Today we pay tribute to a very special actor; he's somebody I knew back in Los Angeles in the 1970s and 1980s: James Garner, born in Norman, Okla., in 1928. He passed away just over two years ago, on July 19, 2014.
He's known as being just what he seemed to be; what you see is what you get with Jim Garner, and that's pretty much the way it was. He was an awful lot like Jim Rockford, except he made a little bit more than "$100 a day, plus expenses."
He's best known on TV as Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford, but he played in a lot of movies, including The Children's Hour with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, and he worked with Doris Day and Melina Mercouri, all the great film stars of the day.
Jim loved a whole lot of things; he loved football and he really loved driving fast cars. He was known as being part of that elite group that included his friends Paul Newman and Steve McQueen when it came to racing cars. In Rockford, he did his own driving stunts; where he first learned those skills — or at least honed them — was in Europe, when he was working on a John Frankenheimer movie. Not one of his favorites, but it did teach him to drive race cars very fast: Grand Prix.
This week's Flicks in Five includes music from Grand Prix, by Maurice Jarre.