James Garner remains hospitalized in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke earlier this week. He underwent surgery related to the stroke and is doing well and expected to go home soon according to an article at CNN. Garner was best known for his acting roles in the TV series Maverick which ran from 1957-1962 and Jim Rockford in the long running Rockford Files from 1974-1980. Rockford was the cool talking private investigator who, when he wasn’t talking his way out of a fight he was running in the other direction. He won an Emmy for this television role in 1977. The show always started with the phone ringing and the voice on the answering machine said, "This is Jim Rockford. At the tone, leave your name and number. I'll get back to you."
My brother and I watched the entire series and had the chance to watch the filming of one the Rockford Files episodes in Burbank, Ca. It was always a common site to see the TV shows being filmed around the valley area, but there was no mistaking that brown Firebird car parked on the street. It was a small scene that had Garner in the store, and he walked out to his car and drove away. Of course, it never happened that fast, but took almost an hour to film that one scene.
Garner’s last TV role was playing the grandfather in the hit TV series, 8 Rules For . . . . Dating My Teenage Daughter, starring John Ritter. Ritter died during the shows second season.
James Garner turned 80 in April and I certainly wish for him many more healthy birthdays.