My introduction to James Garner was The Rockford Files. I have fond memories of watching the show with my dad when I was younger. He was a cool cat, driving a Firebird and living on the beach. He was his own boss. He was the reluctant hero, a role that James Garner became known for throughout his career. Who didn’t want to BE Jim Rockford? He made it all look so easy and so cool.
Of course, there were plenty of his other works that I enjoyed, Maverick, Support Your Local Sheriff, Move Over, Darling, My Fellow Americans, and the list goes on. Every time I hear “Hail to the Chief”, I hear in my head “Hail to the chief. If you don’t, I’ll have to kill you. I am the chief, so you’d better watch your step, you bastards.” And it brings a smile to my face. That was James Garner in a nutshell, he brought a smile to your face.
It’s sad when we lose an acting legend, but there are some who’s impact in your life is so great, it’s like losing a member of the family. For me, James Garner is one of those. I have so many great memories of watching him with family. Rest In Peace, James Garner. Farewell, Bret Maverick. So long, Jim Rockford. We’ll miss you.