R.I.P. James Garner (1928 – 2014)

Reports have emerged that James Garner has passed away at the age of 86. A cause of death has not yet been publicly announced.

Born James Scott Bumgarner in 1928, the future James Garner fought in the Korean War before returning to the United States and finding his first acting role in a non-speaking part for the Broadway play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. From there, Garner transitioned into TV commercials and small roles in feature films including The Girl He Left Behind and Toward the Unknown.

Garner first found fame as Bret Maverick in “Maverick,” a comedy western TV series. Despite only spending three seasons on the show, Bret Maverick remained one of Garner’s signature roles. Garner went on to reprise his role in the TV movie, The Young Maverick and a second TV series called “Bret Maverick,” which ran for a single season in 1981. In 1994, Garner played Marshal Zane Cooper in the Maverick feature film, opposite Mel Gibson as Bret Maverick.

After “Maverick,” Garner became one of the first TV stars to successfully crossover to film as a leading man. Some of Garner’s most memorable films included Victor/Victoria, The Thrill of It All, The Americanization of Emily and Murphy’s Romance, the film that earned Garner an Oscar nomination for lead actor in a film.

Garner reunited with “Maverick” creator Roy Huggins in 1974 when Huggins co-created “The Rockford Files” with Stephen J. Cannell. During his six seasons as private investigator Jm Rockford, Garner won an Emmy award for lead actor in a drama and he once again became a TV icon.

In his later years, Garner appeared in The Notebook, “8 Simple Rules” and Space Cowboys.

Garner is survived by his wife, Lois Clarke (whom he married in 1956), their daughter Greta Garner and Kim Garner, James Garner’s adopted daughter from Clarke’s first marriage.

CraveOnline extends its condolences and best wishes to James Garner’s family, friends and fans all over the world.