The Oklahoman Entertainment Editor Gene Triplett has assembled an excellent indepth feature on Academy Award-nominated Oklahoma-born and bred screen legend James Garner.
The feature, which includes an email interview with the 84-year-old actor, covers Garner’s rough-and-tumble upbringing in Norman, his extensive Korean War service, his passion for car racing, his generous nature, his signature TV roles in “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files” and his many big-screen successes, including his Oscar-nominated turn in “Murphy’s Romance,” and more.
“One of the things that’s really remarkable about my dad is that there are very few actors in Hollywood or anywhere that have been able to go from film to TV, back to film, back to TV” without diminishing his A-list stature, Garner’s daughter Gigi Garner told Gene in a recent phone interview.
James Garner said in his email that “The Notebook” (2004) is one of his three favorites of his own films “because it was about everlasting love. I believe in everlasting love.” He and wife Lois have been married for 55 years.
His other favorite films: “‘My Name is Bill W.’ (1989) because over the years people have told me that seeing the story of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous had helped them. ‘The Americanization of Emily’ (1964), because it was written by the great Paddy Chayefsky and because it was about the futility of war.”
What has being from Oklahoma meant to him?
“Everything!” he said in his email. “I’m so proud of it, I almost start conversations, ‘Hi, I’m Jim from Oklahoma.’ … Oklahoma is friendly and full of nice people.”
To read the full feature and see a photo gallery of Garner’s life and career, click here.
And check out this terrific NewsOK video about Garner: