 40 movies and numerous television series and subsequently garnering significant acclaim from critics and moviegoers alike. This is why his passing away affected a lot of those who are in the said industry.
James Garner, born James Scott Bumgarner on April 7,1928, started his foray into showbiz at the tender age of seventeen where he worked as a model for a popular brand of bathing suits. Although that stint paid him well, he thought that modelling was not made for him. He then decided to serve at the army and after 14 months of military duties, he was recommended to play a role in the Broadway production of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. From then on, he went to acting in television and movies. The rest, as most people would say, is history.
Garner’s first breakthrough project was through the ABC Western-themed comedy series “Maverick” where he played the title role of Bret Maverick, a poker-playing maverick who was known for his characteristics that veered away from traditional male leads. Garner’s portrayal of this character, coupled with his natural charisma, has helped Maverick become a staple household name across America during the late 1950s. From there, he got offers to star in numerous blockbuster movies wherein he worked with other prolific people in showbiz like Audrey Hepburn (The Children’s Hour), Julie Andrews (The Americanization of Emily), and Steve McQueen (The Great Escape) – to name a few. During the course of his career, he was nominated for his performance by various award-giving institutions and has been instated in numerous hall of fame lists such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Western Performers Hall of Fame, and the Television Hall of Fame.
His latest work was the direct-to-video animation called Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam where he voiced the movie’s protagonist. On July 19, 2014 at the age of 86, he passed away from his home at Los Angeles due to natural reasons. Numerous celebrities such as Sally Field and Tom Selleck (who have worked with Garner before) gave tributes to this actor whose prowess and abilities will forever be cherished by the industry.