The 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.
For 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.