James Garner 2The one and only James Garner (1928-2014) passed away yesterday. Best remembered for his portrayal of slick-talking gambler Brett Maverick and Westlake-esque private detective Jim Rockford, Garner inspired the term “marshmallow macho”. That description perfectly captured Garner’s special place in the history of male role models (as much as I usually hate the expression “role models”) in the larger culture.

James GarnerFor so many American males James Garner and the characters he brought to life represented a happy medium between psychotically macho Clint Eastwood types and the hopelessly femmey Alan Alda types. Garner’s film roles are often overlooked but Balladeer’s Blog will make a point of examining them in the months ahead. In addition Garner served in the Korean War and won two Purple Hearts.

This man was a true original and with his passing he may finally receive all of the acclaim that he always deserved.  


Filed under Neglected History

7 responses to “JAMES GARNER: R.I.P.

  1. I loved him. What a loss. I read a stupid piece on the Daily Mail which said his last ‘big’ role was as…wait for it…”the man who played the older Ryan Gosling in The Notebook”…what a dumb shit who wrote that.

  2. Thanks Jo. Leave it to a Daily Mail writer to cite THAT movie. Sheesh! Did you ever see him in Duel to Diablo? That one has a kind of sympathetic attitude to Native Americans. Garner’s character was even married to one in the movie.

  3. Quartermain

    Though this article came from a conservative website, I think you might like it anyway:


    • Thanks! I will check it out. I never really mind websites that have a point of view, I’m just tired of people thinking hardcore liberal or hardcore conservative are their ONLY choices in life.

      • Quartermain

        Nice thing about the article is, any Jim Gardner fan of any political stripe can enjoy it.

  4. Ian

    I liked him in that movie where he and Jack Lemmon played ex-presidents.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s