James Garner Passes Away At 86

James Garner and Gena Rowlands in "The Notebook."

BRENTWOOD—On July 20, actor James Garner, 86, passed away in his Brentwood home. According to reports, Garner died of natural causes. Garner began acting after his participation in the Korean War, where he received two purple hearts.

James Garner was born in Norman, Oklahoma on April 7, 1928. He began his acting career in 1955 in the television program “Cheyenne,” but rose to fame in his role of Bret Maverick in the series “Maverick” in 1957 and as Jim Rockford in “The Rockford Files” in 1974.

Garner was known for his ability to enchant viewers on both the big screen and the television screen and received the Screen Actor Guild’s Life Achievement Award in 2004 where he expressed his thanks and gratitude towards his fellows commemorating his work saying, “to have actors think of me in these terms touches me deep, deep, deep, deep in my heart,” according to the Screen Actor Guild’s Website.

CNN quoted SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard as seeing James Garner as “the definition of the smooth, dashing leading man, but his talents were so much more than skin deep…He was a hard worker who dedicated himself wholly to whatever he set out to accomplish, whether it was serving his country or performing for the camera.”

Garner’s last television works included a role in the television sitcom “8 Simple Rules” featuring the late John Ritter, Katey Segal, Kaley Cuoco and David Spade.

Garner’s last acting roles included the tearjerker, “The Notebook” in 2004 and his role as Red Stevens in the film “The Ultimate Gift” in 2007. Garner provided his voice later in the science fiction film, “Battle for Terra” in 2007 and the short animated film “Superman/Shazam!”

Several fans went to Twitter to express their remorse, Emmett Scanlan tweeted that James Garner was “the original Maverick” and Zaki Hasan tweeted “Another legend is gone. Brett Maverick has ridden into the sunset.”

Garner is survived by his wife, Loise Clarke Garner, and daughters Greta Garner and Kim Garner and two grandchildren.