Classic Hollywood Throwback Thursday Featuring James Garner

It was a sad week for classic Hollywood when famed actor James Garner passed away on July 19 of natural causes at age 86.

So it seemed like the perfect time to look back at the Hollywood icon for this week’s Throwback Thursday. James was a fixture on the big and small screens during his five decade long career, and it comes as no surprise why.

Between his good looks, his natural charm and his talent, he could pretty much do it all. And he did. 

Before making it big in Hollywood, James was a swimsuit model, served in the army during the Korean War and even made an appearance on Broadway in 1954. He came to Hollywood in 1956 and got his big break playing Bret Maverick in the hit TV western Maverick from 1957 to 1962.

James Garner Maverick

From then on, James was pretty much everywhere. The 60s were good to him with a serious role in 1961’s The Children’s Hour, and two pairings with Doris Day in 1963 with The Thrill of It All and Move Over Darling. Clearly 1963 was his year, as he also starred in The Great Escape.

The early 1970s were quieter, so James took to the small screen again, this time as an ex-con turned private eye in The Rockford Files from 1974 to 1980. In 1986, James received his first and only Oscar nomination for Murphy’s Romance.

While James worked steadily in movies and TV for the rest of his life, the current generation probably knows him best as old Ryan Gosling in The Notebook (tears) and as the grandpa in 8 Simple Rules.

Young James Garner

James’ personal life was pretty quiet. He was married to Lois Fleishman Clarke from 1956 until his death, which is quite the rarity in Hollywood. This is an actor who will be missed. Now go watch Move Over Darling, The Great Escape and Victor Victoria, and have yourself the best James Garner marathon of all.