James Garner of ‘The Rockford Files,’ ‘Maverick,’ ‘8 Simple Rules’ dead at 86

James Garner -Sad news is coming out from the TV and film world early Sunday as legendary actor James Garner, whose career spanned from 1956 until close to the present day, has passed away at the age of 86. The immediate cause of the death was not released, but he has had a history of health problems that stem back for the past decade.

There are obviously going to be many who look back on Garner and remember him most from the world of film, but since this is a television news site first and foremost, we wanted to highlight in particular three works that he was in particular exceptional at.

  • “Maverick” (1957-62) – One of the most influential shows of its time about a gambling man in the old west. Garner ended up reprising this role of Bret Maverick for multiple TV movies, and even attempted a revival of the show with “Bret Maverick’ in the early 1980s.
  • “The Rockford Files” (1974-80) – An enormous hit, and considered today to be one of the biggest shows of his time. Garner is one of those few lucky actors with many iconic roles, and Jim Rockford is near the top of the list.
  • “8 Simple Rules” (2003-05) – This is a show that actually started in 2002, but Garner ended up joining it the following year to give the show a permanent male presence after the shocking death of star John Ritter. This was the last series to feature Garner after some quick-to-be-canceled shows, and it is known for being Katey Sagal’s first major TV role after “Married … with Children,” and for helping to launch the career of Kaley Cuoco prior to her joining “The Big Bang Theory.”

Garner will be deeply missed not just as a great actor, but a talent and a throwback to a different, more honest time of Hollywood. Thoughts go out to all who loved him.

Photo: NBC

Love TV? Be sure to like CarterMatt on Facebook for more updates!